The Whisky Exchange
Aged: No age statement
Product of: Jamaica
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This Jamaican 100% pot still, high ester rum is one of the heaviest pot still rums available and is said to be reminiscent of 19th century Jamaican rum. Smith & Cross is made using molasses, cane juice and syrup from sugar at the Hampden Estate mill, and is distilled at the estate's own distillery.
The use of wild yeasts in the fermentation process is said to contribute to the character of the rums produced. Dunder, a term given to lees which have been left in open dunder pits to concentrate the ester content and the acetic/butyric acids, is also used to produce a heavier-bodied 'Wedderbrun' rum. This is aged for six months and blended with roughly equal proportions of medium bodied 'Plummer' rum which is aged from 18 months to 3 years in ex-bourbon barrels.
Smith & Cross is bottled at 'navy strength' which should not be confused with 'navy rum'. Navy strength refers to the 57% alcohol by volume (or old 100° English proof) stipulated as a requirement for all spirits to be carried on board British Royal Navy ships. At this high proof any spillage of spirits which dampened gunpowder would not prevent it from igniting.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 13/10/2019
Clear, bright golden yellow.
Oxidised/cooked pineapple, clove and black pepper, hot chilli spice nose with tropical fruit, cinnamon, tobacco and vanilla aromas. Nose tingling spirity hit.
Hydrated to approx. 45% for tasting yields an initial, almost buttery palate that quickly explodes with tobacco, tropical fruit, cinnamon and clove spice. Strong estery flavours and acetic/butyric acidity balances vanilla, Muscovado sugar and sweet fruit notes.
Surprisingly creamy mouthfeel to the prolonged fire and spice finish with lasting tinned pineapple/tropical fruit.
With its high ester content and high alcohol strength, this very characterful rum is a cocktail rather than a sipping rum.
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