Leatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve

Leatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve Rum review by the fat rum pirateLeatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve. This rum is produced at North of 7 Distillery. Which is a micro distillery in Ottawa, Canada it is ran by avid rock climbers Greg Lipin and Jody Miall. You may think that is a pretty odd thing to point about someone. However, the reason is they run a rock climbing training gym right across the road from their North of 7 Distillery. They divide their time between the two businesses.

Now I was a bit curious about what “North of 7” referred to as none of the other reviews/interviews I had read about the distillery, had touched upon it. After a little bit of googling I found the following blog post which explained it all.

So now I best explain the Leatherback part. As you can see from the label the Leatherback is a Sea Turtle, which can be found in Canadian waters. For each bottle of Leatherback Rum sold, a portion is donated to the Canadian Sea Turtle Network – a charitable organization based in Halifax that is working to conserve endangered sea turtles in Canadian waters and abroad. So there you go.

We’ve explained about the distillery and the name of the the rum. So now lets take a look at the presentation, before we get down to looking at the actual liquid.

Leatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve comes in a short rounded 3/4 stubby style bottle complete with a synthetic wood topped stopper. Presentation is reasonably modern and quite well “branded”. The information provided about the rum is good as well. This particular rum is only available at the Distillery store. It retails at $55.95 Canadian dollars. The bottle size is 750ml standard for the US/Canada.

Should you wish to learn more about North of 7’s products then you can visit their website.

So let’s take a look at the liquid. My Leatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve is from batch number 19 and from barrel number 31. The rum is distilled from 100% molasses which comes from Lantic Rogers based in Montreal. The molasses is fermented for 5-6 days before being distilled on a Pot Still with only one plate.

Leatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve Rum review by the fat rum pirateLeatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve is then aged in new barrels from Independent Stave Company based in Kentucky. When producing the rum the barrels a given a light toast and a heavy char. It is then aged for a minimum of 4 years. The producers are very clear that they do not add sugar or any other additives to their rum.

If you would like some more reading on Leatherback Rum and North of 7 distillery, then please have a look at Ivar’s post on Rum Revelations. Which I found useful for this review.

The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that Ivar and myself have reviewed the exact same bottle. Ivar kindly gave me a pretty much full bottle at Rumfest last year. Cheers Ivar.

So lets get down to the tasting then now we have covered pretty much everything!

In the glass we have a dark brown spirit with a orange hue. The nose delivers a fair amount of oak spices and some treacly molasses aromas. Further nosing reveals a slight whisky/bourbon like “malty” note. Some green apple, raisins and a smoky caramel aroma. It’s quite nice and at 57% ABV it is surprisingly restrained in the “booze” department.

Sipped, this is a pretty big, brusing style of rum. Very molasses forward in terms of treacly caramel and a slightly bitter note. Despite this the initial entry is quite sweet with lots of toffee, vanilla and sugar (though none has been added). This moves along into the mid palate which is spicy with quite a of oak and a touch of tobacco. There isn’t as much of the fruity notes that were there on the nose. They are present briefly on the initial entry but the woodier notes quickly take over.

This is what some might call a “dry” rum. I’m not a big fan of the term because often it is used to explain a “non sugared” rum. I think using such a term almost legitimises added sugar which is not something I’m happy to play with. For my meaning this is along the lines of the likes of Foursquare 2004, which for me is no bad thing. That said Foursquare 2004 is aged much longer and is a blend of Pot/Column. I think Foursquare 2013 might be a better comparison.Leatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve Rum review by the fat rum pirate

Finish wise Leatherback Rum Barrel Strength Special Reserve has a long clean spicy finish, which has a refreshing slightly minty bite to it.

All in all this is a really nice well balanced Single Barrel Pot Still rum. Something which all things considered is a pretty tricky thing to pull off.

It punches way above it’s 4 year age statement and makes for a great sipper when you fancy something with a bit more character. Likewise even in mixed drinks this is not a rum to shy away from the action.

Good stuff – I did see some Leatherback rum for sale on either The Whisky Exchange or Master Malt a few years ago. I never bought it. If it comes on sale again I’ll be sure to pick some up.

A pleasant surprise.




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