Holmes Cay South Pacific Distilleries 16yo...

Holmes Cay South Pacific Distilleries 16yo (58.0%): The insanely delicious rum from Foursquare I posted about the other day inspired me to continue with more rums. It's still summer after all... So, I have an entire set of samples of Holmes Cay single cask rums from an online tasting of Southern California Whiskey Club happened back in May on my desk today which I unfortunately couldn't attend because of my work. But I was fortunate enough to receive the set to taste them later nonetheless thanks to SCWC and their fearless leader Michael Ries. I will start with a 16 year old Fijian Rum distilled by South Pacific Distilleries in 2004 following the original order of the May tasting. It is a 100% pot still distillate aged first for 12 years in two ex-Bourbon barrels in Fiji and then for an additional 4 years in UK. Eventually the barrels got bottled in 2020 in New York State at cask strength with no additives whatsoever to yield 486 bottles in total. Our sample is drawn from the cask no. 9.

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.

Price: $150