Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Review 85 - Richland Single Estate Georgia Rum

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
Interesting and intriguing rum from the US of A

New players seem to be popping up all over the field. Constantly. Blink, and boom, a new rum company spawned.

Richland Rum out of Georgia US of A, is on of those new kids on the block, and one of the most open rum producers I have encountered so far, when it comes to laying it all out there in the internet.

Go to their webpage (link at the bottom) and you will quickly be able to learn everything Richland Rum stands for.

Back to the rum.

The Richland is made from local and organic cane juice. Actually they keep mentioning ”pure cane syrup”, but what is that except for reduced juice?

After fermentation, the wash is then distilled in two copper pot stills. Small batch distillation only.

The rum is laid to rest in virgin American oak barrels for at least 32 months before being eligible for bottling. And every single barrel is being bottled as a single cask rum. So no blending what so ever.

Furthermore it is a pure rum - No colouring, additives or added flavours.

That is about it. No additional age is mentioned, so we’ll have to assume that we are dealing with a 3 year old rum here. Interesting.

It comes in a nice cylindrical bottle , with no real features to speak up. Not bad.

There is quite a lot written directly on the bottle with golden text.

The name, the origin, the way it’s crafted, a sketch of a pot still and a lot more.

Normally I would hate this sort of thing, but in this case it has been done in a great manor and I can’t really dislike it. For some reason it kind of gets to me in a good way.

Op top we have a natural cork with a wooden stopper hidden away in a red shrink wrap.

The over all package in fairly nice, but it doesn’t signal luxury rum.

In the glass it displays are dark amber colour and when twirled it generates a lot of small droplets, which slowly moves down from their place of creation.

Right from the beginning it shows off its very buttery and pastry-like profile.

The first scents I noticed was a dominating combination of orange peel and coconut.

After that came a layer of rubber and smoke. It almost felt like smoking tires.

Suddenly, I noticed that everything was shrouded in a thick, blurry layer of vanilla and baking spices and just a little bit of oak to add that final touch.

Overall a very nice nose. Nothing too exciting or dominating. Just a lot of small pleasantries neatly woven together.

Rather light profile, but with some pleasant pungency.

It comes off very spicy with huge oaks and black peppers, along with lots of cinnamon, cloves and anise.

The pastry feel from the nose is back. There is definitely some puff pastry in there.

A little further in the background is a wacky note of concentrated fruit something. I can’t really nail which fruit we are talking about. It feels like orange, but it doesn’t quite taste like it. It feels like apples, but doesn’t quite taste like it. It almost like a very bad Hampden.

All the way back at the very end, I found a little rubber notes.

The palate was quite charming, but it could have been better, more intriguing, more adventurous. Unfortunately it wasn’t - but for some reason, I still want more.

It leaves again quite fast. It barely takes any time to say goodbye.

There is some warmth present, but it all fades fast, ending with a drying sensation.

Nothing else to write home about.

Rating and final thoughts
Not a bad rum at all. It feels like a very good effort from Richland Rum

It has a lot a charming character, and does a couple of thing a bit differently than everybody else.

It surprised me a lot, that the massive oaks and peppers on the palate doesn’t result in some aftermath during the finish. But it didn’t.

On the an overall level it feels very much like an unholy mating between a Bajan and a Jamaican,  best identified on the palate. But instead of being a symbiosis, it feels much more like a case of schizophrenia. It misses balance and integration. It feels like a lot of individual elements thrown into a pot and stirred, but without ever merging together.

I did enjoy the rum, but I enjoy a lot of other same level rums more.

Value for money is really a stretch here. It retails for around €90 in my local shops, which is a lot!

Before it landed in the shops, I thought to myself, that it would have to be introduced at a lower price range to be recommendable. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

If you are a bit adventurous and would like to see what those mad Americans are up to, by all means, go nuts and get your self one. If your finances are limited, you might want to start off somewhere else.

If you like the Jamaican funk, there is always the Appleton 12. If you like buttery profiles along with some coconut, you could opt for the Plantation Barbados XO instead if you don’t mind it being ”impure”.

The Richland does have a lot of qualities, but it is quite a ways from the top of the class.

It is enjoyable and a little different, so it is definitely worth trying, if you are into Bajan or Jamaican rums.

I have to stress that we are dealing with a single cask product, so each batch will most certainly be different in some way. Perhaps this batch was a bit off, perhaps the barrel wasn’t toasted properly.

I don’t know, but the particular one I tried, wasn’t quite up to par with being a true artisanal rum.
I will however be trying it again later on, because it is that interesting!

Summing it all up, I land at a …

Rating: 78/100



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