Samaroli Caribbean Rum 2005

Samaroli Caribbean Rum 2005 review by the fat rum pirate Samaroli Caribbean Rum 2005. For those unfamiliar with Samaroli, they are an Italian Independent bottler of Whisky, Rum and other Spirits. The founder Silvano Samaroli sadly passed away on the 16 February 2017 aged 77. He had handed the reins of the Samaroli empire to Antonio Bieve in 2008 but had remained active within the company until his death.

Samaroli became famous for releasing Cask Strength whiskies in the early eighties. At the time that was relatively unheard of and really shook the industry up. Whisky Connoisseurs were quick to seize upon these new and exciting whiskies. They soon become much sought after.

Samaroli like so many Whisky bottlers eventually branched out into rum. However, from what I have seen they do not go for “Cask Strength” rum. Most of their output is diluted down to 43-46% ABV. This is one of the reasons why Samaroli haven’t featured on the site thus far. I don’t mind paying a premium for Independent bottlings but I can see little value in paying £100 plus for a rum that isn’t bottled at Cask Strength, when most of the distilleries offer similar bottlings themselves at a fraction of the price.

In today’s market there is so much competition amongst Independent bottlers. Many release Cask Strength rum at a similar price point to Samaroli’s efforts. Their 40-46% ABV releases are often half the price of a Samaroli. The explosion of Velier and Habitation Velier in particular, over the past couple of years has left me with little left in the coffers for any Samaroli releases.

Another point is that although Samaroli is bottled in Scotland, much of their output is sold in mainland Europe and Asia. We do get a few odds and ends here in the UK but not a great deal.

Anyway, lets move onto the actual rum up for review today. Samaroli Caribbean Rum 2005. The rum is bottled at 45% ABV and comes in a opaque bottle with quite wide shoulders and a  short stubby neck. A cork stopper seals the deal. The label is clear, uncluttered and slightly “avant-garde”. The rums in the blend were distilled in 2005 and bottled in 2014. So around nine years of ageing. It was limited to 750 bottles. I’m not sure how much it originally retailed for likely around £80-95.

Samaroli Logo by the fat rum pirateSamaroli have released Caribbean “blends” in the past. Rumours have circulated that it is a way of getting over the US Cuban Rum embargo. The rum is actually Cuban but labelling this in such a way gets it past the US customs.

When this rum was available (its sold out now) it was noted on a couple of websites as being rum from Haiti. Other sources have suggested it is blended from two single casks 95% Cuban rum and 5% Jamaican. Again to attempt to circumvent US restrictions.

No doubt my “expert” nose and palate will detect the exact make up of the rum within seconds, ahem………

In the glass Samaroli Caribbean 2005 is a rich dark brown with yellow tinges. On the nose I’m getting quite a light, slightly sweet rum. It has a nice fresh, fruity aroma. I’m getting some nice notes of stoned fruits – cherries and raspberries. There is a really nice clean note – really well-balanced oak and some spices – hint of cinnamon and a touch of black pepper. It has a really nice balance to it and is quite inviting.

Sipped it is pretty spicy and oaky to begin with. A slight bitterness on the mid palate reveals more tobacco and hint of pipe smoke. There is a slightly sherried note of intense almost plum like sweetness on the initial entry. I think I would have identified this as a Spanish style rum blind. Maybe I would have opted for Panama rather than Cuba though. It isn’t as tobacco heavy as many Cuban’s and reminds me quite a lot of the Mezan Panama rums.Samaroli Caribbean Rum 2005 Review by the fat rum pirate

This is a clean, well-balanced rum. It has no real bad points but it isn’t really the most complex or complete of sippers. It’s pleasant enough but it doesn’t really pull up many trees. You probably wouldn’t mix this but if you do…it makes a more than decent Cuba Libre.

The mid palate and finish are quite spicy with a really nice interaction with the oak casks it has been aged in. Nice notes of stoned fruits carry through with plums, apricots and cherries. Zesty spiciness carries the rum along into a reasonably long and quite spicy finish. This lingers for longer than you might expect. The finish is perhaps the most complex part of this rum as the sweetness dissipates and allows you to appreciate the ageing of the blend more. Nice zesty notes mingle with some hints of tobacco and smoke.

Probably best paired with a cigar. Alas I only smoke when I’m on fire.

Some producers probably wish that was the case.

 

 

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