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Rum Reviews & Ramblings

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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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  • Writer's pictureKris von Stedingk

O Reizinho 3 year old Cask Strength - 61.2% abv

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

O Reizinho 3 year old Cask Strength - 61.2% abv

Today we’re heading to Madeira! Ever since I discovered the O Reizinho white from That Boutique-y rum, this distillery has definitely been on my radar (side note, if you haven’t tried that rum, find it and make yourself some of the best daiquiris around). These are fresh pressed cane juice rums made from local cane and distilled on a two column Português Alambique copper pot still (see picture from bottle’s back label). A couple of weeks ago I saw O Reizinho post a picture of this new small batch release, cask strength 3 year old rum on facebook and immediately contacted them to find out when these would be distributed through the rest of Europe…unfortunately the answer was that this was produced for the local market and not for export. Crap…

…less than an hour goes by and I get a PM from João (the owner and distiller) offering to ship a bottle to the Netherlands! Of course I jump all over that opportunity, and to my delight I now have a bottle in my collection! The juice in this bottle comes from fresh pressed cane juice (Rum Agricola da Madeira) fermented for 3-4 days using a small amount of local bakers yeast (as is tradition in Madeira). The wash is then distilled on the Alambique still mentioned above followed by 3 years in ex-Madeira casks and bottled at 61.2% directly from the cask.

So on to the tasting! Nose: First thoughts are nail polish remover meets apple cider vinegar. There is something quite “fermented” about this. It is acidic and fruity with an underlying yestiness that makes me think of freshly baked sourdough bread. At the same time, there are burnt notes going on. Burnt rubber. Without being overly rubbery. The scent of a burning tire, but being quite far away from the action. Vegetal note also come through. Green olives, brine and all. But also slightly more earthy greens. Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts covered in white pepper. I should return to the apple cider vinegar; it is not only the acidic nature of the apples, but also a bruised, fermenting hot apple cider. Light on the spices. Hints of cinnamon and cloves, but mainly leaning toward the with pepper that I mentioned before. Is that maple syrup as well? Could be...Knowing that this is a cane juice rum, I am super intrigued…had I not known what was served to me in the glass, I’m not sure what I would think. It is different for sure - which always makes me want to investigate further! Palate: Here the burnt rubber aspects come through in a much more dominant way. Sulphur/burnt matches. Heavy on the burnt matches! Now that I write it, it becomes even more clear! This is something that I have often picked up on Barbancourt (after being pointed there by Andrew Nicholls - hat tip), but here they are amped up to 1000. Bruised red apples. Salty green olives mixed with dried Kalamata olives. Dry soil. With pepper. Some woody tannins with cloves and allspice. Not much vanilla, oaky notes here. As I am sipping, I am also noticing how nicely balanced this is at 61.2% abv. Loads of flavour, with just the right amount of heat. Th longer I let it linger on my tongue, the more the apple-y, aged cane juice rum-like nuances come to life. I love rums like this where it seems that if I smell the glass at different angles or taste it on different parts of my tongue that it creates an entirely different experience. This is not a rum for newcomers to the rum scene. However, it is crazy interesting and I definitely keep wanting to dive back in to it. The finish is long, moving from burnt more charcoal/sulphur notes to a fruitier apple/calvados like finish.  The mouth feel is warm and dry with a medium oiliness. Match Sticks. That is how I will remember this rum. And who doesn’t love the smell of Match Sticks.

Can’t wait for more releases from these guys…a little bird told me there are things in the works!

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