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Rum Reviews

1986 Barbados Rum, Selected Caribbean Rum, West Indies Rum Distillery, Samaroli, 46%

Sometimes I stumble upon something relatively obscure and special, one that doesn’t grab the headlines but rather encapsulates a kind of quiet beauty, much like this 1986 Barbados rum from the West Indies Rum Distillery and bottled under the @samaroli1968 brand.

This is one of four 1986 WIRD bottlings under the Samaroli, and the last bottled by Mr Silvano Samaroli himself in June 2006 before the brand was handed over to Antonio Bleve in 2008. Aged for 20 continental years in a single cask no. 8, the rum was diluted to 46% with an outturn of 348 bottles.


(Image Source: @weixiang_liu)

The nose has a subtle sweetness, a melange of honey, floral scents and beeswax. Alongside are fresh bright yellow fruits, pineapples, lemon myrtle, a tad malty and peppered with spices. The flavours keeps evolving, with even a tinge of raw fish and some tanginess of dried hawthorne.

The palate brings with it a touch of iodine and hay, before you are overwhelmed with lots and lots of honey, fresh figs and dried hawthorne again. In fact I would go so far to say that it is exceedingly sweet, in a good way, red grapes and fresh cucumbers. The finish is long, slightly tannic and dry, but balanced off by the honey that comes through till the end.

If you were thinking that this might have been one or those punchy, fruit-bursting, and smoky full proof WIRD 86s, you’d be so very wrong. What we have here is distinctively characteristic of Silvano Samaroli’s style, a very approachable, refined and well-textured rum that does not compromise its complexity despite dilution. A truly beautiful rum!


Your occasional rum addict!