Sugar House Blood Tub Rum Vintage 2018

Sugar House Blood Tub Rum Vintage 2018 rum review by the fat rum pirateSugar House Blood Tub Rum Vintage 2018. I’ve seen a couple of reviews of this already. Now being anally retentive is not something I excel at.

However, I’ve deliberately added the “Vintage 2018” moniker to the review title because I suspect we will be seeing more iterations of “Blood Tub Rum” over the next few years. So I like to try and keep my review titles as relevant and as ordered as possible.

Even if the writing in the review is neither………….

Sugar House Rum is essentially Distiller Ross Bradley. When this release was distilled back in 2018, he was still working full time and distilling in his “spare” time. As a result he did not have his own distillery and used Strathleven Distillers Pot Still. He know has his own set up.

This is not something Ross has tried to hide. It is noted on the side label of this bottling just below the bar code. He will quite happily tell anyone the full provenance of any of his other rums as well. I mean, when you are producing 100% Pot Still Rum with no additives – do you need any additional bullshit?

Sugar House Blood Tube Rum Vintage 2018 is 100% Pot Still Rum. It was distilled in January 2018. It was bottled in June 2021. The rum clocks in at 56.4% ABV. It is noted (on the lovely sealed Certificate you receive as part of the package) as being a Single Cask Selection.

As a result it is a Limited Edition – my bottle is number 16 of just 61. The rum retailed at £74.95. I can’t find any bottles available now – so once again the secondary market might be your only hope.

Probably the most pertinent piece of information relating to this rum is the “cask” or “tub” it has been matured in. For those unfamiliar with the various sizes and terminology used for whisky/spirits casks a Blood Tub is a very small cask with a capacity of just 40 litres. From the information I have found online the cask has an elongated shape which makes it even to transport, even on horseback.

This particular Blood Tub is made from Virgin Oak.

Presentation wise Sugar House have recently overhauled the look of alSugar House Blood Tub Rum Vintage 2018 rum review by the fat rum piratel their rums. I’m not entirely sure why. I didn’t think there was a lot wrong with their previous branding which was clean and modern. That said I’m getting on a bit now so maybe it wasn’t quite hip with the kids……..

The new presentation is good though. Focusing more on the “Sugar House” giving a nice illustration on the front label. The bottle itself is a 3/4 stubby style bottle with a wider shoulder and short neck. The bottle is sealed with a synthetic cork stopper and the bottle is covered down to the bottom of the neck in a thick red wax. Fortunately, this wax seal can be fairly easily removed thanks to the “string pull” provided.

In addition to this for the is Limited Edition release the rum comes in a hay stuffed wooden box with Sugar House emblazoned on it. Also in the package comes a wax sealed certificate. This outlines which number bottle you have received and also gives more information on the rum.

All in all its a very classy package and it certainly stands out.

Thing is I’ve had similarly packaged rum before which offered me all kind of promises. Sadly Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum – wasn’t quite as good as I was hoping from the elaborate packaging.

So it will be interesting to see how Sugar House Blood Tub Rum Vintage 2018 works out.

In the glass the rum presents itself as a vibrant mahogany colour with lots of orange and yellow flashes. It has a real orange glow around the edges. It’s darker then you would expect from a 3 year old rum. This is likely due to the smaller cask.

On the nosSugar House Blood Tub Rum Vintage 2018 rum review by the fat rum piratee I am immediately but in mind of Habitation Velier Foursquare 2013, not just because of the age and 100% Pot Still elements. It has a very similar, very strong molasses/treacle sweetness. Thick and gloopy.

The initial nosing is sweet. I’m getting molasses/treacle but also some lighter caramel and toffee notes. Underpinning this and perhaps giving it more balance is a lovely weight of vanilla and stoned fruits. Light sweet plums and some sweeter raspberry mingle alongside a Blackcurrant Crumble aroma.

There is a little oak but to be fair even at 56.4% ABV I am not getting much by way of booze. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a “light” nose by any stretch of the imagination but its not particularly boozy.

The initial sip of Sugar House Blood Tub Rum Vintage 2018 is a nice treacly, fruity smack in the chops. Treacle Toffee, Vanilla Fudge and a thick mixture of mixed dark berries come at you. Beneath this you get a lovely spicy array of oak, vanilla, cinnamon and some white pepper. The rum has a really oily and thick mouthfeel, which works wonderfully well and really gives a real “richness” to the sipping experience.

Further sips reveal more vanilla and a slightly butterscotch like flavour which leads nicely into the mid palate.

On the mid palate the rum becomes quite “custardy” with the caramel and toffee notes mingling with the vanilla to give flavour not dis-similar to an Egg Custard. Whilst this develops you might also notice some peppery heat and a kick of chilli powder as the oak begins to make its mark. Hints of cocount and banana begin to

Sugar House Blood Tub Rum Vintage 2018 rum review by the fat rum pirate

fade in and out.

Finish wise – despite how much I enjoyed this rum I didn’t find myself pouring another as quickly as I have with other rums. Not because I wasn’t enjoying it.  Far from it.

The finish on this rum is really good – long and complex. It also introduces more of the flavours it has hinted at earlier. The dark fruits return but they are alongside a very soft banana and coconut fade out. The spice and oak never seem to dominate or knock this rum out of balance.

This is a fairly “oily”, “heavy” rum with a lot going on. It’s complex and very intense in terms of flavour. It’s a rum which if given blind you would never guess was only 3 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

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