By The Dutch - Batavia Arrack Cask Strength - 61.1% abv.
Updated: Dec 26, 2018
By The Dutch - Batavia Arrack Cask Strength - 61.1% abv. (*Note: I had written 64% before, but this is what it arrived in the Netherlands at, and the Cask Strength bottling was at 61.1%) Hailing from the land of Indonesia, this product cannot technically be classified as a rum, as it has had the addition of rice during the fermentation process. However, this is still a sugar-cane-derived spirit, and this specific product certainly deserves its spotlight on the ministry of rum. By The Dutch is molasses based with the addition of local red rice during fermentation. It is pot-distilled in Java and then shipped to Amsterdam where it is aged and bottled. Normally the By The Dutch is bottled at 48% abv., however, today I have been lucky enough to get my hands on an unreleased cask strength sample!
I can start by saying that I have limited experience with Arrack, so it is hard to know what to compare to or even expect. Right off the bat I am pleasantly surprised by the high-ester funkiness going on in my glass. Lots of wood going on (not surprising as I believe it has spent 8 years in barrel). Vanilla, chocolate and banana notes come along with the oakiness. Bruised red apples help balance off the wood, along with salty caramel, licorice, cinnamon bark and cloves. There are some rice-distillate/shochu similarities, although very light. The rice-like sweet-creaminess blends seamlessly in with the vanilla notes from the oak. Butter and molasses. The whole thing reminds me of my mothers apple crumble she used to make at Christmas time - if it had been baked on oak planks. Also some slightly sour yet fruity notes come through. Almost like cranberries? And of course the alcohol is there. Would be strange if it wasn’t at 61.1%. Although, this does not overpower the other notes. Well balanced and packed full of buttery, apple pie-sweet (even if it’s not a smell) and woody characteristics. Definitely makes you want to drink it!
On the palate - leather, tobacco, oak! Deep and heavy flavours. Some apple fruitiness is there, but almost like you would get after chewing on cinnamon bark that you’ve previously used to steep in fresh pressed hot apple cider. Black pepper. Something bitter - almonds or...sure let’s go with almonds. Vanilla and cardamom. Burnt butter. This juice is warm. And spicy. It wakes you up! And puts you to sleep at the same time!
My lips are tingling. So is my tongue. Mouth feel is not overly oily. Very dry. Long, hot finish that leaves me wanting for Christmas and warm apple pie...
Dark & Stormy? Wish I had enough in my glass to find out. I will just keep my fingers crossed that this will get released in the future...I decided not to do the dilution description, as I plan on getting my hands on the 48% bottle in the near future. I will keep you posted...