Comparison: Rhumb Runner – 2004 – Guyana – Diamond Distillery – Versailles Still – 13 Year Vs. 14 Year

Rhumb Runner – 2004 – Guyana – Diamond Distillery – Versailles Still – 13 Year – 71.5%

Stats: Independent bottling of a single barrel Versailles distillate (single retort wooden still) made at the Diamond Distillery in Guyana in July 2004, aged 13 years and bottled at a whopping 71.5%! Limited to 231 bottles.

Background: I was eyeballing this bottle at a local shop for nearly a year. Receiving a sample from a fellow r/rum pal prompted me to finally pull the trigger on a bottle.

Conditions: Enjoyed neat in a Glencairn over several sessions, then revisited with a couple squirts of water.

Nose: Wood. Caramel, toasted marshmallow, vanilla frosting, Cannoli, cinnamon, pepper, granulated sugar, fresh cut timber, antiseptic, clean laundry. Very little heat for its excessive proof. Some pot still funk. Lots of sweetness. Mocha. With a little water: Coconut sun tan lotion, saw dust, vanilla bean, hay.

Mouth: Explosion of old rotting wood, sawdust, cardboard, pot still funk, fabric softener, menthol, way overripe pineapple, diluted honey, long lingering tree bark and heat. Anise, cigar, worn leather, campfire, bitter cacao. With a little water: Prune juice, apricot, coconut shavings, soy sauce, anise, nutmeg, loads of lingering pepper and slight tannin-y wood. Moderate heat.

Final Thoughts: This is a delight. The nose is shockingly mild in magnitude compared to the palate and it drinks WAAAAYYYY below its proof. I mean 71.5% is staggering, and teetering pretty close to 151 territory. While 151 serves an important role in cocktails, I don’t find myself pouring many drams of 151, even old yellow label Lemon Hart. This though, I can’t get enough of and find to be extremely manageable. I drank half a bottle in short order and decided to pick up a backup. I love it at full proof without dilution, but it definitely opened up to something different – more fruity – with a couple squirts of water.

Warning: Incessant consumption may cause blackouts!

My Rating: 5/5

My Scale:
1 – I don’t want this in my mouth ever again
2 – Best used for mixing
3 – Decent sipper
4 – Very enjoyable
5 – I’m buying a back up bottle

_____

Rhumb Runner – 2004 – Guyana Diamond – Versailles MDXC – 14 Year – 59.9%

Stats: Independent bottling of a single barrel Versailles distillate (single retort wooden still) made at the Diamond Distillery in Guyana in 2004, aged 14 years and bottled at 59.9%. This is the MDXC marque, indicating that caramel coloring has been added. Limited to 219 bottles.

Background: Received as a sample in a trade.

Conditions: Enjoyed neat in a Glencairn over the course of two sessions.

Nose: (First session) Hot! Heavy wood, lots of green-ness. Fresh cut twigs, campfire ash, spearmint, pot still funk. After some time the heat subsides and more sweetness comes out. Butterscotch. An almost orange/citrusy note, milk chocolate (Second session) Rich caramel, pot still funk, rotting wood, dirt. Mild heat, red hots, nougat, cotton candy, white chocolate, papaya, green forest, cigar.

Mouth: (First session) Hot. Tons of wood, on the bitter tannin-y side. Some sweet pineapple, banana milk, pot still funk, sawdust, menthol. Cigar and ash lingers. (Second session) Rich tree bark, powdered cinnamon, cracked pepper, anise, dark chocolate, orange zest, minty toothpaste.

Final Thoughts: This is very nice. It opened up and was more expressive on the second sitting. While it showcases the pot still influence a bit more, I feel the added year in wood brought out more bitter tannins and comes across hot, despite it being much lower proof. Overall, this doesn’t wow me quite as much.

My Rating: 4/5

My Scale:
1 – I don’t want this in my mouth ever again
2 – Best used for mixing
3 – Decent sipper
4 – Very enjoyable
5 – I’m buying a back up bottle

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