Dead Reckoning Mhoba – South Africa

Dead Reckoning Mhoba - South Africa rum review by the fat rum pirateDead Reckoning Mhoba – South Africa. We have in the past, reviewed both Dead Reckoning’s offerings and a few of Mhoba’s own wares. Today we are combining the two in a quite youthful independent bottling, which unfortunately for those of us in Europe is an Australia only release. Well, initially it was anyway………..

Dead Reckoning Mhoba – South Africa as mentioned is a fairly young rum. Coming in at 2 years and 5 months (or 29 months if you prefer). It has been aged for 2 years in “Boutes French Oak Ex Vrede Em Lust Red Wine Cask” a South African Cape Red Wine.

The Australian “Dry Ageing” took place in a Maker’s Mark “Level 3 Char” cask. For those who don’t know Maker’s Mark is a Bourbon Whisk(e)y. For those unfamiliar with Char Levels it runs from 1-4 with 4 being the most heavily charred.

The topic of Australian Dry Ageing is a fairly recent thing – in terms of it being talked about with this terminology. Justin Boseley the man behind Dead Reckoning was recently interviewed by 88 Bamboo, so for further information read the interview here.

May as well get it straight from the horses mouth.

ead Reckoning Mhoba South Africa is a Single Cask release comprising of 377 bottles. I have bottle number 306. It was released in Australia in December 2022 and has sold out. It is 100% Pot Distilled.

However, Justin has kept 42 bottles back from the release for distribution in Europe later this year. One of the stockists will be the wonderful Richard Blesgraaf who owns Zeewijck. So keep an eye out for them arriving.

Mhoba are a very interesting distillery. One of the few that sees the entire process through on their own, from growing organic sugarcane in their plantations, fermentation and distillation on their self-designed and built Pot Stills. Bottling and labelling is also done by hand at the distillery.

Mhoba produce mostly rums from freshly pressed Sugar Cane Juice in the agricole style rather than rum from molasses. It has been bottled at Cask Strength of 56% ABV.

Dead Reckoning Mhoba - South Africa rum review by the fat rum pirateI am unsure at present how much the rum will retail for in Europe. In Australia it was around $150 dollars.

Well thats all the information I have on this rum so lets get on to the fun part.

In the glass Dead Reckoning Mhoba – South Africa is a medium/golden brown with a yellow/orange hue.

On the nose I am getting fresh vegetal sugar cane spliced with some rich red wine, dark fruits and a touch of wet tar.

It’s rich and inviting – straddling the line between a agricole style rhum and a long wine aged molasses bases rum. It certainly noses a lot “older” or rather more “mature” than it’s age statement.

Further nosing reveals more lighter fruits such as strawberry and a touch of apricot. There is something slightly soapy and medicinal lurking as well but it works quite nicely.

On the sip it shows its 56% ABV. It’s quite hard hitting and very full on. Again it doesn’t seem to be running completely as you might expect a cane juice rum. I’m not sure if I would identify this as a cane juice rum in a blind tasting. Pretty sure I wouldn’t.

That said there are vegetal and grassy notes which seem to appear the more you delve into the rum and the longer you leave it in the glass.

There is a good hit of barrel influence on the rum – the initial entry is rich with lots of stoned fruits and hints of cranberry, peach and blackberry. This leads into a progression of more vegetal and grassy notes. As we get to the mid palate we move more towards the strong barrel influence. Lots of charred oak and spicy wood notes.

This is a complex and challenging rum. It’s interesting to see how much influence the barrels have had on this rum.

Dead Reckoning Mhoba - South Africa rum review by the fat rum pirateAs we move into the finish Dead Reckoning Mhoba – South Africa once again, seems more mature than its years. The finish is full, rich and complex with lots going on. It evolves and the cane juice elements re-appear but they come along side the rich red wine notes from the first cask maturation. Woody spice and vanilla also move along nicely leaving to a long vibrant finish.

Overall this is a very nice rum. Quite a curious rum though as it shows elements of both young and more mature rum. It’s another example of Dead Reckoning and Justin Boseley being happy to push things and issue something a little different.

There is nothing safe about this release. Kudos to Dead Reckoning for releasing this. It’s bloody good stuff!








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