In this second part of my series on demerara rums i try out i`m going to write about Banks XM, OVD - Old Vatted Demerara and Samaroli Port Morant 1990.
BANKS XM ROYAL EXTRA MATURE DEMERARA RUM
Since the 1840`s, the D’Aguiar family have been in business in Guyana, its for over 150 years, and over the years this company`s rums have been awarded many accolades, including three outstanding awards at the International Wine and Spirits Competition for its 10 year-old rum and XM VXO, which won a double gold medal and a bronze award respectively.
Banks DIH buy rum in bulk, from DDL, and age, blend and bottle it at Thirst Park on the southern outskirts of Georgetown. DDL have several different stills, but they are all on one site. All Demerara rum is distilled at the DDL distillery at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
XM Royal Gold 10 Year Old is a superb aged demerara rum crafted by the Aguiar Industries master blenders. I can really vouch for this rums superior tastiness - its hands down wonderful. Its a creamy full bodied masterwork, very round, with lots of toffee-like flavor. So Yummy!
I`ve now heard its going to be sold in the US and i`m very happy for my demerara loving friends living there and all rum lovers, this is really a masterpiece of a demerara rum. There´s an excellent review of this rum over at Refined Vices.
I also have the 12 year old Millenium, a blend of aged demerara rums, very smooth and more refined in flavor than the 10yo, but it lacks the rounded “toffeeness” of XM10 and i prefer the 10, but its a very nice rum with a smooth and distinctive flavor.
Then we have XM VXO – famous for its unique smoothness, bouquet and aroma which i haven`t been able to try yet. Its crafted from rums aged for 7 years in Sherry casks and then the choicest casks are selected for blending XM VXO 7 year old.
XM is distilled at Diamond by DDL, and then aged and bottled by Banks/DIH outside Georgetown. Banks/DIH is a blender. The bottle is now sold with a new blue label.
So to summarize these 2 XM rums:
The XM10 is yummy, full bodied, round, with lots of toffee-like flavor, and on the sweet side, but with a little bite, a very pleasant rum.
The XM12 Millenium lacks much of that toffee-like flavor and is less sweet, a bit lighter and more refined, also very tasty.
O.V.D - OLD VATTED DEMERARA RUM
First time i tried this rum my thoughts immediately went to Lemon Hart 151. O.V.D has a lot of similar flavors but at 80 proof of course without that overproof bite and i also find it woodier and drier. I find its a very good mixing rum provided that not too much is used as the woodiness is very pronounced.
It adds a distinctive character to for example, tropical and Tiki drinks in the same way as LH151 does. Its nice for sipping as well provided you like this kinda woody rums and has a distinctive oaky aroma as it have matured for up to seven years in oak.
Its a blend of Demerara Rums made from sugar cane growing along the banks of the Demerara River. It is matured in Guyana, it’s full-bodied, mellow, woody and spicy, with some complex toffee flavours, rich on the palate, mellow finish and a hint of sweet molasses. O.V.D is blended from the finest demerara rums in the world, and matured in oak casks.
Originally Old Vatted was imported by George Morton from Guyana in 1838. Morton was a whisky bottler and blender – since recognized as Scotland’s leading rum specialist. Today the George Morton Company is a subsidiary of William Grant & Sons Ltd.
One thing that is very good about OVD is that its very reasonably priced, about the same price as XM10, just a bit hard to find.
Its said that Morton created Old Vatted Demerara rum especially for the Scottish palate…
OLD because its aged longer than most rums to obtain a mellow, rich and spicy taste and it has been imported to Scotland since 1838.
VATTED, because specially imported, top quality rums from Guyana are carefully vatted or blended to become consistent smooth, rounded and full-bodied.
DEMERARA, because it comes from the country in which the Dutch established the colony of Demerara. And its made from the very best sugar cane stock and the rums from this region are renown for being dark and aromatic and for their richness of flavour.
Producer: Demerara Distillers – www.demrum.com
SAMAROLI PORT MORANT 1990
Samaroli is an Italian independent bottler, a legendary whisky selector and famed for the exceptional quality of their releases and for their artsy, innovative labels and packaging.
In 1992, after a 12 years period of enquiries in the tropical places, Silvano S. Samaroli started with the bottling of special lots of Rum in Scotland. His first Rum became a very successful 1948 West Indies Dark Rum. This was the start of a growing portfolio. I´ve read there`s only 4 bottles left of that rum. At this moment there are several beautiful Rums available that bear the name Samaroli. Since the Rums are all from just 1 big or small cask, all products by Samaroli are limited editions.
I find my Samaroli Port Morant 1990 excellent. It has a very deep woody flavor with some peppery and tropical fruit notes accompanied by molasses and vanilla. Its naturally colored by aging. Its too rare to mix with too often, only 366 bottles were made, but it does make an outstanding Mai Tai when mixed with Banks XM10.
A pricey treasure indeed.
Any rum that is referred to as Demerara rum must be distilled in Guyana in the county of Demerara.