Is there anything that still needs to be said about the Double Wooden Port Mourant pot still? I don’t think so. If you want to learn more nevertheless, let me refer you to the Guyana country article and especially the information under Port Mourant and in the reviews you can find beneath it.
For quite some time I have been thinking that 2005 has been on of the better if not the best Port Mourant vintage in recent years. Well, of course it matters a lot how far you want to go back but I think my mind has changed a bit after the latest Port Mourant cross-tastings I have done. How far exactly I would go back to make this statement can be found in the ‘Verdict’ section of this review.
Cave Guildive Port Mourant 2005 10YO (55%): With ten years this is the youngest rum of the session but its a real spice bomb. In the nose we can find anise, fennel, cumin, and other exotic spices but also wet wood, old, soft cheese and a mix of nuts. The alcohol is integrated very well and given the other rums’ abvs, the dilution cannot be very high. Then a touch of herbs as we typically get it with these Demeraras but the spices still dominate all the time. Later also salt and a sea breeze. The palate takes off where the nose stopped. We get the spices but now also some fruity elements such as unripe pineapple or maraschino cherries and vanilla. It’s very good! With the third sip also grapefruits and citrus fruits or quince. The texture is very creamy and reminiscent of soft cheese. Finish: Long, dry and full of spices. Moreover I get wet wood and cheesy flavours. Me gusta!
Transcontinental Rum Line Port Mourant 2005 12YO (58,1%): It’s a bit less aromatic and a bit more alcoholic than the Cave Guildive. Fresh apples, anise, lots of oak, cardamom and cumin are my first impressions. Deeper in the glass also cinnamon but the spices are always paired with apples. The Cave Guildive didn’t have them at all and here I cannot only find some herbs as well. Later freshly cut branches and chestnuts. Palate: Pears and citrus fruits meet the oh so familiar anise as well as other spices such as cumin and coriander seeds. Oak and some herbal nuances round off the palate. All in all it is a bit thinner than the Cave Guildive, despite the additional two years and the slightly higher abv but it’s not a big deal. The finish is medium long, dry but sweeter than the other candidates. There are herbs (thyme) and cheese. It’s another good one but in the direct comparison it loses out to the Cave Guildive and the Barmetro.
Barmetro Port Mourant 2005 12YO (57%): Bottled for the Milano Rum Fest, this one has been priced quite ambitiously but it has been highly demanded as well. La Bouteille Noire and a
tacky fancy label seem to do it these days. But maybe it is just that good, who knows… Nose: Star anise, wet wood, moldy cheese, pears and an Italian herb mix. It’s very multifaceted with notes from basically all basic aroma groups. Later slightly winery/ grapery notes and an increasing sweetness as well as a touch of cedar wood. Palate: Spices galore! I can find plenty of anise, cardamom and coriander seeds. Then the cedarwood and red currants. With the second sip I also get apple juice, vanilla and apple tart. The mouthfeel is very creamy and the rum has a thick texture. Add an olive here and there. Yup, it’s really, really good. Finish: Medium long with spices, slightly brinery notes and the apple tart. Now this is a good finish! All in all it’s a really good one containing all sorts of different notes and nuances.
Kintra Port Mourant 2005 12YO (55,9%): This one is heavier on the cheesy notes than the other three rums and comes with a small fruit schnapps aspect. It needs some time to open up I think so let’s give him some. Eventually it transforms from the “thin” fruit schnapps notes to the heavy pot still rum we came to expect. Then pears, spices, quince, different sorts of wood and even a wee bit of gasoline is what I am picking up. Further away from the glass I can also find a touch of citrus around the glass. The alcohol is a bit sharp with the first sip. Once my tongue recovers I get pears, quince, cloves and anise as well as gooseberries and branches. Then lots of unripe, green fruits; perhaps prepared as a salad with yoghurt. The finish is short with pears, anise and a hint of wood. An okay rum but clearly the weakest this time.
Three very good Port Mourants and once again a Demerara from Kintra that falls off a bit. I’d give the overall edge to the Barmetro, followed closely by the Cave Guildive. The Trancscontinental Rum Line has a few weaknesses here and there but is still a good one and pretty much to my liking.
In order to conclude how good the 2005 vintage really I think it doesn’t make much sense to go back too far. It cannot keep up with the Port Mourants from the late 1990s and even 2002 had a few rums I’d rate above these, but also some I’d rate below. To sum up, that makes it the best Port Mourant vintage between 2003 (e.g. the Cadenhead’s Diamond Distillery “MPM” 2003 14YO) and 2008 (the latest aged ones I know), for what it’s worth.