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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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Ultimatum Rum Single Cask Selection - Fiji 12 yo - 46% abv.

Updated: Dec 27, 2018

Rum-Review-A-Day: Day 2 - Ultimatum Rum Single Cask Selection - Fiji 12 yo - 46% abv.

On the bottle it is stated that this rum is distilled at a “secret” distillery, however, there being only one operational rum distillery in Fiji, it is safe to assume that this rum has come from the South Pacific Rum Distillery. This pot still rum is bottled by Ultimatum Rum which is an independent bottler based in the Netherlands. It has been aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon barrels, and judging by the character of the rum (described below), I would say that it is primarily aged continentally. I have previously tried a number of Ultimatum rums, and have generally been quite happy with the quality and punch for their price point, which often lies between 25-50€ depending on the bottle and release. This current bottle was purchased for 39€…Let’s have a closer look!

On the nose this rum comes across as quite fruity. Green pears and tart green apples mixed with unripe peaches and apricots. There are some green yet slightly dusty(?) notes coming through as well that almost gives the rum a green bell pepper character. Being from Fiji, I’m always looking for the plasticy-playdough smell that often goes along with rums from this part of the world. The notes are there, no doubt about that, although not as forward as I was expecting, and hidden behind the 12-year cask effect of vanilla, cocoa beans and old dry wood. The nose as a whole reminds me of being in a dusty cellar filled with old cardboard boxes and shelves stocked with decades of half empty spirit bottles. Throw in a couple of baskets of ripening fruits, and an ever so slight hint of mint/eucalyptus and you’re right there with me. I like the nose. Nothing crazy, but inviting.

On the palate, the dustiness continues…although here not as exciting as on the nose. I find that the rum just falls short right from the initial taste. The fruitiness of the apples and pears is struggling to shine through the overly raw/bitter oak and dare-I-say humid basement cobwebs. The Fijian funk is pretty much non-existent and even the normal vanilla/chocolate/leather oak that you would imagine after 12 years in barrel are almost completely absent. Makes me wonder how many times this bourbon barrel had been used prior to this batch…Some slight peppercorn notes, almost a medley of green, white and black…and a slight hint of orange peel and marzipan appear right before the flavour fades to a bland/flat, dry and bitter aftertaste.

This rum actually feels hotter than expected for 46%, and not very well integrated. Overall a disappointment in my mind, which is a surprise considering my previous positive experiences with Ultimatum Rum and my love for rum from Fiji...

Oh well, tomorrow is another day!


#ultimatum #fiji #southpacificdistilleries #southpacific #aged #molasses #pot #potstill #english #englishstyle #dutch #holland #netherlands #ultimatumrum

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