2004 Fiji 13 yr. - South Pacific - Valinch & Mallet - 58.5%
I've been trying to get a handle on Fiji rums. The three I've tried (2004 XXX/Four, 2004 Ultimatum, 13 yr. - Berry Bros. & Rudd) have been all over the map - very different profiles and range of quality. The BB&R was my favorite style. But the XXX was, heads and shoulders, the best executed to date. If I could put the spirit of the BB&R into the body of the XXX, I'd be in great shape. That quest continues with three more South Pacific rums in the queue.
This sample is my first experience with Valinch & Mallet whose stated preference is for casks that lean distillate rather than barrel drive. The website shows a pretty extensive selection of whiskey casks going back to 2015. Rum selections picked up steam around 2018.
Nose: Spirit-y. Methanol. Cedar. Medicinal notes. Burnt sugar. Moss. Lemon. Orange oil. Chocolate.
Flavor: Peach? Medicinal/menthol again. Nutty. Oily. Vegetal. Peach swings back around. Sugar glaze in the finish.
Structure: Full but short. Water lengthens the pour by a significant margin and clarifies the notes on the nose.
Alcohol Integration: Too hot, but loves water.
Score: 5 (Acceptable) Lacks clarity on the palate. The sweet and medicinal notes don’t always compliment each other. Water provides connective tissue and adds clarity on the palate. Bears a slight resemblance to the BB&R. Definitely distillate driven, but plays too disjointed for my palate.
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I'd go Hamilton St. Lucia bottlings here for an all around upgrade.
10 - Reevaluate The Budget
9 - Stash Two (If Able)
8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)
7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers
6 - Solid - Above Average
5 - Acceptable For The Situation
4 - Not Vocally Complaining
3 - Anything Else To Drink?
2 - Nothing Nice To Say
1 - Drain Pour