Banks Connoisseurs Cut – Guyana 59.58% Dark Rum

BANKSCONOISSEURSCUT GUYANABanks are probably best known for their 5 and 7 Island Blends.  In July 2015 Banks Rums were bought out by Bacardi.  What plans Bacardi have for Banks Rum is anyones guess.  So far no changes have taken place

This Banks Guyana rum is part of their Limited Edition Connoisseurs Cut range.  It should not be confused with the rums from Banks DIH (Demerara Ice House) from Guyana who bottle their own range of rums – XM.

Distilled in 1997 and bottled in July 2013 this 16 Year Old Rum is from the Port Mourant still at Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).  Limited to only 205 bottles the rum has been issued at a very refreshing 59.58% ABV – which is noted as Cask Strength.  It is a single cask rum.  I’ve noted the ABV in the title of the review because their is another Guyana in the range bottled at 56% ABV.

Retailing at just over £100 it is noticeably cheaper than the Banks Endeavour Rum (over £300) and for me much more desirable.  The Endeavour rum is a blend and to be honest hold no interest whatsoever for me.  Banks Connoisseurs Cut rums all come in a very nice mahogany wooden box with t a nice tall thin style bottle and a very nice corked enclosure.  The labelling is toned down compared to the 5 and 7 Island blends and is simple black font on white.  It gives all the information needed to identify the origin of the rum on the bottle.  Unfortunately it doesn’t give any information on where the rum was aged.

At just over £100 it is more expensive than similarly aged bottlings such as the 1999 Port Mo(u)rant from Bristol Classic Rum (around £60) and Pussers 15 Year Old (approx. £45).  However, neither of those rums were bottled at Cask Strength.  In reality you have over 1 litre of spirit if diluted to circa 40% ABV.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Banks 5 Island Blend but this rum should not suffer from any of that rums issues – it had too much going on in terms of mas it is single cask rum.  I’ve enjoyed Port Mourant rums in the past so I am quite excited to try this particular bottling.

Banks Connoisseurs Cut - Guyana 59.58% Dark Rum Review by the fat rum pirateA refreshing thing to note about this rum is how light it is.  Almost straw coloured.  Which suggests to me that no caramel has been added.  The nose on this one doesn’t have anything which suggests additives either.

The nose gives a very full and satisfyingly fruity nose. Reminiscent in many ways of Pussers Navy Rum.  Big, rich and fruity.  The Port Mourant is a wooden double pot still and its distillate is used in El Dorado 8,12,15 and the 25 year old.  It is used in most “Navy Rum” blends.  It offers a rich fruity experience with a hint of aniseed.  There is a slight muskiness to the nose as well.

Taking the rum neat 59.58% reveals a lot of aniseed on the taste buds and for me too much tingling on the tongue to fully appreciate the rum properly.  A few drops of water allow a better appreciation of this rum.  It brims with aniseed and is very slightly bitter particularly in the mid palate. It has nice aged oak notes and smokiness/mustiness which adds an extra layer of complexity.  There is a slight “dundery” Jamaican funk to this note (I for a long time assumed Pussers had Jamaican rum in it).  There is upfront sweetness – tropical fruits such as Mango and Banana but slightly stewed or fermented.

The finish even when the rum has been diluted with water is long and satisfying – it carries just enough burn on the palate continue to offer real flavour long after the rum has been swallowed.  Nice spicy oaked notes and a little orange zest and slightly bitter liquorice.

This is a pretty impressive Port Morant and highlights just how the rum can dominate blends.  Despite its pale appearance this rum is pretty big (maybe not as full on as the Enmore rums perhaps based on past experience).

A very nice expression.

4 stars









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