Cadenhead’s Single Cask Rum FSPD
100% Pot Still (Pure Single Rum)
ABV Hydrometer Test: ?
Cadenhead describes itself as “Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, established 1828 in Campbeltown.” They have a shop in London and pride themselves on offering pure, unaltered spirits of the finest calibre, including rum.
This particular rum from the small island of Fiji is offered at cask strength of 60.7%. It has been aged for 12 years and was bottled in September 2015. Fiji is not a world-renowned producer of spirits (as far as I am aware). The FSPD is home to “Fiji Rum” who have been producing rum since 1980 with their signature brand being called “Bounty” – not one that I have encountered in the UK and interestingly, the same name as a rum offered by St Lucia Distillers Group of Companies. FSPD do claim to use organic and hand-cut sugar cane. So, is this a well-kept secret of the rum-world?
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would be classed as a 100% Pot Still (Pure Single Rum). There is no added colour, nor chill filtering, which makes it as natural a product as you can find.
If I am honest the bottle does not fill you with excitement. The presentation is distinctive with Cadenhead’s livery on the box. But there is a useful label adhered to both the box and bottle with some info about the rum.
If I’m honest, the first nosing at full strength smells like paint stripper or something similar. Initially I am wondering if I should drink it or rub it in! Very strong medicinal notes, with a hint of caramel in the background. The appearance is quite pale and straw-like – not a problem as we are looking at an un-coloured rum. When diluted to 40% the colour is exceptionally pale – it reminds me of a visit to the toilet after a few beers (sorry). But the plus-side of diluting is that the unpleasant medicinal notes are largely unrecognisable, replaced by more delicate floral aromas.
Taste, Initial-middle 11/40
At full strength this burns as soon as it touches your mouth. The burn overpowers the flavours unfortunately. There is a background of brown sugar that develops as you sip it. In the middle of the mouth, it starts to calm down somewhat revealing a little bit of spice. Diluted to 40% and this rum is a little more enjoyable with some more vanilla and even orange present. The fire is more tolerable and enjoyable.
Taste, Middle/Throat 21/40
This is where the rum’s initial offensiveness redeems itself with the true flavours showing themselves. A little more sweet spice is evident along with some more orange and brown sugar. It is at this point that the full strength flavours shine through. By contrast when diluted, the flavours are less prevalent and more subtle with the potency toned down considerably. I think one needs this to be diluted at the initial tasting and then at full strength when swilling it around the mouth in order to maximise the experience.
This rum just does not want to go away. After swallowing it continues to evolve and offer up further flavours, some good and some bad and after a few swigs, the roof of your mouth starts to go numb. But undoubtedly, this point is the peek that the rum achieves. If you enjoy a rum with fire and passion, this certainly ticks both of those boxes. Dilute it to 40% and the fire is far more enjoyable – it hasn’t gone away, but it is more relaxed and subtle.
Morning After Aroma
Absolutely zero aroma in the glass!
Despite being aged for 12 years, this rum is rough and fiery. It lacks the smoothness and finish of a top quality rum. Whilst it improves with further sipping, it doesn’t seem able to decide if it is better as a full-strength 60.7% kick in the teeth or a more gentle 40% slap on the cheek. Consequently, it is neither!
I really wanted to like this, given that it is proper rum and from a new developing area (in rum terms). But unfortunately on this occasion, it just does not hit the right spots.
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7