Cask 88 is well known as a Whisky broker and independent bottler, but the Edinburgh-based brand has entered new territory with their recently announced Rum Collection. Spanning three independently bottled single cask Rums, this is the company’s first foray into the Rum seas as they attempt to introduce Scotch Whisky drinkers to premium Rums from the Americas.
The new range includes Guyana 20 Year Old, Guyana 21 Year Old, and Nicaragua 19 Year Old. Sale of the new spirits began on Wednesday, August 12.
Distilled in 1999 and coming in at a hot 64.7% ABV, the Guyana 20 Year Old was aged in an ex-Bourbon cask. According to Cask 88, the nose has, “A strong first impression of dark Demerara sugar, which then shifts aside to reveal more subtle vegetal aromas, like agave or aloe sap.” The Rum “punches with fruity, tropical flavours,” on the palate, while, “A leading note of soursop and cherimoya fruits develops into the subtlety of asian pear and golden apples.” Only 55 bottles are available and will cost $196.50.
The Guyana 21 Year Old was also distilled in an ex-Bourbon cask, but was laid down a year earlier in 1998. The nose, “Draws you in with aromatic wood; sandalwood and white oak at the fore. A touch of vanilla. Sweetness follows, of orchard fruits and then barley sugars.” On the palate, “The flavours begin youthful, but the maturity of the spirit lingers on the palate afterwards. Sugar bubbles into rich caramel, developing a slight char. A charred oak flavour becomes almost leathery, and then leaves a gentle tingle of spices.” It comes at a slightly less steamy 60.9% ABV and there are only 149 bottles available, which cost $150.65 each.
Distilled at a menacing 66.6% ABV, the Nicaragua 19 Year Old was aged in an ex-Bourbon cask as well. It comes from Flor de Cana, which started operating in Nicaragua in 1890, and is based in the shadow of one of the world’s most active volcanoes, San Cristóbal. While it’s certainly a dangerous plays to have a distillery it does have the advantage of fertile volcanic soils, where they produce their sugar cane. It also happens to be the world’s first entirely carbon neutral distillery, using renewable energy, carbon capture and sustainable farming to produce their spirits.
As for tasting notes: “The aromas are dense and compacted together – overlapping layers of ginger cake, banana loaf and nuggets of crystallised pineapple. Woody aromatic notes follow: hints of cinnamon, vanilla and old, dry bookcase…Thick and sweet on the palate, with a foretaste of dried prunes, dates and baked apples. Every part of the palate gets washed in these flavours, and a citrusy sharpness breezes up the nose from the back. Then the ginger cake returns, cooked until dark and dressed with desiccated coconut. A background oakiness pervades throughout.”