Few years ago we went across the biggest Belgian rum event (Salon du Rhum) without finding the hidden gem(s) we are all looking for. The last stand in our list was « The Nectar », this is the Belgian rum importer. We discussed a lot with the very nice man that welcome us and enjoyed the fact we were not cough syrups addicts! We tasted different things, until this Blackadder Fiji 9yo, glances crossed, we directly ran to the shop without ultering a single word and bought the 3 left bottles. What a slap in the face!
Then I tried more bottlings from Blackadder and I must say I never have been disappointed so far. So today let’s go for a huge review with 10 of their rums, coming around the world!
Blackadder Selection Enmore VSG 1996-2012 (47%, cask #2, 276 bottles)
Nose: It has more strength that what the label may had suggested, the alcohol could’ve been better integrated. Licorice stick, butter, buns, citruses such as grapefruits, blood oranges, eucalyptus, nutmeg, candied lemons, old furnitures, candle wax, noble wood and rubber. That kind of old school Versailles!
Mouth: The alcohol integration is better there and it’s more refined than the nose with the same aromatic strength. Licorice stick, anise star, burnt caramel, roasted notes, chilies, grapefruits, fuel, tar, bitter oranges, tree sap, ginger and old furnitures.
Finish: Mid-long. Drying smoke, vanilla cream, burnt wood, roasted almonds, peppermint and some floral notes.
There are some little flaws but honestly it has an undeniable charm. A very nice starter I would say!
Blackadder Raw Cask Belvedere 1998-2016 (57.5%, 232 bottles)
Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: Same statement for the nose alcoholic integration as for the first one, it could’ve been better but it’s decent. Buttered buns, polished wood, pancakes with maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, grapefruits, orange peels, vanilla, lemons, pines and eucalyptus candies. It makes me think of a nice Sunday breakfast!
Mouth: Very nice oily texture. That’s slightly sugary with brown sugar, caramel, chilies, wood, maple syrup, pancakes, ginger, white pepper, fuel, « flambéed bananas », smoke, forest berries, raspberries and dark chocolate. What a pleasant and round mouth, nice!
Finish: Quite long and warm. Burnt wood, vanilla icecream, macadamia nuts, caramel and marzipan.
This rum has that little thing we’re looking for, that’s powerful but round in the same time, I really enjoyed it!
Blackadder Raw Cask Guyana 2003-2017 (63%, 274 bottles)
Colour: Dark straw.
Nose: A quite typical Port Mourant nose with an alcohol presence but it’s well integrated. Metallic notes, honey, apples, pears, wet wood, nutmeg, cinnamon, no huge surprise here. We also have some citruses and vanilla in the background.
Mouth: Nice thick texture, it’s (too) powerful and astringent. Chilies, wet wood, steel, apples, pears, ginger, vanilla, white pepper, peaches, brown sugar and some floral notes. I’m not a huge fan of that young extreme Port Mourant profiles to be honest.
Finish: Long and warm. Burnt wood, baked apples, almonds, vanilla and mint.
A very typical Port Mourant with a lot of character, I found it a bit too much in his style but if you use to like that kind of profile it’s still clearly worth a try.
Blackadder Raw Cask Monymusk 2003-2016 (57.8%, 226 bottles)
Nose: It’s more expressive than most of continental Monymusks I tried. Rotten bananas, caramelized apples, pears, ginger, some vinegar drops, bitter oranges, vanilla, butter, lemons, glue and almonds,
Mouth: Rotten bananas, apple pie, pears, cinnamon, white pepper, glue, caramel, cake dough, brown sugar, fuel and peppermint. That’s not the most complex rum but it’s well balanced and interesting, I’m pleasantly surprised.
Finish: Mid-long and warm. Burnt wood, bitter cocoa, roasted almonds, raspberries, overcooked caramel and buns.
I’m not a huge fan of continental Monymusks but this one take part of the best I’ve tried!
Blackadder Raw Cask Hampden 2000-2017 (58.1%, 248 bottles)
Colour: Dark straw.
Nose: Welcome in Jamaica with a lot of funkyness! Ripe and candied pineapples mix, ripe bananas, candied lemons, marzipan, almonds, glue, orange peels and light smoke. Acidulous and slightly sugary in the same time, simple and effective.
Mouth: Nice oily texture and it’s more accessible than expected. Classical Hampden aromas such as bananas, pineapples, candied exotic fruits, white pepper, chilies, mangoes, papayas and glue. Well balanced and very pleasant mouth.
Finish: Long enough. Burnt wood, peppermint, tobacco, vanilla and apple pie.
A very well balanced Hampden, without any false step. One of the best Hampden 2000 I’ve taste so far.
Blackadder Raw Cask Fiji 2009-2018 (62.4%, 235 bottles)
Nose: Incredibly round with lot of fruits and some spices combo. That’s very sweet for that high ABV. Rotten bananas, green and black olives, brown sugar, candied lemons, nutmeg, marzipan, capers, fresh soil, some vinegar drops, butter, papayas and litchees, wonderful nose.
Mouth: The texture remind me that’s not a very old rum at first. That’s powerful and spiced. Ginger, chilies, rotten bananas, green and black olive tapenade, buttered cake dough, overripe papayas, peaches, candied fruits, wood, tannins, honey, menthol and Belgian « spéculoos ».
Finish: Mid-long and sweeter than the mouth, more refined. Light smoke, tar, tobacco, caramelized almonds and vanilla.
Very surprising rum in regards to its young age, that’s very round and refined, what a nice Fiji we’ve got here. Good job!
Blackadder Raw Cask Fiji 2009-2019 (64.1%, 245 bottles)
Nose: The nose is very close to the previous one, is it the same rum that aged one more year? Or maybe a sister cask? The alcohol is a bit less integrated in this one but it’s still good. It’s also a bit more acidulous with more herbal notes. Rotten bananas, green and black olives, candied lemons, marzipan, herbal notes, grapefruits, ginger, pepper, fresh soil, papayas and glue.
Mouth: The mouth is also close of his little brother’s one. That’s powerful and spiced. Ginger, chilies, rotten bananas, green and black olive tapenade, pencils, butter, overripe papayas, peaches, candied fruits, wood, tannins, honey, metallic notes, menthol, glue and Belgian « spéculoos ».
Finish: A bit longer, warm and astringent. Burnt wood, vanilla, chalk, almonds, floral notes and tobacco.
Few years later I’m still impressed by those Fiji’s, I slightly prefer the 8yo release but it’s very close, good job!
Blackadder Caroni 12yo (46%,1368 bottles)
Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: Fruity Caroni with some barbados-like aromas such as coconuts and chocolate. Mangoes, roasted pineapples, polished wood, lemons, blood oranges, grapefruits, rubber, leather and few drops of engine oil. I expected less alcohol presence for this ABV.
Mouth: The texture is a bit too fluid but it has a great aromatic strength, no watery feeling at all. We still have lot of fruits with mangoes, papayas, apricots, peaches, pineapples, lemons, blood oranges and grapefruits. Then we have the typical Caroni notes, roasted coconuts and caramel in the background, completing each other without any dominating notes.
Finish: Mid-long and warm. Honey, tobacco, leather, smoke and vanilla.
A great entry door in the Caroni world, if you want to taste a Caroni quietly in your sofa tonight, this one will fill without any doubt. I also like the contrast between heavy-bodied rums & reductions, it fits quite well.
Blackadder Raw Cask Caroni 1997-2015 (63.1% , 238 bottles)
Colour: Dark gold.
Nose: I love this kind of fruity Caronis… of course it’s more powerful than the previous one but it has also some lightness. Caramelized pineapples, mangoes, blood oranges, cake dough, leather, Granny Smith apples, cinnamon, rubber, tires and some sourness.
Mouth: Nice oily texture and the first sip is a punch in your face. That’s some serious heavy Trinidad stuff. Mangoes, roasted pineapples, chilies, wood, tannins, pepper, tires, oil, fresh paint and bitter cocoa. Well balanced mouth but eh, this one is clearly not for the faint hearted.
Finish: Long and warm. Peppermint, vanilla, eucalyptus freshness, cocoa and some drying smoke.
That’s the kind of Caroni I use to like, the mouth is maybe a bit too bitter but that’s nuts aside from his qualities. Very nice selection!
Blackadder Raw Cask Caroni 1997-2017 (61%, 266 bottles)
Colour: Light copper.
Nose: We’ve something more structured, complex and slightly more mature than his younger brother. We still have fruity notes but with less exuberance. Pineapples, mangoes, strawberries, mint, buttered buns, olive oil, wood, tires, fuel, cocoa and lemons.
Mouth: It also feels more mature in mouth, that’s powerful as well but with more self-control. Polished wood, caramelized apples, almonds, hazelnuts, milk chocolate, glue, chilies, mint, tires, fuel, cocoa and grapefruits. The Caroni signature aromas are more present but it doesn’t overwhelms the rest at all. It’s very complex.
Finish: Long, warm and slightly bitterish. Peppermint, burnt wood, vanilla cream and grapes.
Wow, that’s really hard to decide which is better among those two Caroni’s, they have their own pros and cons but I really enjoyed them both. I’ll take a bottle of each please!
This one has an extra point because of its complexity, it has more depth.
I assure you, I didn’t taste the 10 rums the same day! Overall, I wasn’t disappointed by Blackadder selections at all, they seems to be very consistent in the quality of their bottlings, we had some serious stuff. It was a true pleasure for me to discover more bottlings from them.
I’m still looking forward to taste the St. Lucia 1999, Hampden 1990, Port Mourant 1975, Enmore 1992, Fiji 2001,… so if you have one of those please pm us on Facebook.
I hope we’ll see more Blackadder rums in 2021, cheers!
Discover those rums on the Rum Tasting Notes app