Holmes Cay – Guyana 2003 Uitvlugt 18 Year – 51%
Stats: 2003 Guyanese distillate aged 2 years tropically followed by 16 years in the UK before being bottled in the US at barrel proof with no sugar, color or other additives. This was made on the French Savalle 4-column metal still at Diamond Distillery. The Savalle still previously resided at the Uitvlugt Estate (hence the name of this release) until its closure in 2000. A total of 4 casks were selected totaling 858 bottles.
Source: I did not pay for this rum. It was provided to me as part of an Austin Rum Society virtual tasting event we did with Eric Kaye of Holmes Cay.
Conditions: Sipped neat in a Glencairn over the course of a couple sessions.
Nose: Caramel, cherry lozenge, cinnamon, mild heat, blueberry syrup, coconut sunscreen. After some rest, super bright maple syrup takes center stage, stale coffee. With a couple squirts of water, cherry vanilla cola, S’mores, strawberry Bubble Yum.
Mouth: First sip evolves quickly from rich molasses to subtle sweetness to puckery sour then leaves a slight burn. Brown sugar, burnt molasses, bitter cacao, stale coffee. The lingering flavor is menthol. With water I get a eucalyptus/herbal thing going on.
Final thoughts: I totally understand all the positive accolades this bottle receives. It’s a super solid pick, immensely drinkable with lots of pleasant notes that make it massively appealing. That said, my personal palate seeks more of a challenge than a straight forward rum, and with Guyana in particular, my preference lies with the wooden stills.
My Score: 3+
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