J Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1

J. Gow Hidden Depths Vol. 1 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateJ Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1. Another trip to bonny Scotland. Well one of the Scottish Isles anyway. Here we are with some more Orkney Haggis Juice following on from last years Fading Light release from VS Distillers.

This is the first 3 Year Old Aged Rum to come out of Scotland. As you will be able to see from the images Collin Van Schayk, owner of VS Distillers has provided a lot of information about the actual rum in the bottle.

He’s pretty much told us everything except the colour pants he was wearing when he distilled the rum. Going by Collin’s dress sense I’d image something about as tasteful as one of my RumFest shirts………

So lets see exactly what J Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1 is all about. All the information I need is on the bottle so here goes!

J Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1 is Scottish Pure Single Rum. Under the Gargano classification this means it is additive free and hails from one distillery. In this case we have 100% Pot Still rum.  This is a Single Cask rum. J Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1 is a run of 259 bottles. I have bottle number 69. Before anyone asks I didn’t request this particular number but Finbarr Van Schayk thought it to be amusing to send me this one. I’ll also clarify that I paid for this bottle.

J Gow rums are made entirely in Orkney. Using imported Sugar Cane molasses – you won’t find many sugar cane fields in Scotland. This is fermented for at least 7 days in a temperature controlled 2000 litre fermenter and 2000 litre pot still. The ability to ferment in the still, allows a stripping run as soon as fermentation is finished. This stripped molasses wash (low wine) is then returned to the still for a final spirit run.

Collin is looking to produce a variety of rums, using various fermentation techniques with different percentages of backset/dunder. Mainly focusing on heavier, more full bodied rums.

The rum has been bottled as Cask Strength 53.2% ABV and is housed in a very sexy tapered 3/4 stubby style bottle. The artwork is designed by Collin himself. He’s quite a talented young man really. The front label depicts some kind of eel like sea beastie. I quite like the chunky wooden topped cork stopper which has a wax “medal” on the top with a skull and crossbones. Which I assume Collin has produced by hand. The rum doesn’t come with a box but you do get a marble drawstring bag to store the rum in.

Moving onto the rear of the bottle we are given yet more informJ. Gow Hidden Depths Vol. 1 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateation. J Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1 has been aged for 3 years in an ex-Bere Whisky/OWC(Orkney Wine Company)/Rejuvenated oak cask. It is noted as Cask number #5. The rum was distilled in 2017 and bottled in 2020. It has been aged entirely at J Gow Rum Distillery 58.8 degrees North. A mere 2 metres above sea level and only 50 metres from the sea. No added sugar or colouring.

You might have to move fast to secure a bottle of this as, I understand it is selling very well. It is only available online here and direct from the distillery. It retails at £59.99.

So I think that explains all we need to know about this particular rum. So why don’t I move onto the fun part? Lets see how 3 years of ageing in Orkney influences the taste of a rum!

As with Ninefold’s 12 month old rum you get a lot of molasses/treacle and caramel as you are pouring a glass. It’s rich and pungent. Full bodied and quite “piratey” I guess.

In the glass J Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1 is light in colour. Little more than a straw/white wine colour. A shade or two darker. Nosing closer you get toffee, golden syrup and some Caramac (a sickly sweet weird kind of caramel chocolate concoction popular(Ish) in the UK).

Beneath this I am getting some influence from the whisky cask. It’s a kind of very light peaty note – it’s not full on but it does remind me a little of a Islay type of whisky. It’s got a savoury meaty note to it.

With time in the glass I am getting a mellow peppery spiciness. A touch of something slightly medicinal. A touch herbal maybe.

Sipped this is a lot heavier than the initial nosing at least suggested. At first when you pop the cork you get a lot of sweet molasses. This is quite a savoury type of rum and has a bit of Caroni about it. Not so much in terms of the more extreme burned tyres and petrol notes of a Caroni but certainly in it’s more savoury elements.

The initial burst of molasses is quJ. Gow Hidden Depths Vol. 1 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateickly brought into line by some very medicinal notes. A bitterness comes in alongside some heavier quite “whisky” like notes.

The mid palate has a herbal element and some slightly bitter tannic notes. It’s certainly not a sweet rum.

There is a lot going on with J Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1. It’s quite a challenging rum. It’s smoky especially towards the finish.

There is an almost burnt note as the finish builds. We have a nice length on the finish and the molasses flavour does hang in there amongst the smoke and heavier notes going on with this rum. There is just enough sweetness there to stop it getting too “whisky-esque” for my tastes.

This is a heavy, full bodied type of rum that people who like Scotch Whisky and some of the heavier styles of rum will really enjoy.

My bottle hasn’t lasted long. I actually drank for too much of it on a Sunday afternoon. It just seemed to hit the spot. There are times when I find certain rums really just go down far too well.

I even mixed it with cola. It was pretty mean and moody that way and I really enjoyed it.

In many ways this quite reminds me of Smith and Cross. At first with that rum I was little puzzled by it. Yet I found the flavour of it fascinating. I’ve got to admit that the first time I tried Smith and Cross I really didn’t know what to expect.

In time I found myself strangely drawn to it. I didn’t write reviews at the time so I was lucky that I never wrote down my initial thoughts. I recently picked up another bottle of the J Gow Fading Light and found I enjoyed it more second time around. J Gow Hidden Depths Vol 1 Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

It is going to be very interesting to see what J. Gow/VS Distillers produced going forward. LIkewise the likes of Ninefold and Sugar House also from Scotland.

Exciting times for Haggis Juice no doubt. I’d be keen to see what an unaged J Gow white rum might be like as well…

If you can secure a bottle then do so. This is great stuff. Definitely not pish………









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