Nose: Black cherry soda, creme de mure and black currant jam. Molasses, cola and roasted coconut flakes. Are we sure that those casks were ex-Bourbon casks? This is a quite thick, very jammy and intensely fruity nose... After allowing it to air: Old leather upholstery, old woolen rugs and prunes. Now adding a splash of water: Well aged Armagnac, plum paste and grape soda.
Palate: Hot at cask strength but bursting with flavors. Dried cranberries, dried mangoes and pipe tobacco. Milk chocolate and damson plums. With the addition of water: Armagnac again, ginger molasses cookies and cinnamon. Chocolate ice cream, maple syrup and nutmeg.
Finish: Medium to long with allspice, ground cloves and red pepper flakes.
Overall: Very fun to see how tropical climate can make us question everything we know of about ex-Bourbon barrel aging. It is dense, fruity and decorated with all kind of secondary notes you usually would associate with much older spirits. Although I am not a big fan of these type heavily cask driven spirits I very much enjoyed it. This rum is definitely punching above its weight, great cask management... Thanks to Southern California Whiskey Club and Michael Ries for the sample.