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Rum Reviews

Long Pond Distillery Special Reserve 1941, bottled by Silver Seal (58 years)


Background: as far as age goes, this is probably unsurpassed. 58 years of cask influence to the dunder-y Jamaican distillate of singular character -- it is difficult to not get excited about this bottle. From what I gathered, the Silver Seal bottling is limited to just 12 bottles, and came from the same cask as the more common Gordon & Macphail Long Pond 1941. Essentially, I am reviewing the same juice as the G&M offering.

Nose: very phenolic, reeks of charred bio-waste from half a metre away; sour dough; some milky ferment; with a bit of exposure to air it becomes much more approachable, the smoked hogo moderated by fresh papaya, its flesh, skin, and the whole nine yards; grated coconut and coconut-based confection; rubber and fruits, like a half-consumed fruit bubblegum; breakfast cereal; malt whisky new-make; eventually the fruits get more pronounced and more distinct -- I get some melons and grapes; at the core there is a dark milk chocolate presence, reinforced by well-integrated rubber and tar notes. 

Palate: mouthfeel is thinner, and flavours lighter, than I expected; unripe papaya; sugarcane; oregano; something close to fresh grass; gherkins; a creamy sour concoction, of perhaps equal parts sour milk and makgeolli; a subtle hint of rotting meat and/or human regurgitation; tropical fruits and cream; burnt caramel.

Finish: medium in length; again, somewhat muted compared to the old full-proof Jamaicans I have tried; woody and chocolatey; toasted cereals; vanilla; lingering note of soured milk tea in the aftertaste.

Conclusion: The best Jamaican I have had the good fortune to nose. Yet it fails to deliver its promise on the tongue. It tastes far from bad, of course, just rather disappointing after such a huge nose. Also, the thinness of the mouthfeel accentuates the sour notes and pushes them beyond my comfort zone. One can only wonder what the unreduced version would taste like. On the merit of the nose alone this would score comfortably above 90, but alas.

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


Image Courtesy of u/zoorado