Tilambic 151 Overproof Aged Rum

Tilambic 151 Overproof Aged Rum review by the fat rum pirateTilambic 151 Overpoof Aged Rum. The world of Overproof rum is quite an interesting one. Bottlers producing rum, which you are then advised not to take neat, as it may be hazardous to your health.

The most famous examples of Overproof 151 (75.5% ABV) rum are Bacardi 151 and Lemon Hart Demerara. Whilst Bacardi 151 seems to be most common in American frathouses – Lemon Hart has built up quite a following amongst Tiki bartenders who use the rum sparingly, as a float in drinks such as Zombies.

Other less severe versions of Overproof rum exist, in the shape of Navy Rums such as Pusser’s 54.5% ABV/109 proof and Woods 57% ABV/114 proof.

An even more extreme example can be found in the form of Sunset’s Extra Strong White Rum 84.5%ABV/169 proof. If that still isn’t strong enough for you then try Marienburg Rum, which is bottled at 90% ABV/180 proof. Very close to being neutral spirit if we are being honest.

Tilambic 151 Overproof is different to a lot of these Overproof rums. It has has been given some considerable time, ageing in Oak Casks. Up to 7 years.

The rum is produced by International Distillers Mauritius, from molasses on their 30 foot Column stills. It is not available domestically. The rum is actually produced under license for Green Island who import a number of Mauritian products into the UK.

The rum has recently been re-branded and the design is now a bit flashier and bit more up-to date. The tall bar bottle is nice and the screw cap is of good quality – not cheap and flimsy like some. In the UK a bottle retails at around £35 which is pretty standard for an Overproof.

Tilambic is acutally the old Creole word for “Moonshine” – strong rum, was originally produced by the people of Mauritius, on small alembic pot stills. Tilambic 151 Overproof has reTilambic 151 Overproof Aged Rum Review by the fat rum pirateceived some favourable reviews from both Lance and Steve James at Rum Diaries Blog. Also the sticker on the bottle shows that Tilambic 151 Overproof won a Gold at The Spirits Business Rum Masters in 2015. So it would seem this Mauritian Rum isn’t to shabby at all.

In the glass Tilambic 151 Overproof is a light/golden brown colour. It doesn’t appear to have had much colouring added.

The nose is pretty boozy with some sweet alcohol notes – were this a younger rum with less ABV, I would but that down to young sweet alcohol. As it has been aged, it must be mostly due to the ABVy. It is, despite this relatively speaking, quite light and sweet on the nose. There is a slightly herbal note about it and a fair amount of sugar cane, some light caramel and a touch of molasses.

Sipping this at full ABV, is not as brutal an experience as you might expect. It is very hot and boozy on the palate with a really big hit of sugary alcohol on the sip but it isn’t too unpleasant to be honest. Just sip very slowly and infrequently!

Once the intial sweetness subsides, you can taste some smoky notes and light spicy oak. Some of the herbal notes on the nose return as well. The finish is short as far as I can tell but by this point my palate is pretty much numbed.

Returning to this rum at a later date – and with a few drops of water I can appreciate the actual flavours of the rum. In many ways it sips more like a Cask Strength rum than a 151 headbanger. It has a fair amount of subtlety to it.

The mid palate and finish especially are much more complex with a real weight of oaky spice and some slightly grassy/herbal notes.Tilambic 151 Overproof Aged Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Whilst it is not bad as a sipper – it’s not really the greatest you will ever taste. It’s still a bit short and sharp particularly on the finish.

Where Tilambic 151 shines is in mixed drinks. A rum and cola or even a rum and lemonade with Tilambic 151 are very tasty drinks. In terms of a 151, I believe it would be useful to any bartender looking to add a bit oomph to a cocktail but not wanting to effect the aesthetic, by using a caramel coloured 151 (as many are).

That said, it’s a lot more complex when mixed than a lot of Overproof or 151 rums. It’s got a really distinctive note to it, that I can’t describe beyond “herbal”. It also has a light smokiness to it which is a really nice addition. The sweet notes of toffee and molasses also shine through when mixed even with heavier mixers such as Ginger Beer and Cola.

It has a nice balance to it and it is very dangerously drinkable like this. Go easy, as once you start making rum and cola’s with this it can disappear very quickly – much quicker than your hangover the next day!

It’s a distinctive rum and one I have enjoyed a lot. I would recommend trying this if you are seeking out a 151 style of rum with a bit of a more subtle nuanced profile.

 

 

 

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