Nose: Right away you can nose easily how high the abv is. Not burning your nostrils but hot and also kinda muted... Burnt sugar, inner tubes and wet clay. New sneakers and rubber garden hose. I am pretty sure that it can handle a few drops of water. Here we go... Flaky savory pastry: Meaty hand pies, yum... Thyme, sage honey and dried black currants. It is herbal, savory and rubbery. All spice and nutmeg... I am enjoying this thyme and oregano aromas on the nose very much right now.
Palate: Old school savory Caroni funk. Not in your face right away like young Jamaican rums but it grows slowly on both sides of the tongue. Coal gas, burnt firewood and rubber. Petrol and turpentine... After adding water: Overripe bananas, grilled pineapple rings and thyme. Tart and tangy barbecue sauce, burnt ends and fried plantains. A couple more drops and it gets little sweeter. Burnt rice pudding and quince paste.
Finish: Long and tongue tingling with grilled pineapple rings, rubber tubes and thyme again.
Overall: A very well aged and balanced rum... Great example of a good cask management about how to keep the character of the distillate in spotlight and manage not to overpower the spirit with oak even after more than two decades in wood. It is not an easy job with old rums especially if they started their aging in tropical climates but it looks like these ex-Bourbon barrels did very well. It is spirity, savory and fruity... Thanks to Julius Saita Smith once more for the sample.