Rum tasting with TasteNote - expanding the horizon
TasteNote - who are they?
TasteNote was established in 2009 and is run by two Swedes, Patrik Barkevall and Roland Johansson. They operate from Varberg, a city on the west coast of Sweden.
Their website www.tastenote.se contains reviews of whiskies, information about whisky festivals and other whisky related stuff. The idea is that everyone can post their review of a whisky to build a database containing many reviews of the same whisky. A good idea, I think!
The reviews are usually published in Swedish and English. But there is also a Google Translate tool on the site, so go ahead and choose the flag of the language you prefer. The page is under reconstruction so stay tuned for the new page.
TasteNote also do tastings, mostly whisky, but also rum. You can ask to be included in a mailing list to get an invitation every time they are doing a tasting. The tastings are mostly at their own place, but they can also be hired to do tastings for private events.
The rum tasting
I attended a rum tasting last Saturday. It turned out to be a very funny and interesting tasting! Patrik and Roland entertained the audience with facts and a lot of humour. And the rums were cleverly selected to show the wide selection of rums that are available out there. I guess most of the attendants only had experienced rum together with Coke, and not many had enjoyed rum the same way as we do enjoy whisky.
I will give you a quick review of what we were presented with and I list them in the order they were served:
Plantation 20 Anniversary Extra Old, 40 %
Available at Systembolaget (nr 509) SEK 499.
Nose (21/25): Oak, spices, nut shell, orange peel, Christmas cakes (as if they all were mixed together in a box).
Taste (20/25): Sweet, very sweet, very very sweet. After a while it tasted like a sweet orange juice.
Finish (20/25): Oak, sugar.
Balance (20/25): No balance between nose and taste! It was too sweet to get at higher score.
Botucal (Diplomatico for Germany) Single Vintage 2000, 43 %, sherry cask finish
Available at Systembolaget (nr 86715) SEK 952.
Nose (22/25): Cardamom, cinnamon, cocoa. Warm.
Taste (22/25): Spices, dark chocolate, some smoke (!). A full taste with a punch to it. Some sweetness.
Finish (22/25): Spices made it warm and full in the end.
Balance (22/25): A really well balanced rum with a lot of things happening both to nose and taste.
Rum Swedes Barbados 2000 13 YO, Svenska Eldvatten, 58,8 %, bourbon barrel
Available at Systembolaget (nr 87168) SEK 952.
Nose (22/25): It smelled like whisky! Nice. An interesting mix of glue, Grappa and smoke.
Taste (24/25): Wow! Smoke and licorice. Warm and full.
Finish (22/25): Licorice, spices and some oakiness.
Balance (23/25): A rollercoaster, but a very interesting one!
Caroni 1999 14 YO, Svensk Whisky formedling, 56 %
Nose (18/25): Wood, paint and cognac.
Taste (19/25): Oak, dry, alcohol bite. Quite full mouthfeel.
Finish (19/25): Nut shell. Dry.
Balance (19/25): I could say it was well balanced...woody and dry from start to finish.
This was a really nice selection of four very different rums! To those who were 'new' to rum I guess this must be the perfect introduction. We were shown both sweet and dry, complex and more simple. The world of rum may not be quite as big as the world of whisky, but there sure is a wide enough selection of rums for everyone to find a favorite ;-)