The Duchess Ten Cane Distillery Trinidad Aged 11 Years

The Duchess Ten Cane Distillery Trinidad Aged 11 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateThe Duchess Ten Cane Distillery Trinidad Aged 11 Years. Yet another rum from Dutch Independent Bottler The Duchess this time from a Trinidad distillery that I didn’t even realise existed!

To be fair to me by the time I got into rum in the early part of the 2010’s Ten Cane was fading out. Production of any rum produced under the Ten Cane banner ceased in 2015. It was a short lived thing being introduced in 2005. I actually have some of the original Ten Cane rum to review. So I will save the Ten Cane “story” for that review. I should still have enough to talk about with this release from The Duchess.

I first noticed a Ten Cane Distillery noted Independent bottling, earlier this year from Compagnie des Indes. Didn’t think all that much of it, I just thought it was a “trendy” way to bottle a rum from Trindidad Distillers Limited that perhaps had originally been intended to be a Ten Cane rum. Ten Cane was actually a purpose built distillery producing rum from Fresh Sugar Cane Juice using Copper Pot Stills in small batches. Artisanal or craft rum as it was noted as back then. The rum world has changed a lot in short time.

The Ten Cane rum that came to market was a blend of this Fresh Sugar Cane Juice rum and aged Trinidad molasses rum. I assume the aged molasses rum came from Trinidad Distillers Limited.

This particular rum was distilled in 2008. It was bottled in 2019 and is noted as being 11 Years Old. The Duchess Ten Cane Distillery Trinidad Aged 11 Years is from cask number 80. 232 bottles were yielded from this cask. It is bottled at 63% ABV cask strength. The rum in this cask was originally aged Tropically for 7 years before being moved to Europe and aged there for a further 4. It has been aged in ex-bourbon barrels.

This is will be one of the last releases in the Hummngbird series designed by Hans Dillesse. This bottling is adorned with a Tufted Coquette. The bottlings are similar to the Silver Seal wildlife bottlings though I would say they are a bit more modern and contempory. The rum is housed in a 3/4 stubby style bottle with a light/baby blue wax seal. This hides the chunky cork stopper. The Duchess rums are becoming more sought after and are now available at a great number of stores in Europe and even one in the UK. For the EU you could try Zeewijck or Best of Wines. In the UK you might want to look at Edencroft. It is priced at between €/£89-95.

The Duchess Ten Cane Distillery Trinidad Aged 11 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateIn many ways, not having experienced Ten Cane Rum previously and not being totally sure on the exact make up of this rum, I’m not sure what to expect.

Which isn’t a bad thing as often I already have a pretty good idea of what a rum might taste like. With this I am totally unsure.

So lets have a look at this rum and see how it goes down!

In the glass The Duchess Ten Cane Distillery Trinidad Aged 11 Years is a dark brown with a very vivid red/orange hue around the edges and throughout the rum.

The nose is quite rich. Lots of dark spicy oak and burnt rubber. It’s not as heavy as a Caroni but its certainly not the light type of rum that Angostura prefer to produce. There are some slight petrol and creosote like notes but they are tempered by a rich fruity sweetness. Notes of Sugar Cane and some slightly sour gooseberries.

It’s a fascinating nose that smells almost like some kind of funky/tarry yet sweet island blend. At first you think it might be a bit unbalanced but it has an almost Bajan like harmony. It reminds me a little of independently bottled rum from Travellers Distillery, Belize.

Further nosing sees the fruitier notes comes out more – prunes, raisins and blackberries. This is complex stuff and a joy to sit and nose.

Sipped at the full ABV this is a heady mix! It’s initially quite tarry with a fair whack of diesel fumes and creosote but it quickly evolves into a huge burst of very grassy yet very funky fruity rum. Which again twists as you move into the mid palate and you get a much less aggressive more balanced note. Baking spices, gingerbread and some tart treacly dark fruit jam.

Throughout this it has a wonderfully pleasant slightly smoky/burnt note which just seems to give this rum yet another layer.

The Duchess Ten Cane Distillery Trinidad Aged 11 Years Rum Review by the fat rum pirateWhilst this might share a lot in common in the notes with a Caroni – it is an entirely different beast. It is fruitier and funkier. It is not what I would call “easy going” but it will be welcome introduction to any rum fan looking for something a touch out of the ordinary. It’s a funny rum both familiar but at the same time distinctive. I’m reminded of the old John Peel quote about The Fall “they are always different, they are always the same”. Which just abouts fits with my feelings about this rum.

The finish does not disappoint as pretty much everything you have had in the lead up to the finish seems to come back in a long lingering slow burn of flavours.

One of the most interesting rums I have reviewed this year. A really good cask pick yet again.

Drink Y’Self Fitter……..





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