Kris von Stedingk
Chalong Bay - 001 Pure Series - 40% abv.
Updated: Dec 27, 2018
Rum-Review-A-Day: Day 4 - Chalong Bay - 001 Pure Series - 40% abv.
Chalong Bay rum is a fresh sugarcane juice-derived rum hailing from the south east shores of Phuket in Thailand. In contrast to the majority of large production, low flavour rums that are produced in Thailand, Chalong Bay strives after unique and flavourful rums. They use French copper alembic stills and the distillate is left to rest in steel tanks for 8 months before being bottled at 40%. The 001 Pure series is their straight, unaltered white rum. They also offer their flavoured 002 tropical notes series that uses vapour infusion of Thai botanicals, a process used in the distillation of Gin…But for me, I’m going to stick with the pure rum.
On the nose, there is absolutely no doubt that this is from fresh pressed sugar cane. The agricole of Thailand. This juice is grassy and dirty and salty and citrusy…simply explosive on the nose. It reminds me in many ways of the Paranubes coming out of Oaxaca. The first thing that I think of if I close my eyes and dig deep in the glass is a pre-mixed dirty (we’re talking cloudy from the generous pour of olive brine) martini that was made very heavy on the dry vermouth. Dried soil mixed with roasted coconut. Jalepeño pepperoni rolled in hay or straw. The reason I say straw is that something is pulling me in the direction of Żubrówka (no it’s not made with bison urine). Strangely, there is also something slightly sweet smelling, almost vanilla-like, which rounds off the sharp brininess quite nicely. The fruit is also there, with papaya and guava being the main players, together with fresh lemon and lime. This is a wild one, ladies and gentlemen!
On the palate, much like the nose, there is a lot of green olive brine and grassy hay and fresh cane going on here. Quite a bit of vanilla, but not like vanilla extract, more like the vanilla/caramel-like flavour you find in Rooibos tea. Safran. Lime peels. Grape distillate - grappa-ish…Also something that I often find typical of allagricole-style rums, there is a dusty cardboard/old newspaper characteristic to this rum. Citrus peel and creamy papaya juice. Over-ripe persimmons, which gives it an almost creamy flavour. Yet sour. Fruity, extra creamy sour cream. Doesn’t sound great, but I assure you it is!
The mouth feel is quite thick and creamy which goes along with a delightfully long finish, especially considering the 40% abv. This would actually be my only complaint with this rum; I wish I could see how it would sing if bottled at a higher proof.
Weird and yummy. Almost makes me want to try their botanical line…Almost…Probably not.
Thanks to Richard Blesgraaf for muling this back for me all the way from Thailand!
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