Fine Old Jamaica RumJudging from the labels and bottles, these rums were bottled around 1900-1910, and had likely 20 to 30 years in cask prior to that. It's clear from the packaging that this was regarded as a superb quality rum even at the time it was bottled. This is an exceptional discovery - the nose is one of the most exotic and powerful I've ever experienced.
19th century rum of this quality is extremely rare - far more so than equivalently fine cognacs or armagnacs. At the time, top quality rums were regarded by noted connoisseurs like George Saintsbury (in his legendary "Notes from a Cellar Book" published in 1920) as on a par with the finest cognacs.
Saintsbury writes how rare old fashioned dark rums (like these bottles) were becoming, and how superior they were to the paler, lighter rums then coming into vogue.
The tasting notes below are by Dave Hughes, internationally renowned author, wine journalist and senior judge at the International Wine & Spirit Competition for over 20 years:
Huge, room-filling scent the instant the cork was pierced. Fabulous deep old-gold colour, like an aged muscat. Intensely powerful nose - toffee, prunes, old marmalade, dates, overripe mango, caramel, vanilla, allspice.
Initially sweet on the palate, oaky and woody notes with a pronounced citrus character - tangerine and lime. Good acidity.
Finish is dry, and very, very long. An extraordinary spirit! Dave Hughes