Expressions – Old Man Rum Co.

Expressions Old Man Rum Co Review by the fat rum pirateExpressions is the first in a series of Aged Pot Still Rums, to be released by the newly formed Old Man Rum Co.

Hailing from Northumberland, in the North East of England the Old Man Rum Co. is headed by Ian Linsley.  A specialist Rum Blender who has a lifetime of experience in the drinks industry.

Not content with reviving the legendary Alnwick Rum, Ian is now carrying out a lifelong ambition to realise his father’s dream.  The new rum is based on knowledge passed down from his father, John Bernard Linsley.  Hence the name of the company.  This is the rum his father would have wanted.

Expressions is a blended rum, which in todays market is nothing new.  However, it is a 100% Pot Still rum blend, this in itself is uncommon.  What makes this rum truly unique? It is a blend of 100% Pot Still Rums aged between 25 and 33 years.  The age stated on the bottle is the minimum age of any rum contained in this blend.

If that isn’t enough for you the rum has 3 rums in its 7 rum blend, which are from distilleries which are no longer in operation.

As you can see the rum comes in a very elegant solid wood presentation box with a booklet outlining the history and provenance of the rum.  The glass decanter has a chunky and luxurious glass topped cork stopper.  The box when sealed shows the distinctive Old Man Rum Co. logo. All in all a very classy package.

The rum is bottled at 58.5% and only 250 bottles of this rum will be made available worldwide.  It will never be repeated.  The rum retails at £1800 and is currently only available online at the Old Man Rum Co. website.

Now I know that for most of you reading this rum £1800 will seem a fantastic amount of money to pay for a bottle of rum.  There is no doubt you would be right, it is a fantastic amount of money to pay.  If you are a serious collector though or are looking for a very special rum gift, this offers an opportunity to own and enjoy some very unique and practically extinct rums all in one blend.Expressions Old Man Rum Co Review by the fat rum pirate

I was given the opportunity to taste this rum at its launch event at the Boutique Rum Fest in London on the 21st October 2016.  Honest as ever (and already having sampled a good few rums), I did display my surprise at this rum being a blend.  On reflection however being a blend this does give Expressions a unique selling point.  I am surprised that they haven’t bottled the rums individually but Ian informed me that he really wanted to do something completely different.

“This is a serious product for the purists. It’s a big rum that’s for sipping and not to be rushed.  We’re making a big statement with out first Expressions”

Ian went  on to inform me that it is a “beautiful blend of aged rums.  It’s pure pot still and uniquely blends rums of more than 25 years old.  It’s real difference is it’s rarity, as some of the distilleries we’ve sourced from no longer exist”

I was then asked if I could pick out any of the rums in the blend.  I won’t reveal to much at this stage but Ian was suitably impressed to give me a small tot with the view of writing some tasting notes for him.

At this stage I’m not to sure how familiar Ian was with this site.  Unlike so many others, I always strive to be 100% honest and impartial.  At Rum Fest the rum had seemed very, very good but I was keen to get back home and assess it in a more familiar environment.

The first thing to note about Expressions is its hue.  It is a golden colour rather than a deep mahogany.  For many this may cause a concern but once nosed it is clear that it simply a case that this aged rum has not been caramel coloured.

Expressions Old Man Rum Co Review by the fat rum pirateThe nose is a real surprise and was the first thing I queried at Rum Fest – I found it hard to believe that it was all Pot Still rum.  It is on the first nosing quite sweet – it reminds me of old fashioned boiled sweets in a paper bag.  It’s almost floral.  The next thing you notice is zestiness like marmalade and some lighter sweeter orange aromas.

For a rum bottled at 58.5% I can detect next to no alcohol or any rough edges.  A deeper nosing reveals more of the body of the Pot Still Rum.  A slightly menacing undertone which reminds me of Pusser’s Gunpowder.  This lurks but doesn’t ever threaten to throw the nose off balance or detract from its complexity.  There seems to be almost an extra layer with every sip.  A little spicy oak, some spicy ginger and a touch of cinnamon.  The sweetness almost becomes a little like a toffee apple.  A very slight sherried almost medicinal note also shows its presence.  I fear I could write an article alone on the nose……

So we’ll move on and take a few gentle sips.  Initially when queried about the blend of this rum I immediately suggested Caroni.  In hindsight this is because of the 3 closed distilleries in the blend.  I was asked to guess again and was told there was no rum from Trinidad in the blend.

The answer was obvious and really explains the medicinal notes of this rum.  The mythical Rockley Still from Barbados is at least one of the rums in this blend.  I would guess at it probably being the 1986 vintage (used by Duncan Taylor and Bristol Classic Rum).Expressions Old Man Rum Co review by the fat rum pirate

One the first sip you get that rich medicinal slightly tarry note, which is unique to the Rockley Pot Still.  It’s rich and warming and very satisfying.  It’s also clearly Pot Still rum.  This is followed by some of the sweeter notes identified on the nose.  There are familiar Demerara raisin and Port Mourant liquorice/aniseed notes and a little chocolate.  I would say there is more than the Port Mourant still involved in this rum, I would also hazard a guess at the Versailles wooden still being in the mix also.  The Bajan rum rears it head again with gentler notes of vanilla and a little toffee.

Jamaican rum is also contained in this blend and whilst the Jamaican rum initially doesn’t seem to be all that involved it does add a lot of funk towards the end of each sip and especially in the finish.  It also carries the spice and oak into the finish which can only be described as super long.  One of the longest and most complex finished I have encountered.

I wasn’t told the make up of this rum as Old Man Rum Co. were keen for me to try it without any pre-conceptions.  For the Jamaican influences I would guess towards Hampden Estate.

There are no doubt rums in the blend that I haven’t been able to pick out. The rum is sippable even at full strength. I would advise only a very little water. It really doesn’t need much at all to open up the full complexity.

I did honestly think blending such rums was a bit of a silly idea. Once again I have been proved wrong.  A benchmark in many ways for a blended rum.

5 stars









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