A triple of 2000 Rockley/ Blackrock W.I.R.D.s

Dear reader,

after all the positive feedback I have got over the last couple of months since starting this blog, I came to the conclusion that weekly reviews might not be enough. That’s why you will be getting something extra. From now on, every second Monday (or so) will feature either a small cross-tasting, notes from blind-tastings, a short essay or something similar. You might even get a Cocktail, we’ll see.

After two in-depth reviews on 2000 Rockleys/ Blackrocks from Barbados’ West Indies Rum Distillery (W.I.R.D.), we now have a cross-tasting of a couple of other rums from that  distillery and vintage. For more information on W.I.R.D., let me refer you to the reviews of the Duncan Taylor W.I.R.D. 2000 15YO and the Whiskybroker W.I.R.D. 2000 16YO.


ORS WIRD (3)Our Rum & Spirits W.I.R.D. 2000 14YO (43%): This rum comes from a split cask that has already been diluted when Christian Nagel bought his share of the barrel. The rest has been bottled by La Confrérie du Rhum (as a 13YO), which is thus the same rum besides the small difference in the time it has spent in the cask. The nose is a bit shy but I can immediately recognise the signature aromas of honey, beeswax and medicine. Deeper in the glass we can also find medical herbs. While the dilution was not very noticeable in the nose, the rum definitely lost a few flavours at the palate. The texture is a bit milky but the honey notes are rather weak. Most strikingly, the rum is not very smoky which distinguishes it from most of its siblings. The finish is short and slightly spicy. I liked the nose but this has to be one of the lesser 2000 W.I.R.D.s I have tried so far. Nothing to write home about.

TRC Rockley (3)The Rum Cask W.I.R.D. 2000 16YO (57,5%): There is more alcohol in the nose and, quite to my surprise, this one is initially less flavourful than the Our Rum & Spirits (ORS). It is rather sweet, with a lot of smokiness and many phenolic notes. That said, I do not enjoy it a lot. The alcohol burns my tongue with the first sip. Then I get plenty of wood and smoke as well as medical/ phenolic flavours. Eventually the rum becomes a little sweet and metallic at the back-end. It is the kind of sweetness that you can find in very peaty Whiskys, yet the smokiness expresses itself very differently. Again, the finish is not very long and leaves quite a bit to be desired. This rum is a bit the bad seed among 2000 W.I.R.D.s. Blindly, I probably would not have recognised it as such and might have mistaken it for an Islay finish. I think I liked the ORS a tad better but that might be dependent on the form of the day.

Cadenhead's BBR (2)Cadenhead’s BBR Blackrock Distillery 2000 11YO (59,1%): The first 2000 Rockley style rum that I have ever tried. In my memory, this had a very milky texture with a pronounced almond flavour but let’s see. Blackrock Distillery is just another name for W.I.R.D. by the way. After some time in the glass, the alcohol has vanished a bit and a charming sea of honey, almonds and wax remains. Deeper in the glass I smell vanilla and crystallised sugar. The rum is rather mild and my first associations are hot almond milk, honey  and vanilla. The texture is just as milky as I had it in my mind (you can even see it, the rum is quite murky!). It’s slightly sweet and the smokiness is just another but by no means the dominating element in the mix. Later a few medical herbs. The finish is long with plenty of vanilla. Notes of honey and herbs come and go. This is just a lovely and balanced rum. None of the individual flavours stick out too much and together produce a mix which is very memorable.


Verdict

We have a clear winner here. The Cadenhead’s really stood out in this cross-tasting. It is at least on par with, if not better than, the Whiskybroker W.I.R.D. 2000 16YO and decidedly better than the Duncan Taylor W.I.R.D. 2000 15YO. The Cadenhead’s is just very balanced and it’s quite uncommon that the flavours together produce a rum that is so much more than simply the sum of its parts. I’d rank both, the ORS and the The Rum Cask at least a notch below the Duncan Taylor, however. Eventually I will have to do another cross-tasting between the Cadenhead’s and the Whiskybroker but as far as I can tell already they play up in different categories.
If you have followed my previous reviews you might wonder where my sample of the Cadenhead’s is coming from all of a sudden. By chance, I have come to know that a friend of mine, who doesn’t really like this style of rum, still had a few last drops of said rum. Thanks to Christian, Marcel and Eric (and Mark) from Der Rum-Club for the samples.

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