LPS Long Pond 1993 11YO (1st release)

After expecting a Hampden and getting a Long Pond with the MacY Jamaica 1992 14YO, we now have a Long Pond that pretty much has the profile of a Hampden. It is a trip to the past and to a long sold out bottling. It is the first release of Rum Albrecht’s LPS series, the LPS Long Pond 1993 11YO!

The Bottling

This is another “odd” rum from Long Pond. It is odd in the sense that we really haven’t got many Long Ponds from 1993 (the LPS rums are actually the only ones I am aware of) and that it is hard to come by a Long Pond with this flavour profile. I know that this approach is a bit unusual but I decided to introduce you to the “odd” Long Ponds first, before discussing rums from the vintages that more connoisseurs are probably familiar with, i.e. 1986 and 2000. For those who know them, the LPS Long Pond 1993 11YO is a bit like a combination of these vintages but it is also distinct enough to warrant its own category.

As this is just the second Long Pond of many to follow, I will spread the information on the distillery over the reviews. Let’s start with their stills. Besides a column still, Long Pond has two pot stills. Most of the rums that found their way to Europe and that have been bottled with the Long Pond tag on them come from one of them. Why do I emphasise the latter point? Long Pond is not a proper brand as the distillery doesn’t bottle its own rum. All rum produced by them is sold in bulk to brokers and private companies, who in turn might resell it again. Only a tiny fraction of their produce makes it to independent bottlers. The rest goes into cheap blends, the German “Rumverschnitt” (which isn’t even actual rum) and into things such as baking extract or perfume.
After cross-tasting many different Long Ponds, I am relatively sure that the MacY Jamaica 1992 14YO comes from the column still. Moreover, evidence suggests that the vintages 1986 and 2000 come from different pot still but this is just my impression and far from being cast in stone. At the risk of repeating myself, I do not really know where to put 1993 in that context as it shares characteristics of both styles.

Rum Albrecht is part of the Heinz Eggert GmbH & Co. KG, a family owned importer and exporter of wine and spirits. They can store up to 2 million liters in their steel tanks and have another warehouse for higher quality, barreled spirits. Besides selling directly to retailers, they also conduct business with producers of spirits, aromas and extracts, sweets and pastries as well as convenience and pharmaceutical products. Today they release rums under the name Rum Artesanal – the initials are still the same.


Dégustation “LPS Long Pond 1993 11YO (1st release)”

Key Facts: The rum has been distilled at Long Pond Distillery in the Trelawny Parish in Jamaica in 1993. After 11 years of ageing on Jamaica, it has been imported to Germany where it was bottled by Rum Albrecht at 53%. It is one of at least three single cask rums that have been released as the “1st release”.

Colour and viscosity: Deep copper. A quick pivot results in very thin streaks that don’t really want to flow back down. A few beads of different sizes form at the rim of the glass.

Nose: I smell plenty of esters and the fruits associated with them. There are ripe pineapples and overripe bananas. Then furniture polish. In the background chocolate and nougat can clearly be identified. A rich banana-chocolate cake comes to my mind. The longer you have the rum in the glass and smell it, the stronger this association becomes. Nuts only had a presentiment. The influence of the cask is very moderate. This is a good demonstration of the effect of tropical ageing: after “only” eleven years of ageing we get very intense flavours without the wood being too dominant, which was by the way more or less the only criticism some connoisseurs had with the second and especially the third release (Personally, I don’t share it).

Palate: After the alcohol gently burned the tip of my tongue, I taste overripe pineapple, foul and ripe bananas, sweet mangos and milk chocolate. These are many esters for a Long Pond, this is more or less Hampden territory. Again I get the banana-chocolate cake. Then nougat and some toffee. Decent aromas of vanilla are hiding in the background. After some time the fruit vanishes and a mouthfeel of rich chocolate is all there is for a few seconds. At the end of the sip we can witness the typical Jamaican transformation to more herbal notes. They all fell into the chocolate fountain, however.

Finish: Chocolate and nougat. Quite dry and slightly herbal. The chocolate feels a bit dirty but is accompanied by fresh spearmint, which is the only aroma that lasts once the chocolate fades away. The finish is not extremely long.


Verdict

Arguably the worst of all three LPS releases by Rum Albrecht, the LPS Long Pond 1993 11YO (1st release) is still a very good rum. It is such a pity that we didn’t get more Long Ponds from the 1993 vintage. I do not really know what’s so special about the year but Jamaican rums from 1993 have all been extremely flavourful. Perhaps the weather was particularly good or a special yeast has been discovered, I have no clue. So far no Jamaican from 1993 failed to impress me. The chocolate touch is a little weird at the beginning but a fitting addition to the fruity Jamaican high ester character. It really is like a Hampden in a chocolate coat.

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