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Rum Reviews

Diamond Single Cask Guyana rum 2003, bottled by Bristol Spirits, Corman-Collins and The Auld Alliance (15 years)


Background: Guyana rums are confusing. There are all these stills that give very different distillates, and all these defunct distilleries through which the stills moved. Apparently the rum I am reviewing was distilled in Diamond distillery (now known as DDL) in 2003. Judging by its colour, it must have been tropically-aged for a large part of its life in the barrel.

Nose: the top notes are fresh; grape Hi-Chew; sweet sparkling wine; then comes the unexpected; black chicken herbal soup, a traditional Cantonese dish; soy sauce; Marmite; Chinese pork jerky, a.k.a. bakkwa; old balsamic vinegar; dark raisins; goji berries, raspberries and other red fruits; tawny Port; eucalyptus oil; Mentos mint sweet; roasted peanuts; salty liquorice; molasses; brown sugar syrup; Hoisin sauce; a mix of savoury and tingly culinary spices -- parsley, anise, Sichuan peppercorn, even cumin, are some of my associations; some fleeting appearances of dirty notes like smoke and tar.

Palate: posh wood and luxurious leather, or how I imagine they taste like; Viennese coffee; brown sugar; salted maltose; black and red currants; unidentified dark berries; salty liquorice; creamy vanilla; an amalgamation of Chinese herbal soup, Chinese dark soy sauce (these are usually sweet-savoury-bitter), Marmite, and a dollop of sugar; honey-glazed almond.

Finish: medium in length; chocolate; mint; Chinese liquorice; brown sugar; the brine kicks in, accompanied by puckering tartness -- think brine-cured green olives with umeboshi -- such a more-ish combination; a Hampden-esque display of ripe tropical fruits and cream; a hint of green herbs, some agricole-like grassiness, liquorice and wood make up the aftertaste.

Conclusion: the more I drink this, the more it seems like a blend of Enmore and Neisson rums. It is big, dark, fruity, and yet savoury, herbal, earthy. Unlike any other demerara I have tried. (I can go on a spiel about how DDL is squandering its opportunities in the premium rum market but others have said it better.) Another superlative bottling from Corman-Collins.

Remark: So, which still could this rum come from? I cannot find any information, other than that the barrel was labelled with the mark ‘PMD’. Does PM stand for Port Mourant? I highly doubt it, because the rum possesses no trace of the signature Port Mourant ‘green-ness’. It must have come from a column still. The Uitvlugt, the Enmore, or Diamond’s own stills? I have an inkling this is a true Diamond rum, but not a clue to the mark (per Diamond’s own label). In my defence, unadulterated Diamond rums are extremely rare -- I know of no example outside of Velier’s offerings years back, and those are pretty much unobtanium now.

Score (assuming a normal distribution with mean 50): 89/100


Image Courtesy of u/zoorado