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Rum Nation 25 Year Old Supreme Lord V

Review: Rum Nation Jamaica 25 Year Old Supreme Lord V (2010 Release)   91/100
by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published July 27, 2016

Rum Nation is an Italian company created by Fabio Rossi, who began his life in the spirits trade as a Oenologist (one who has studied wine-making). After his studies, Mr. Rossi left the wine business and started up a whisky company in Edinburgh (Wilson and Morgan) acting as an independent bottler of Single Malt Scotch Whisky. His interest turned to rum, and in 1999 Fabio Rossi founded Rum Nation. His company is headquartered in Italy; but Fabio purchases select rums from various distillers in the Caribbean and the Americas. As a result Rum Nation provides a rather unique assortment of limited edition bottlings. One such bottling is Rum Nation Jamaica 25 Year Old Supreme Lord V Rum (2010 release).

This small batch bottling was distilled upon a pot still at the Long Pond Estate in Jamaica in 1985 and was bottled in 2010 by Rum Nation. (In case you did not know, the Long Pond Distillery is the original home of Captain Morgan Rum.) The rum is apparently produced from locally grown Jamaican sugar cane molasses, and was originally aged in American Ex Bourbon Casks after which the rum was transferred to Oloroso Sherry butts where it aged for an additional time period. The final rum was bottled at 43% alcohol by volume.

I was sent a sample of this rum by Fabio Rossi, the owner of Rum Nation, and he advised me that he considers this a small batch rum made for primarily for connoisseurs. Crush Imports is handling the distribution here in Alberta.

RN_Jamaica_25In the Bottle 4.5/5

My sample of this aged Jamaican Rum arrived in a smaller 200 ml sample bottle. However I also received a bottle shot of the normal 700 ml bottle which is shown to the left. Although it is not shown the 25 Year Old Rum is housed in a dark grey wooden box (see my review for the 26 Year Old). This style of presentation is more commonly associated with limited edition Scotch Whisky than it is for Rum, and if I saw this bottle of rum and display box in a liquor store I would be intrigued.

The bottle itself is a regular tall long-necked bottle the style of which fits easily upon my bar shelf and the corked top add a touch of class. I appreciate that the label upon the bottle not only tells me that the rum was distilled in 1985, it also tells me the year the rum was bottled, 2010. The colour scheme upon the label however, seems a little odd to me as the silver, grey printing upon the white label is a little hard to see and read.

In the Glass 9/10

Once poured into the glass, the rum displays a rich dark bronze colour with inky black stains. When I tilt and twirl my glass, the rum fat leglets which hold firm for about 15 seconds before falling like fat droplets back into the rum. The initial nose is rich with camphor and mint mingling with green tobacco, musty oak and old leather.

As the glass breathes, sweetness develops with impressions of butterscotch and dark brown sugar appearing as well as rich baking spices in the form of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. There is an herbal grassiness present reminiscent of green tobacco and heather with perhaps a little fresh poplar and willow thrown in for good measure. A touch of sea brine, bits of iodine and a phenol (rubbery) scent of fresh tar round out the aroma which seems to grow larger the longer the glass breathes.

In the Mouth 55/60

Sipping is a cautious affair, as the intensity of the aroma has warned me that the rum will bring a full complement of spice and flavour across the palate. The rum is buttery in texture which causes it to coat the plate and fortunately the spirit brings a touch of butterscotch sweetness at the beginning which helps to soothe the palate before the onslaught of heat and spice which is to follow. That spicy heat is in the form of fine wood spice and poplar sap, grassy tobacco and an intense impression of orange peel. Again we are fortunate, as a soothing menthol-like flavour accompanies the relentless heat making the spicy onrush not only tolerable, but immensely enjoyable as well.

As I sip, I notice vanilla and baking spices hiding in the weeds showing just enough of themselves to be acknowledged. There is more than a hint of camphor (think turpentine but much better) and some glycerine (think soap bubbles but again much nicer), and a mild saltiness which seems to help bring everything together.  Although my taste descriptors may seem odd, the flavour of the rum is top notch (with a cube of ice, it is even better).

In The Throat 13.5/15

The finish is long, and in that exit new flavours of cocoa and coffee appear alongside spicy tree sap and soothing mint. A lingering maple-like sweetness has appeared which as it slowly fades leaves behind spicy cloves and pools of cinnamon heat. A well placed ice-cube brings remarkable smoothness to the sipping experience, much of the spicy heat is abated yet we still can taste the ebbing sweetness.

The Afterburn 9/10

The Rum Nation Jamaica 25 Year Old Supreme Lord is a taste experience that will not be for everyone. The full force of the Jamaican Pot Still is on display throughout the tasting experience, and you either love the rich esters the pot still brings, or you are bemused than anyone could like them at all. Because I am a convert and embrace the Jamaican Pot Still, my score for this particular Rum Nation expression has reached a full 91/100. The rum is intense with unusual flavours not often encountered anywhere else in the world of rum.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

typical aromas of Jamaican rum with a powerful intensity but also a smoothness without peers

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