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Rum Reviews

Long Pond 2001, 21 Year Old, bottled by Precious Liquors for Auld Alliance, 51% ABV

 

I fondly remember the first Long Pond rums I had chanced upon during my initial foray into this rabbit hole of mine - Plantation’s (or now Planteray) Extreme No.3, both the ITP and HJC marques, of which I preferred the former given my preferences for low-ester rums that tend to have a softer, more coherent profile. However those rums were quite an anomaly then, having spent 21 years aging in tropical Jamaica, in comparison to most independently-bottled rums released during that time which would’ve been very much continentally-aged, aside from course Velier.

And that leads me very nicely to the rum I have today, a continentally aged Long Pond from the year 2001 bottled by @preciousliquors, with a label and typesetting that unmistakably points towards a co-bottling for @theauldalliance. There is scant information on the label itself, except that it had spent majority of its 21 years in continental Europe, bottled in June 2022 from presumably a single cask given its outturn of only 268 bottles, and at an abv of 51%. I was unable to find any information on its marque either, but if I were to hazard a guess based on the tasting below, I’d say it would’ve spanned the range from a VRW (Vale Royal Wedderburn, 150-250 g/hl AA) to a STCE (Simon Thompson Cambridge Estate, 550-700 g/hl AA).

The nose was quintessentially Jamaican, packed with lots and lots of funk and fruitiness, although unlikely to be one of those extreme high ester types. That said, there was a softness to it too, raisin sweetness, and that heavy doses of varnish, and tropical fruits, much like nearly-ripe mangoes, bright acidity, and little bits of banana too. It was a tad medicinal too, and yet very interestingly a slight hint of candy floss, which made for a peculiar mash of flavours in the glass.

The palate was perhaps deceivingly soft at the beginning, opening with a soft mustiness, perhaps influenced by its surroundings in some damp warehouse in Liverpool or Amsterdam (I’m guessing). And I say it was deceiving because the spiciness grew exponentially from then on, introducing notes of burnt rubber, cigar smoke, coupled with tropical pineapples, which I gathered was a rather intense middle section altogether. The finish was long and brought back much of its initial sweetness, those marshmallows and candy floss, a slight spritely in texture, and raisins that seemed to linger on forever.

With a couple of drops of water, I thought the rum worked perfect for me. It softened the whole drinking experience, suppressing those brighter, more tropical, dirty notes, whilst bringing out a much softer and sweeter profile of the Long Pond, placing particular emphasis on its delicate floral sweetness that might have been overpowered at its initial bottling strength.

By any account, this was a very respectable Long Pond rum, and I loved the fact that it wasn’t overpoweringly funky, and still held on to those elements of soft candy and sweet raisins that I am so very fond of. A welcome break from the deluge of really high ester rums of late!

 

Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu

  

Your occasional rum addict!

@weixiang_liu