Rum & Cane Merchants Guyana XO Single Cask Rum

Rum & Cane Merchants Guyana XO Single Cask Rum review by the fat rum pirateRum & Cane Merchants Guyana XO Single Cask Rum. Following on from my earlier review of Rum & Cane Merchants Mauritius XO, I thought I would return to more “familiar” Independent fayre in the shape of a bottling from Guyana.

Guyanan/Demerara Rum is extremely popular amongst Independent bottling enthusiasts. Up there perhaps with Caroni (Trinidad) and the output from the various Jamaican distilleries.

In the UK Demerara rum is also very popular at the less expensive of the rum spectrum. Many retailers and supermarkets stock brands such as OVD, Woods and Skipper.

Today we are looking at a rum from the Diamond Distillery (or Demerara Distillers Limited – DDL), which is the only remaining active rum distillery in Guyana.

Information regarding this bottling has been obtained via the bottle and the companies website. Rum & Cane Merchants Guyana XO Single Cask Rum is as mentioned from the Diamond Distillery, it is noted as being a Column/Pot Batch rum. I’m assuming this means it is the product of distillate from more than one still. It has been aged in an ex-bourbon cask.

430 bottles of this rum were available upon release and it has sold out on the companies website. However, there are currently a few bottles still available at Amazon. They are currently carrying a reduction from the usual £54.99 price tag down to £45.95.

As with all Rum & Cane Merchants offerings the rum has been bottled at 46% ABV, it is non chill filtered with no additives. You can probably tell the bottlers have a Scotch Whisky background.

Once again the rum does not have an age statement and I don’t know when it was distilled and bottled. I’ve no idea how old the rum is. I did mention the lack of age statements used by Rum & Cane Merchants in my previous review. They kindly sent me the following explanation

“Although we bottle up properly aged rums we’ve tended not to put the age on the bottle as I’m sureRum & Cane Merchants Guyana XO Single Cask Rum review by the fat rum pirate you know in Rum there has been no regulation on what age claims people have been able to make. Us putting 10, 12 or even 20 years (actual real years) on a bottle doesn’t seem like much when a solera rum is claiming 23… Then there’s tropical vs EU aging… You know the story!

Hopefully the new EU laws on rum age claims and additives will bring a stop to some of the nonsense which has been going on for years. Being from a Scotch background we’d like to see transparency and honesty in labelling.”

Which is fair enough – but I’d still like to know how old my rum is!

Presentation wise rum & Cane Merchants Guyana XO Single Cask Rum comes in their trademark “onion” style decanter. The familiar purple and gold colour scheme is also used. The rum itself comes with a sturdy tin cylinder to store the rum. The oversized cork stopper is also a very nice touch. The rum has won awards for its design and I can see why. It’s quite eye catching.

So lets move onto the fun part, lets nose and sip this rum. Well I will anyway……..

In the glass we have a dark brown spirit with reddish hue. It is quite dark so I’m hoping this is down to the ageing and nothing DDL have added prior to Rum & Cane Merchants getting their hands on it. They do like their caramel at DDL………

The nose carries an aniseed like note but its quite sharp. It’s not a sweet aniseed note. It has more than a hint of a kind of perfumed varnish to it. Beneath this is a slightly herbal note, a touch grassy.

Further nosing and time in the glass reveals a fruitier nose. I’m getting some banana cake and pineapple. Caramel and light toffee are also present on the nose.

It’s certainly a rum that seems to benefit from some time to air in the glass. What seemed initially as quite a “sharp” nose has mellowed and become far more complex. The fruity banana/caramel notes become increasingly prominent.

The initial sip is sweet and fruity. Lots of caramel and banana again. There is a hint of aniseed and some tobacco notes as well. It has a nice balance to it and reminds me quite a lot of the El Dorado 8 and 15 Year Old rums.

The initial sweet burst on the entry evolves on the mid palate. More of the tobacco and some leathery/woody notes also come into the mix. There is woody chRum & Cane Merchants Guyana XO Single Cask Rum review by the fat rum piratear on the mid palate, which gives a slight astringent note. That said its not unpleasant. It’s just an extra layer to the rum

Rum & Cane Merchants Guyana XO Single Cask Rum strikes me as quite a “light” blend. It’s quite easy going and goes down very easily. It has a really good balance and a more than decent complexity about it. In terms of Independent bottlings of Demerara rum – it can be a bit hit and miss. I’ve certainly had some very ordinary offerings. This is certainly much more hit than miss. I do get the feeling that this rum might have seen more tropical ageing than some others on the market. It just seems more rounded than many.

The finish fades out gently with some nice woody oak spice and some sweet banana and raisin. It’s a good length but I suspect you might be reaching for another glass before it’s faded completely.

I would say this would make a nice little step up into Independent Guyanan/Demerara bottlings for fans of El Dorado or even people who like a Wood’s or OVD and coke.

I’d also say anyone who doesn’t get too pre-occupied with “Cask Strength” offerings will also find this a more than acceptable drop of rum.






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