Pure Single Agricole Rum – 100% Pot Still from cane juice
ABV Hydrometer Test: 42.5% ABV @ 20°
* P A
Described as a “small batch artisanal rum produced from local Nkomazi sugarcane” Mhoba hails from South Africa, not somewhere I would readily associate with rum production.
Furthermore, Mhoba is made from cane juice, making it an agricultural rhum although Mhoba’s labels refer to their product as “rum.” It is initially aged in large glass “casks” with charred virgin American white oak staves, which are cut and charred on hot coals.
The rum is coloured and flavoured with secondary ageing on oak staves which have previously been rested in Cape red wine and then charcoal filtered.
The first thing that I noticed about Mhoba is that their web site proudly talks about their production methods, the fact that they do everything “in house” and do everything in small controlled batches using custom-made pot stills. This should mean that it is very expensive to produce Mhoba rhum, but it should also be of top quality. More music to a rum drinker’s ears comes in the form of Mhoba’s philosophy of “Sugar, water, toasted oak and time. No flavourants, no colorants.” I am also really impressed to see that Mhoba have adopted the Gargano classification for their rum. So far so good!
Mhoba have “white” and “oak-aged” offerings alongside some aged variants. Due to the newness of the distillery (opened in 2015 I believe), the most aged product they had at the time I met them (October 2017) was a 2 1/2 year old rum and that is the one I am reviewing today, officially called “Select Agricole Aged Sugarcane Rum” and presented at 43%.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as a “Pure Single Agricole Rum” – 100% Pot Still from cane juice.
Presented in a rectangular shaped bottle, the label shows the name, ABV and most impressively, the fact that it is a Pure Single Rum.
This rum is coppery in colour, and has an orangey glow to it. When swirled around the glass, the legs are heavy and medium paced descending the sides of the glass.
There is a touch of spice on the nose accompanied by rum-steeped chocolate covered sultanas. Some pineapple, citrus and vanilla are apparent too.
Taste, Initial-middle 30/40
Despite only 2 1/2 years of ageing, the entry is soft and light, gentle and warming. A hint of spice is present, a mild dusting of cocoa and a touch of lime peel.
Taste, Middle/Throat 35/40
There is caramel, tobacco and vanilla alongside a lingering and persistent spicy pepper and some stewed fruit. Multiple sips lead to a distinct chocolatey-cocoa taste – really, rather tasty! The rum has a creaminess to it, which gives a nice texture to the rum.
Long after swallowing, there is a soft peppery-glow in the throat that lingers.
For such a young rum, this is remarkably easy to drink…dangerously so. I think a bottle could disappear very quickly indeed.
I am impressed with the start that Mhoba have made – doing things correctly and honestly is always a good start. Their other rums show lots of potential but this is the one I enjoyed the most.
It is early in Mhoba’s development, but if the 2 1/2 year old rum is anything to go by, they have a bright future. I am looking forward to seeing what five or even ten years does to their rum.
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