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Rum Reviews

Clarendon 2004, 17 Years Old, Bottled by Precious Liquors for Bar Lamp Ginza and Rudder Ltd, 57.1% ABV


@preciousliquors’ lineup brings another high ester Jamaican rum, one from the Clarendon distillery, or sometimes referred to as Monymusk Estate, which in actual fact refers to the sugar estate that the distillery sits on. But I’ll leave the story of Clarendon distillery for another time and dive straight into the rum itself.

The rum was from a single cask #433877 distilled in 2004 and aged for 14 tropical years before it was shipped off to continental Scotland where it spent another 3 years aging. It was then bottled at cask strength of 57.1% abv with an outturn of 299 bottles. There was no mention of a specific marque tagged to this rum, but it did say it was a pot still distillate, which sounds about right given all the relevant high ester marques would have been distilled from Clarendon’s pot stills. This cask was also selected and bottled for the famous @barlamp_ginza, and imported by @rudder_ltd.

The nose of the Clarendon was a gorgeous bouquet of fruity notes, high estery of course, with those cantaloupe notes again, but also smooth and rich, much like honey and a little air of fresh mint. It was quite a complex one too, and as it opened up, it introduced the deeper notes of caramel, milk chocolate, and even a slight hint rancio at the end of it all.

The palate initially came across a tad thin, which was quite a surprise given the good 14 years it had spent in the Jamaican tropics. There was too a breath of freshness in the dram, uplifting with lots of mint. The middle was where the rum began to mellow, bringing with it juicy sweetness, much like that of fresh lychees, as well as the traditional traits of funk and brine that revealed more of its high ester character. And as it moved into the finish it became drying, a slight tannic, and also quite a bit of oakiness, perhaps just a wee bit much for my liking. Nonetheless, this is most certainly another one for the high ester rum fans out there.


Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu


Your occasional rum addict!