Ultimatum Rum Fiji Secret Distillery Aged 12 Years

Ultimatum Fiji Secret Distillery rum review by the fat rum pirateUltimatum Rum Fiji Secret Distillery is not quite as mysterious as it sounds. There is currently only one working commercial distillery on Fiji. So its not really much of a secret.

Rums from Fiji have been popping up all over the place over the past year. Many independent bottlers have been picking up and releasing Fijian rums. The distillery is actually the South Pacific Rum distillery.

Domestically they are responsible for a line up of rums called Bounty (not to be confused with the one produced in St Lucia).  They operate under the guise of the Fiji Rum Co.  I was advised a while back that the distilery is now owned by Bacardi International.

Ultimatum is a line up rums released by The Little Distiller an independent bottler from the Netherlands.  They release mostly single cask rums. Limited to only a few hundred bottles.  Their releases are very reasonably priced and as a result the ABV is reduced down to 46% ABV.

This Ultimatum Fiji Secret Distillery rum is limited to 304 bottles.  It retails at around 40 euro’s for a 70cl bottle with an ABV. They are currently really, only available in the Netherlands. Though most stores will ship to the rest of Europe.  Zeewijck are particularly good in my experience.

I have previously tried a few rums from South Pacific – what I like about them is they are full bodied pot still rums.  The Berrys’ 8 Year Old I tried last year was perhaps a little bit too heavy but it showed promise nonetheless. As you will find with most Independent bottlers Ultimatum do not colour or add any additives to the rum.

Ultimatum rums come in very sturdy circular stubby bottles.  You get a quality synthetic cork with a plastic topper.  The cork gives a very satisfying pop when opened.  The general presentation is quite modern and they keep the same colours etc for each release.  A bit like Cadenheads.

Ultimatum Rum Fiji Secret Distillery Review by the fat rum pirateThis rum is a Pot Still rum distilled in December 2004 and bottled on the 24th February 2017. Giving it just over 12 years of ageing.  I do not imagine all of the ageing will have taken place in the Fijian Tropics. Nor do I have any information which suggests the rum has been aged in anything other than an ex-bourbon barrel or barrels.

So without much else to say we may as well start seeing how good this rum is.

In the glass the rum is a classic golden brown colour.  On the nose I am quite surprised by the balance.  I was expecting something more edgy like the Berrys’ 8 Year Old.  This is actually quite laid back.  Nice oaked notes, a little spiciness from the bourbon casks.  We also get some light notes of vanilla and a touch of tree sap.

The development of this rum compared to its 8 year old cousin is huge.  The rough intense pot still notes that were so present in that rum are toned down to a much more manageable level.  This is more like a slightly aggressive Bajan rum.

There is still a quite strong medicinal note of pine and tree sap but it is much more agreeable than in the younger Fijian rum.  Extra time in the barrel has really added layers of complexity to this rum.  It has a really enjoyable oaked spiciness to it which is completed by the stronger medicinal notes.  Nice overtones of vanilla and a salty-sweetness almost caramel note round this rum of nicely.  Satisfyingly complex.

I’ve got a Cadenheads 11 Year Old Fijian rum which is a lot more heated than this one. I’m not sure if this is actually a blend of column and pot still rum as it does seem overall to be more balanced than you might expect from a solely pot still rum.

This has a similar balance to classic Bajan and Jamaican rums such as Appleton 12, RL Seale’s 10 and Mount Gay XO.  It’s familiar but offers something just slightly different.  Before tasting this I thought Fijian rums closest cousins were the rums from St Lucia, but this rum is different to what i have experienced before.

Very good rum at a very good price.  Highly recommended.

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