Monday, 30 November 2015

Review 67 - Compagnie des Indes St. Lucia 2002 13 year old bottled for Denmark

Image courtesy of Uhrskov Vinhandel
I really don't like olives. Thankfully, this is not a bottle of olives. Per se.
Christmas came early this year!

Compagnies des Indes are back with another range of cask strength rums, made for Denmark only.

Yay! Suck it, World!

This time Florent brought no less than seven different rums to the cold north.

Three Caronis (19, 21 and 24 year olds), two Port Mourants (10 and 13 year olds), an Enmore (24 year old) and then the one under the gun today: A 13 year old St. Lucia rum from 2002.

It was made on a pot still at Saint Lucia Distillers, and the barrel yielded only 226 bottles, bottled at a cask strength ABV of 56,3%.

On the paper, that looks absolutely incredible, so lets get on with the show.
Even though I only got a generous sample of this, the interwebz informs me, that it looks like a CdI is supposed to.

A thin-ish turquoise box made from card board, with a large window in one of its sides.

The only things written on the box, is the company name, the age and the geographical origin of the rum. But fret not, because everything you need to know, can be seen through the window, as it is neatly placed where the label is on the bottle.

The bottle is a squat, opaque green thing, which I think has a nice aura of rum about it.

On the bottle we find one large label divided into two parts.

A black part, which tells you a little bit about the rum, and a light blue part, which is the where all the important bits and pieces of information can be found.

Inside the bottle, we find a straw coloured liquid which leaves many thin legs on the inside of the glass.
Very intense and very heavy stuff.
At first it leaped out of the glass and punched me in the face from half a meter away.

It has a very significant earthy and grassy profile, which I don’t think I have experienced before.

There is some wooden side notes, but more sharp than the typical oaken notes.

Everything is wrapped in a massive pungency, with notes of rotting bananas, olives and smoked mackerel. Very crazy indeed.

Perhaps the most interesting and unique scent profile I have smelled so far.

I don’t find it that pleasing, and perhaps this is not really for me, at this point in my rum journey. But 
I can’t deny it’s qualities and its character.
I bet tasting it will also be an experience to remember.
Woah! What a surprise.

At first it didn’t make much of a fuzz, but as soon as I swallowed just a little bit, it exploded.

Huge wooden notes up front. Not the typical oak, but more like cedar wood or something in that area.

There is a salty, fish oil kind of feel to it, which evolves into olives and the smoked mackerel from the nose.

There is still a lot of earth and grass in the mix as well.

Far into the background there is even some fruitiness waiting to be unleashed, but it never really happens.

The components doesn’t exactly blend much. Instead they each takes turns pummelling your uvula, before finally descending to your stomach.

It is not the softest of drinks, that’s for sure. But it isn’t exactly sharp either.
Medium length finish.

It still delivers lots of heat and lots of pencil shavings. And then an aftertouch of something old and mouldy on the backend.

The heat and spiciness takes its time to fade, and in the end you are left with a little tapenade.
Rating and final thoughts
As with most cask strength rums, this is not a casual drink. Further more this is not exactly my preferred profile. It is too demanding and I really don’t like olives.
The strange saltiness turns me off a bit, and some of the most dominant flavours doesn't feel very well integrated into the rum.

However, even though I would probably not opt to get a full bottle of this, there is no denying that this is a good product.

If you like your pungent pot still rums, then this is an absolute must buy. If you can get your hands on one. It might even be a good reason to visit Denmark soon – if beautiful women, 8750 kilometres of coastline, high taxes and bad weather, isn’t enough.

The price is however a factor. Clocking in at around €100, you would have to be a fan of this particular profile to really justify parting with the cash. Otherwise you have a ton of better options.

If you love funky St. Lucian pot still rums, then you are right on track.
If you like a slightly less pungent rum, and need it to be more easy-going, go for the Appleton 21.
If you like the cask strength hoo-ha, go for a Caroni or the CdI Hampden cask strength.

And if you are into sweetened stuff, just put down the CdI’s and back away slowly, without looking it in the eye. 

Having written all this while continually sipping this rum, I suddenly realised that this freak of a rum was growing on me. With each additional sip, I liked it a little bit more. Perhaps I might even learn to love it.

I think Florent did an awesome job picking this rum, and even though I really don’t like olives, this products goes home with a…

Rating: 73/100

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