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Rum Reviews

Two More Silver Seals 2020: Silver Seal Demerara, Uitvlugt, 1989/2020 (30 years old) & Silver Seal Demerara, Diamond, 2002/2020 (17 years old)

 

Introduction: The Auld Alliance very recently put up a tasting set of six samples, one for each Silver Seal rum release this year. Three of these six are aged at least 30 years: an Uitvlugt (likely from the Port Mourant still), a Black Rock (likely Rockley-style), and a Monymusk (tropically aged). Some crazy specs, aren’t they?

Going down the ages after reviewing the Monymusk and Black Rock, I find myself with a pair of Port Mourants from two different eras and distilleries, one at 30 and the other at 17 years of age. Let’s see if older is indeed better.

 


 

Name: Silver Seal Demerara, Uitvlugt, 1989/2020 (30 years old)

Background: I first read this is a Port Mourant on Barrel Aged Thoughts. I was subsequently convinced of its provenance upon sampling it.

Nose: starts out with a nice fruit basket comprising mandarins, black grapes and mangoes; coconut milk; menthol; glue; pencil shavings; a wee rubber note; chocolate; brown sugar; plastic wrap; salty liquorice; tau sar piah; stewed apple; pineapple syrup; traces of bread crumbs show up from time to time, from top through base notes.

Palate: caramel and cream; coconut shavings; gula melaka; chocolate tart; carrot cake; apple strudel; bergamot; candied orange peel; mint sweets.

Finish: a long one; yeasty and fermented, like the traditional Russian kvass; minty, spicy Iranian doogh; glue; burnt plastic; plasticine; the mouthfeel gets waxy, or maybe more appropriately, plasticky; cream and liquorice dominate the aftertaste, leaving a little room for some expression of fresh apples.

Conclusion: a great old Port Mourant. It has got some of the unmistakable wooden pot still characteristics, and the oak and tertiary notes are well-integrated into its profile, giving rise to delectable pastries on the nose, as well as a yeasty, plasticky finish. I do miss the meaty, briny notes of younger Port Mourants though. As they say, you win some, you lose some. Now, perhaps if the cask were less active...

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

 

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Name: Silver Seal Demerara, Diamond, 2002/2020 (17 years old)

Background: this is "obviously" a Port Mourant at first nose, more so than the 30-year-old. However, I can find no other source corroborating my conjecture.

Nose: red apples; umeshu; marzipan; mango; pencil shavings; salty liquorice; a mixture of coconut shavings and palm sugar, which is popular as a condiment for putu mayam (a local version of appam); sesame oil; lightly roasted peanut; canned tuna in brine; pork floss; burnt suckling pig.

Palate: makgeolli; sour (Madagascar) chocolate; the astringency from the wood is noticeable; sugarcane; Chinese liquorice; apples, both red and green; tangerine; custard apple; butter cookie; shortcrust pastry.

Finish: medium in length; the wood and cream notes that underlie the finish evokes the impression of mocha coffee; overripe tropical fruits (mainly mango and papaya) appear a la Jamaica; an aftertaste of sugarcane, green papaya, liquorice and grass jelly.

Conclusion: interestingly, this feels more woody than the 30-year-old on the front palate. It is likely the case that the lighter profile here accentuates the contrast between the cask influence and the distillate; 17 years might not have been enough to assimilate the two properly. On the other hand, 17 years is more than enough to wipe the colossal brine of the distillate off the palate. While not the best of either world, it is still a very, very good rum.

Score (assuming a normal distribution with mean 50): 86/100

 

Image Courtesy of u/zoorado

 

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