Color: Yellow gold, white Port wine color with a line of persistent small teardrops eventually forming slow and oily legs.
Nose: Lemongrass, spearmint leaves and banana chips. Dusty and chalky with rubber hose, lemon juice and salted butter. A few drops of water improves the nose quite a bit: Pineapple slices and dried papaya. Bread crust and fresh thyme. Vanilla, lemon cookies and orange zest.
Palate: Creamy and custardy... Creme caramel, burnt sugar and candied kumquats. A little hot at this abv with ground white pepper and ground ginger. Water works on the palate as well. Unripe bananas, bunsen burner and plastic food containers. Lightly toasted oak, lemon cupcakes and vanilla. It's a little funky now and I am loving it.
Finish: Long with ground ginger, white pepper and ground coriander. Vanilla...
Overall: Not what I was expecting from a 16 year old rum and I am pleasantly surprised... In spite of 12 years of tropical aging it's not a cask driven and not a tired spirit. Still pretty much distillate driven and vibrant. Although I didn't taste a lot I always had great experiences with Fijian rums. I definitely should look for more... Thanks again to Southern California Whiskey Club and to Michael Ries for the sample.