Elements Eight - Fine Aged Vendome 40%
Elements Eight - Fine Aged Vendome 40%
Today I am digging in to a relative “oldie”, although I have found that I don’t come across it much in the rum circles. I believe that I was first pointed in this direction by Roger Barnes, who said that it was a decent rum for the price…So coming from a source like that, AND the price being at just above €20 a bottle, AND the rum coming from St. Lucia…AND the fact that it says VENDOME on the front?! How could I not try this?
I won’t go in to so much detail, as Wes has done a good job of that in a previous review (here). Briefly, this rum Is bottled by an indy bottler (Elements Eight Rum Company) based in the UK. This was originally released as their “Gold Rum” but was later renamed to Vendome…and despite what the name suggests, this is not a straight forward 100% Vendome pot still rum from St Lucia Distillers. This is a rum blend of 8 different single rums (aged up to 6 years) that have all been triple distilled - once through a pot still (and seeing as the Vendome comes later, one can guess that this would be one or both of the John Dore pots), once through a column (SLD Coffey) and then a third pass through the Vendome pot still….I myself am a sucker for the Vendome, so lets see how this triple distillation with a last pass through the Vendome performs.
Nose - It is identifiable St Lucia. And identifiably pot still St Lucia. There are two places in the world that hit me with this play-doh-like plasticine note, and that is Fiji pot and St Lucia pot. I see a lot that people also describe these rums as funky with Jamaican notes, although here I lack the rotten tropical fruit and acidity that I associate with Jamaican pot still rum. I do get caramelised bananas, the the overwhelming notes are a coconut-y rubber, with creamy spices. Vanilla pods, nutmeg, cocoa, and yes more ripe banana. Ok, perhaps there are hints that remind me of Jamaica (especially similarities with some Worthy Parks) but I would not (or at least believe I would not) confuse the two blind. A slight green brininess can be picked up as well, which now strangely enough drags me the direction of slightly salty passionfruit sorbet with artificial peach juice (“peach drink” as I knew it as a child). Mild nail polish met with light young alcohol. This nose is young, yet vibrant. Pleasant and a lot going on for 40%…and indeed, the Vendome funk is there and noticeable.
Palate - Super nutty! Marzipan, bitter almonds, walnuts. Intermingled with creamy play-doh, plastic and coconut cream. The longer it sits on the tongue, the more plastic-rubber notes you pick up. Slight petrol with a not shy amount of nail polish. Vanilla, nutmeg, white pepper, cardamom. Not a whole lot of wood, if any, but a decent amount of spice. Although overall this comes across as a quite young rum. Peach pits and mild banana peels. The passionfruit sorbet that I get on the nose unfortunately doesn’t follow through for me on the palate. I also pick up quite a bit of the lighter alcohol on the palate - while the nose was heavy on the pot, the palate comes across much more like a column-distilled rum. But not neutral at all. There is an oiliness that is quite pleasant that balances nicely with the nuttiness that you get up front.
Finish is quite long, however it fades from nuts, plastic and fruit to and oily alcohol flavour. The mouthfeel is actually quite remarkable for being only 40% and no additives. It coats, it sticks and it warms…and it delivers…to a certain point.
Is it noticeably Vendome? Yes. Does it blow my mind? No. HOWEVER, the nose is remarkable for the price and the palate doesn’t disappoint, it just doesn’t quite live up to the nose…but at the price point, I would highly recommend anyone to snag a bottle of this to have on their shelf at home.
In a word - good.