Follow Your Nose (It Always Knows)

While I know we're living in a single malt, single distillery, single barrel world, the best spirits I've tasted in my lifetime have always been blends of some sort. That goes for both whisky and rum. There are some great single barrel rums out there (and we've got more coming from Golden Devil later this Fall), but when a rum is blended, both from different styles of rum as well as different distilleries, the potential for complexity and pure deliciousness goes off the charts. The perfect example? The new Cadenhead Classic Rum, a "product of the West Indies." Made with heavier rums, the result is something in between Appleton, Mount Gay, and El Dorado with loads of richness and the essence of pot still funk, but with no additional coloring or sugar. At 100 proof it's bold enough to mix, but you're probably going to be sipping this because it's that heady and delicious. I would buy twenty bottles if I had the extra cash sitting around, mainly because of how much I miss the Cadenhead's Green Label edition I dug out of the old Preiss Imports inventory a while back. This new Classic expression is pretty much an updated version.

I don't really follow the UK and European markets these days, but David OG has assured me that the Cadenhead has already sold out in Europe, so it appears I'm not alone in my adoration. Cadenhead, if you didn't know, is Springbank distillery's independent bottling wing and they have quite the reputation for quality both with their ancient stocks of whisky and their prowess for blending. But you'll know you made the right decision just by nosing a glass of this rum. It's spellbinding and it showcases the best parts of the various Caribbean styles in equal portions. We've got plenty in stock for the time being, but I wouldn't take your eye off the ball here:

Cadenhead's Classic 100 Proof Caribbean Rum $49.99 - The splendid Cadenhead's Classic Rum is finally stateside. The 2017 bottling of this famous old label has already sold out in Europe and won't likely be around here for very long either. An essential expression of English style blended Rum is arrives already firmly in the upper echelons of the rum hierarchy. The special William Cadenhead's Co is Scotland's oldest independent bottler and currently owned by J&A Mitchell of Springbank fame. They've got an incredible stock of old Demerara rums and this is a special blend of rums from throughout the Caribbean is easily one of the finest examples of the nearly lost style of heavy blended rum. They've done wonderful work here offering product of great depth and complexity with rums between 5 and 10 years old. There's absolutely no sugar or caramel added. Deep toasty nose of boiling brown sugar, heady exotic spice and dense pot distilled spirit. The palate is rich and mouth filling with tons of sweet and funky rancio flavors and a big bold kick to finish. It wouldn't hurt to add a drop of water if sipping neat and there's no doubt this will shine in a number of classic cocktails.

Get ready for the Royal Standard later next week, a white blend that furthers my opinion about blended rum on all fronts. 

Meanwhile, I'm off to Mexico tomorrow to buy some Tequila so check back for my reports from the road.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll