Cadenhead’s Dark Rum 1842 Cask

Cadenhead's Dark Rum 1842 Cask review by the fat rum pirateCadenhead’s or Wm Cadenhead are an independent bottler of Scotch Whisky and other Fine Spirits based in Campbeltown, Argyle in Scotland.  The company has been operating since 1842 and some of their more idiosyncratic blended whiskies and rums are currently available under the brands 1842 Live Cask range.

At their store on Chiltern Street in London they run a Whisky Tasting Room.  Within this store they have a number of live casks.  These live casks contain blends of single malt whiskies.  These offer a unique one off experience and the casks are regularly topped up in store once they become half empty.

Fortunately, for the rum lover Cadenhead’s currently have one 1842 cask which is a blend of rums.  As you can see from the link provided there wasn’t a great deal of information available so I got in touch with Cadenhead’s and they duly and promptly replied to my enquiries

“The 1842 we have in the shop is from Demerara, if we had to place an age on it I guess it  would be 10 years old however the cask has been live since 2002/3 it’s a small quarter cask we top up once it gets to 50% sold, at this point we cannot get any more out of the cask so we fill it then from time to time we will roll the cask to mix it up a bit more (That’s how we do it in the London Store) the oldest rum in the cask I can recall adding was 30 years old some years back now I remember thinking I must be a bit crazy adding such an old rum to the cask!! I think it has helped with the richness we get from the cask”

The rum is available in a number of sizes I opted initially for the small 20cl bottle which is available from £16.90.  This may sound quite expensive for such a small bottle.  A 70cl bottle can be bought for £51.90.  The rum is however bottled at Cask Strength of 68% ABV.  SO you are getting quite a lot of rum for your money by the time you water the rum down to a more drinkable ABV.  The rum is hand bottled and labelled.  This is the case for all these rums as the rum is taken straight from the cask.  It would be nice to visit the store and see my bottled filled but alas this was ordered online.  The only downside to ordering direct from Cadenhead’s is the £10 postage and packing fee.

Cadenhead’s Classic Rum (which is also a Demerara blend) was greeted with rave reviews on this site – as this seems to be an older version of that the expections for this are pretty high.

Cadenhead's 1842 Dark Rum review by the fat rum pirateAs Cadenhead’s rums are not chill filtered or coloured in anyway the rum by commercial Demerara standards quite a light coloured rum.  It is a dark golden colour.  Sediment and cloudiness can be seen in the glass.  This is not something which should alarm.  It is not something which will spoil the flavour.

Nosing the spirit as cask strength it is not surprising that a heady scent of alcohol boozy fumes are present.  However, it is not quite as chemical like as some Overproof rums such as Lemon Hart 151.  The unmistakable Demerara notes are still present.  The nose is very rich and instense.  Plump juicy raisins and cinnamon, ginger a little nutmeg, rich cocoa and chocolate notes.  It’s very rich and sweet smelling.  Bordering almost on Christmas Pudding or Christmas Cake.  Almost Spiced in many ways..

Sipping the rum at 68% will offer you little other than a very numb tongue and quite possibly health problems if regular sipping of such rums becomes common please.  Some alcohol retailers advise against drinking such high proof rums neat.  Cadenhead’s do suggest this rum is easy to drink even at 68% ABV (I disagree) though they do recommend adding some drops of water.  For those concerned about doing so – this will not dilute the taste and make the rum thin unless you add a lot of water.  So be careful and a had a few drops of water.  I find a teaspoon works best for this.  You will notice as you add each teaspoon that the rum becomes less “strong” but more flavours become evident.  You will find the sweet spot for you with a little practice.

Once found you really do have a very rich and fruity Demerara.  It’s pretty sweet and is certainly sweeter than all the Independently bottled Demerara’s I have tried so far.  It reminds me a little of El Dorado 8 and 15.  I will affirm at this stage that the Hydrometer Tests do show no added sugar.  Which shows that skilful blending can still produce rich warming and sweeter rum.

All the notes available in the nose shine through when sipped.  It has a little more spice and bite to it than the Classic Rum.  You can tell the extra ageing of the spirit as it exhibits notes of oak and added complexity with some spicy notes such as ginger it also has a little hint of aniseed or licorice – not much but just a little.

Mixed I think all Demerara’s go well when mixed especially with Cola, this makes a lovely rich and warming drink.  A real winter warmer.  This rum is very typical of the Demerara rums which are so popular in Scotland.  Sweet, rich and warming.

This rum could also be used as a Overproof float in cocktails.  Although slightly lesser proof than Lemon Hart or Hamilton 151 I think in respect of Lemon Hart (I haven’t tried the Hamilton) it offers a better tasting more balanced rum.

I think this rum is pretty spectacular and until I find something better I’m pretty happy to give this 5 stars.  I suspect you could spend a lot, lot more and not find a better Demerara.  Yes I know this isn’t a Single Cask offering but taken at face value as a blended aged Demerara this takes some beating.

5 stars







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6 comments on “Cadenhead’s Dark Rum 1842 Cask

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  2. I just happened to stumble across the 1842 rum in the online shop of Cadenhead’s Cologne and I’m glad I found your review as information on these bottlings is pretty scarce.
    Sounds intriguing enough to go for the the whole bottle (€55, 64%). ABV)

    • Hope you enjoy it and glad you found the site useful!

  3. Wes is this really that good, is it better than the El Dorado 21 side by side bling testing? Have you tried the EH25 yet?

    • Yes I would say so. Review coming soon

    • I’m a massive fan of Demerara rum, and yes I prefer this to ED 21 and 25. Spectacular rum.

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