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Rum Reviews

Port Mourant 2003 Masam, from the private stock of Silvano Samaroli (16 years)


Background: this is the second Masam rum bottling I tried, after the 1992 Hampden. I realised I had not written anything about the bottler in that previous review. Well, it is never too late. Masam is an independent bottler run by Maryse Accorsi Samaroli, wife of the late Silvano. This -- like the Hampden -- is apparently bottled from a cask handpicked by Silvano before he passed on.

Nose: surprisingly light; raspberries; plums; marzipan; bubur cha cha; burnt plastic; lemon barley; lemon juice and lemon zest; pencil shavings; Chinese liquorice; anise; candied orange peel; roasted cashews; pineapple tart; the base notes are fishy, briny, freshened up by more citrus and some lemongrass.

Palate: in my face, this is not; kueh bangkit; butter cookie; green papaya; Chinese liquorice; unsweetened cocoa; milk tea; sweet coconut shavings; ripe tropical fruits and cream -- a creamy alphonso, maybe; olive brine.

Finish: the brine and cream notes hang around the back of the tongue for some time, while the tropical fruits give way to plums and raisins and assorted berries; herbs like coriander and thyme; salty liquorice; a long-lasting aftertaste of banana and cream.

Conclusion: a most refined Port Mourant rum, perhaps indicative of the disposition of Mr Silvano himself. There is little of the Port Mourant brine and smoke, though its “green-ness” still betrays its origin. The keyword here is balance. There are no big, brash flavours, but a slow burn of alluring notes ruminating themselves into existence (this does not quite make sense, I know). “Mature beyond her years”, as they say. It is more creamy and tropical, but less savoury and citrus-y than my current benchmark PM. It is not easy to choose between the two in a head-to-head, and I am sure people’s tastes change over time. For now though, I am leaning towards being young and brash and brutally honest.

Remark: after some thought, I decided to update my scoring by publishing the standard deviation of the assumed normal distribution.

Score (assuming a normal distribution with mean 50): 87/100


Image Courtesy of u/zoorado