Rum Nation Rare Rums Engenho Novo 2009 2017

Rum Nation Rare Rums Engenho Novo Small Batch Rum Review by the fat rum pirateRum Nation Rare Rums Engenho Novo. Rum Nation are an Italian Independent bottler. Their “Rare Rums” series is a new venture by them in 2017. They have released a number of rums in this series. They are noted as being “Small Batch” rather than Single Cask.

Engenho Novo is a new name to me in the rum world. Engenho Novo is actually a middle class suburb of Rio in Brasil but it is also the name of a spirits producer from the Portugese island of Madeira. Unfortunately the groups website is down at the moment and I have little information to go on. I presume that Engenho Novo comprises of the distillery which produces the William Hinton line of rums that have recently become more commerically available over here in the UK.

Rum Nation Rare Rums Engenho Novo is an agricole style rhum. It has been distilled and aged entirely on the island of Madeira, aged in ex-Madeira wine casks. It was distilled in 2009 and bottled in 2017 with 8 years of ageing. This rum is taken from casks 128 and 129 and is limited to 570 bottles worldwide. It is bottled at 52% ABV. It does not denote it is Cask Strength.

Rum Nation’s Rare Rum series have been met positively in the Rum Community. Though due to the their ties with Millonario and their occasional “dosing” of their rums Rum Nation are met with a fair bit of skepitism by some rum enthusiasts. In this instance the hydrometer did bob around the 50% ABV mark so it appears 10g/L of “additives” are present in this rum. As the rum was matured in a Madeira cask I was expecting quite a rich rum so it will be interesting to see if the dosage is particularly noticeable. It may be the Madeira cask wasn’t completely empty when re-filled.

In the glass Engenho Novo is a very, rich dark brown. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt and say this is due to the ageing in the Madeira casks. The nose is unusual. It’s quite sweet with notes of sherry and port. I wouldn’t guess it was a cane juice or agricole style rum. I would think it was a “finished” molasses based rum. Notes of prunes, raisins, caramel and a definite mintiness runs through it. Almost menthol.

Above further nosing you may get a slight freshness which hints at agricole but I think it may be because I am searching for it. Its definitely not a grassy or vegetal rhum. It has quite a sharp sweet alcohol note on the nose as well.

Sipped it reveals more of its agricole beginnings. Mixed with a lot of its maturation in Madeira cask. Initially it’s quite grassy and more of a familiar agricole style. However, this is very quickly overtaken by the richness of what I can only assume is the Madeira cask. Notes of prunes and raisins from the nose are joined by a slightly beefier almost old tasting wood. Its not spicy its a little musky and a touch old. Leather, mixed with a touch of tobacco. An old, musty tobacco pouch perhaps. Rum nation Engenho Novo rum review by the fat rum pirate

Despite its initial sweetness it does reveal quite a lot of interesting and complex notes. The finish whilst not huge is long and spicy enough to keep you from immediately taking another sip.

There is a note in this rum that I have experienced before – possibly in tropically aged Demerara. A slight bitterness but nothing too much. A kind of red wine like note.

I’m a bit torn on this one as I am not quite sure where all the cane juice rhum has gone. It’s a very interesting and quite distinctive rum. It’s arguably not the greatest rum you will ever sip but it is definitely worth considering if you are in the market for something a bit different.

In fact as I write and reminisce I have just thought of the nearest comparison to this rhum. The Rhum Rhum Liberations from Marie Galante. I’m not saying this is quite as good but its definitely not a million miles away.

Complex, interesting and most of all quite unusual.

 

 

 

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