Rum is rarely accorded the same respect as Whisky and Brandy but there is a growing movement to change this injustice. One of those at the forefront is John Barrett, head of Bristol Classic Rum (www.bristolclassicrum.com), who has made it his mission to seek out great rums that might otherwise never be offered to the British public.
They seek out small quantities of the finest rums, sometimes as little as a single barrel to showcase rum in its true unblended form. Some of these rums will be aged at the distillery, while others are brought over to the UK to age here, in a manner similar to early-landed Cognac. Whatever the story behind them these rums are usually only available in limited quantities so we would advise snapping them up when you can.
We have two of their rums that have just arrived (there will be more to follow through the year).
The first is their 8 year old Reserve Rum of Peru (£38.95).
While Peru is not the most famous of rum producers but sugar cane has long been grown in the Highlands which is where this rum originates. Distilled in a column still from molasses, the rum was then matured in used Bourbon casks for 8 years in the high cool mountain air at over 1000m. It’s deeply coloured with a welcoming, rich nose with a complex mixture of fruit and spice. Soft and medium weight with a great finish.
The second offering is the 1998 Diamond Distillery (£46.99) from Guyana.
Guyana is probably more famous for their Demerara sugar, but where there’s sugar there’s rum and the Diamond Distillery is one of the largest in the Caribbean (we know, we know – technically it in South America but they are a member of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producer’s Association so who are we to disagree). This gem has spent 12 years maturing in a mix of barrels making it immensely complex, but dangerously drinkable.