Traditional Agricole Rum: From a traditional column still using cane juice.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 42% ABV @ 20°
* A C
Back in 2017, I met Mário Gomes, the William Hinton Rum Ambassador and he introduced me to their line-up of amazing agricultural rums from Madeira. At the time, I had not encountered rum from Madeira and this was a real eye opener and it opened up a whole new area of fine cane-based spirits – distilled using traditional methods using fresh cane juice, free from additives and absolutely delicious. I first wrote about their rums here including their cask finishes, which combined 25 year old rums from the previous owners of the distillery, which the new owners aged for three additional years, alongside currently produced rums that have had six years of ageing in French oak casks. This very limited blend of rums was then aged in various different cask types for a further period of nine months.
In 2019-20, William Hinton have released a further batch of these limited edition “finishes” one of which, the Maldita Beer Cask edition is what I am writing about today. The secondary aging took place in beer casks used by Maldita, a brewery from Aveiro, south of Porto. I believe the casks used are from their Robust Porter, but that is TBC.
William Hinton: Maldita Beer Cask is a Traditional Agricole Rum:
From a traditional column still using cane juice.
The bottle is an elongated flask type. It is decanter-esque and looks quite chic. There is a natural cork enclosure.
On the front there is basic information about the rum and its cask ageing. On the rear, the information goes a little deeper although despite the bottles being individually numbered, mine is illegible. There are 276 in total though, coming from cask number 61.
In the glass, my rum is between tawny and a medium amber. It displays medium legs and tears on the glass.
The initial aroma has something menthol about it. There is caramel, pecan nuts, pepper and a rich leathery feel to it. A second nosing reveals a maltiness reminiscent of something whisky-esque. There is an underlying aroma that is a cross between Bovril and grassy-vegetale-agricole.
Taste, Initial-middle 30/40
The entry is quite light and mild. Some caramel and vanilla.
Further sips reveal some spiced, fruity notes. It is very smooth and the peppery spice builds with multiple tastings.
Taste, Middle/Throat 37/40
The vanilla continues through the mid-palate alongside honeyed pecan nuts. But as it reaches the rear of the mouth, the perceived sweetness of honey and vanilla becomes drier and more peppery. There is a build up of dry oak, dried fruits, a bitterness and an astringent mouthfeel.
There is a very woody finish to this rum, which is medium in length, but very pleasantly warming. It is nicely balanced between bitter oak and sweet caramel.
Once again, Madeira rum does not disappoint and once again, I find myself enjoying a fine rum from William Hinton.
Although this is classed as a six year old rum, some of the old distillate was originally aged 25 years or more plus a further three years under the new owners. Bear in mind that Madeira rum regulations do not allow mythical Solera-style bullsh*t age numbers on the bottle so any age quoted is always the minimum age of the distillate
As long as these cask finish rums keep appearing, I am a happy rum drinker. I do not know how much of the 25 year old rum stocks are left for future editions, so enjoy them while you can. There are several other editions worth checking out if you can, which hopefully, I will get around to reviewing in due course.
At €100, it is not cheap, but then again, producing craft, batch distilled rum and then ageing it for more than 25 years is an expensive thing to do. Fine top quality and well-aged rum, worth the money I think.
Review No. 152
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/Finish Out of 7