Friday, 20 March 2015

Review 34 - Our Rum & Spirits Barbados W.I.R.D. 14 year old

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
A super funky, but much too demanding Bajan.

Next in line for a review is another rum by Mr. Nagel from Gasthaus im Brühl.

The Rum & Spirits Barbados 14 year old comes from West Indies Rum Destillery, which is responsible for a lot of well known rums out there.

Furthermore more and more independent bottlers turn to WIRD for their own Bajan rums.

It was originally distilled in June 2000 and then matured until December 2014, making it a 14 year old.

The rum has been matured first in Barbados and then in Germany – but I haven’t been able to find out the amount of years spent in both locations.

The barrel ended up revealing 100 bottles for Our Rum & Spirits and then another 55 bottles which went to the facebook-group La Confrérie du Rhum to create their Cuvée No. 1.

My review is based on a nice size sample supplied by Mr. Nagel in early 2015.

The bottle arrives in a black cardboard enclosure, which looks a lot like the standard ones you can buy and use when gifting somebody a bottle of wine. The addition of a label is a nice touch though.

The 14 y.o. Bajan comes in a regular barroom bottle with a (presumably) synthetic cork with a plastic stopper. The bottle is shaped a little bit differently than the 24 y.o. Enmore I reviewed recently, with a longer neck and not as thick a bottom.

The label is a duplicate of the one on the box, and it contains all relevant details of the rum.
Name, origin, age, distillery, an ABV of 43% and the fact that this rum is limited. In fact there only exists 100 bottles of this rum making it a truly limited experience. However I have no information regarding if the batch used has been sold to other indie bottlers.

The old style font and the nice beige colour of the label, makes it all a very nice and clean presentation. If you have read my other reviews you will know, that I like nice and clean.

A wise man once said to never judge a book by its cover, but the Enmores presentation feels a little more ”premium” to me with its different bottle and nice (yet slightly oversize) protective tube.

The rum it self is a very light and almost invisible straw colour making it the lightest coloured rum I have ever tried.

In the glass the rum behaves rather lightly. A nice solid ring appears and a lot of droplets move steadily down the glass.

My first impression was a very astringent nose. Perhaps even a bit edgy.

Heavy smoke and burned oak are the initial dominators here, and I get associations in the direction of heavily smoked and cured meat. Jerky comes to mind, but the scents given off by the rum are way more extreme.

The background is made up of black pepper and spices.

There is a hint of vanilla in the mix, but it is struggling to find its place in the jerky tsunami.

I find the nose a bit too aggressive and unbalanced. The onslaught of smoked oak and dried meats makes the more subtle notes very hard to find and enjoy.

The profile comes off as very light and dry.

The smoke and oak influences are very aggressive and forthcoming, and seems to dominate the first many seconds.

Light liquorice and vanilla also join in and claim their place. It seems that the lighter flavours have an easier time making them selves heard on the palate than in the nose.

Towards the end I was suddenly treated with subtle banana peel.

All in all a very funky palate, but I do find it a little unsmooth and unbalanced.

The finish is quite long and still dominated by the burned oak.

The heat levels are very pleasant and keeps the winter cold away.

The liquorice is allowed to stay on the the encores.

In the end burned pencils and a slight buzz of spices on the tongue, are all that is left.

Just before it all ends there was suddenly a short wave of coconut and banana peel, before it quickly revered to the burned pencils and spice.

Rating and final thoughts
Not my favorite kind of sipper, but a very interesting rum indeed. There is no question about the artisanal nature of this rum.

The palate was very demanding, but also quite funky.

The finish pleasantly warm and long, and the coconut surprise was a welcoming change.

However I found the over all experience too unbalanced and a bit too aggressive for my taste.

I don’t see my self going for this rum on a casual tuesday. It is way too demanding for that.

I have still to try this rum and the La Confrérie du Rhum Cuvée No. 1 side by side to see if they are identical. It will definitely be a project for the future.

Even though the rational me really wants to enjoy this, I feel it demands too much of an effort from me. It is more a struggle than a pleasure, and the extraordinary palate funk and the coconut surprise finish is not enough to make up for it.

That is why I can't go above average…

Rating: 62/100


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