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DESCRIBING RUMS IN A WAY THAT PAINTS A PICTURE AS WELL AS GIVES THE EVERYDAY READER REFERENCES THAT ARE BOTH FAMILIAR AND RELATABLE

I started in the world of wine tasting around 2006. These tastings were always blinded, so you had to work on finding and building a repertoire of a broad range of descriptors in order to piece together what you had in your glass...So when it comes to smell and flavour description, I’ve been doing it for quite a few years. In 2015, my interest in rum was sparked and since then I have thrown myself deep in to the world of this amazing spirit and wonderful people.


/Kris von Stedingk

 
 
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  • Kris von Stedingk

Harpoon Jamaica rum - 73% abv.

Updated: Dec 26, 2018

Harpoon Jamaica rum - 73% abv. - From what I can find about this, it’s a barrel aged Jamaican rum. Can’t find age. No mention of dosing, although at its 73% abv. and the dryness on the nose, I’m guessing it’s pure. This is dark and heavy. I should also say that this goes for around 25€ for 1000ml....let’s see what it offers. The nose - Take some butter, throw it in a hot pan. Add brown sugar. Let this form a butterscotch. Add some bananas and caramelize for a few minutes. Then add a dark rum and light on fire...not only is this how you make banana flambé, but it is also the overwhelming scent that comes off the Harpoon. The banana is very prominent! That and grilled pineapple. Molasses. Wood. Slight tobacco...and acetone. Maybe not so strange at 146 proof. To be honest, besides the strength on the nose, it’s actually quite funky and well balanced. Especially considering the price. But the abv limits what you can feel on the nose, besides pain. On the palate, this is obviously hot, but at the same time extremely rich. Heavy on the burnt sugar. Almost some sweet notes (I would like to see a measurement of the sugar content on this one). Banana. Not as much pineapple as on the nose. Burnt wood. Some motor oil, although faint. But wow how deep and rich. Medium finish with a bitter banana peel flavour that lingers. Mouth feel? What mouth? My lips are numb. My tongue tingles...and it lasts a while....

Time to add a few drops of water and see how it evolves:

After watering it down to about 50% abv. the nose is much more tolerable. Now dark chocolate notes and tobacco come through along with the burnt cane sugar and bananas. A funky sour aspect is also present. Something you find in most naturally fermented spirits. And now there is also a sweet almond (amaretto-like) and pineapple tropical dance going on. On the palate, much smoother! As much as I dislike the word “smooth”, it is what it is when comparing it to the harsh beast that it started as. Everything I mentioned before. Butterscotch. Banana. banana bread for that matter. Roasted spices. Almonds. Leather...still a sweetness I wonder about...and now with the water, there is a floral aspect to it! Honeysuckle shines through! The finish is long. Bananas dipped in burr cane syrup. Now the mouthfeel seems thicker. Oily. Really nice.

In summary, this comes on hot and heavy. For the price, I actually thinks this is a good bang for your buck. Add some water and this is actually a delicious sipper. Maybe not the most complex I’ve tried, but funky, fruity and, as the bottle says, “rich”.

That being said...this dilutes wonderfully in cocktails. Keeps its character. The Mai Tai I made with this rum, and only this rum, was banging. Can’t wait to try this in more things...perhaps I will pour myself a Dark & Stormy.


#harpoon #jamaica #funk #overproof #aged #molasses #pot #potstill #aged #english #englishstyle

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