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Privateer Rum Review - Distiller’s Drawer #10 & #27 & #28 - Queen’s Share P239

What more can I write about Privateer rum and Maggie Campbell?! They were already climbing the rum ranks at bullet train speed and now a Privateer Velier edition is coming out soon! Velier’s Luca Gargano is well known for his high quality releases from a wide spectrum of distilleries. I think it’s somewhat of an honour for a young distillery to have a rum under the Velier banner. It definitely won’t be bad for Privateer’s brand recognition. Can’t wait to try it!


Now that we are in COVID-19 times, everything seems different. One of the very positive things that has come out of this are the many video chat/interviews that are being done by important people in the rum industry. Luckily, Maggie Campbell is one of the most prolific ones. Every single episode she does is full of learning opportunities. She’s a walking distiller encyclopedia and clearly loves to share all that knowledge. If you are a rum enthusiast and not following her on social media yet, it’s time for change!


A fantastic example of her detailed knowledge is in this article about yeast that she did for Rum Revelations a little while ago. It’s quite the dive in the deep end of the fermenter!


I’ve previously written about Privateer, with more detail about the company. I won’t repeat that, but click here if you are interested in reading it. That time I tried three different expressions. Distillers Drawer #31 was my clear favourite. I’ve sampled a few other Privateer rums since and DD 31 is still #1 for me.


Thanks to rum friends Jeff and Meredith I have a few more to taste. Let’s see if any can catch DD 31!



The Cast

Distiller’s Drawer #28 – New England Bottled in Bond

Cask: New American Oak #3 Char, 24 month outdoor air season

Distilled: March 26, 2015 by Maggie Campbell

Age: 4 Years

Abv: 50%

Bottles produced: 224

Distiller’s Drawer #10 – Wolf Rum

Cask: New American Oak #3 Char, 24 month outdoor air season

Distilled: January 8th, 2015 by Maggie Campbell

Age: 2 Years and 9 months, 4 days

Abv: 62.4%

Bottles produced: 222

Donation: $1 per bottle donated to Wolf Hollow Preserve

Distiller’s Drawer #27 – Sirens’ Song

Cask: New American Oak #3 Char, 24 month outdoor air season

Distilled: November 9th, 2016 by Peter Newsom

Age: 2 Years and 4 months

Abv: 54.9%

Bottles produced: 221

Queen’s Share P239

Cask: Once used American Oak, previously used to age rum

Distilled: July 7th, 2015 by Maggie Campbell

Age: 2 Years and 8 months, 16 days

Abv: 56.2%

Bottles produced: 231


Nose


Distiller’s Drawer #28 – New England Bottled in Bond

Wood, orange peel, ripe banana, vanilla, light leather, caramel dessert. It’s soft and easy going. A very nice combination of wood and fruity notes. Pleasant nose.


Distiller’s Drawer #10 – Wolf Rum

Wood, vanilla, milk chocolate, dried fruit, nuts and marzipan. After nosing it for a long time I’m getting acetone and candle wax all of a sudden. Interesting twist! It’s not as heavy and slightly less expressive than #1


Distiller’s Drawer #27 – Sirens’ Song

Very strong on chocolate, reminds me of Christmas chocolates with an undisclosed boozy filling. There is wood, leather, molasses, cherry, licorice and some smoke. It’s on the light side and a bit salty. I’m not a fan.


Queen’s Share P239

Very delicate nose. Menthol, wood, vanilla, salted caramel, pencil shavings. It needs time to open up, but it is very pleasant.


Result of the nosing round is that I like DD 28 the best, with QS as a close second. DD 10 is a bit light for me and with DD 27 the chocolate is too dominating.

Taste


Distiller’s Drawer #28 – New England Bottled in Bond

Wood, vanilla, banana is quite strong and nice, some fruity sweetness, little bit of mint. Slight bitter note. Medium long spicy finish. Nice one.


Distiller’s Drawer #10 – Wolf Rum

Oak, boozy, sweetness, leather, vanilla, some white pepper. Far more interesting than the nose suggested. Grew on me over time. Probably the most balanced one of the 4 and with the longest finish.


Distiller’s Drawer #27 – Sirens’ Song

Chocolate is strong, oak, kind of smokey, some tobacco and cherry…..reminds me of boozy cherry chocolates. Finish is medium long. Not liking this at all. I couldn’t finish the sample.


Queen’s Share P239

Vanilla, wood, cinnamon, it’s nice and gentle, salty and smokey, quite a lot of nice wood spice, short but solid peppery finish. This is nice.

Conclusion


I have to say it’s quite a mixed bag, just like the last time. What’s different this time is that there is one I really don’t like. The Sirens Song is clearly not made for me. To me it’s like a heavy dessert rum, with chocolate and cherry notes being somewhat over the top. It’s quite far removed from what I think rum should taste like. Interestingly, when I discussed this with Maggie, she mentioned this being one of the rums that’s requested most. I can see it satisfying a more main stream palate (no disrespect whatsoever). Which can be seen as a good thing. After all, I’m probably part of the wacko 0.001% of rum drinkers who are of no importance to major sales.


I tasted everything twice in 2 different sessions. That made a difference, especially with DD 28 and DD 10. DD 28 was my favourite in the first seating. I even thought it was somewhat close to DD 31, but that changed slightly in the 2nd. DD 10 I found too light at first….it needed more time. Slowly became my favourite of the four. Quite expressive, powerful and complex for such a young rum. They came up with the name "Wolf Rum" as an ode to Dylan and Peter’s (two of Privateer's distillers) mom whose maiden name is Wolfram. Maggie said: "It is strong, powerful, and elegant just like her!"


Saving the Queen for last. I typically love bold, heavy rums. I struggle with delicate rums, hence why I barely ever drink Cuban rum. This one is delicate….but so nice. Drinking it has a calming and soothing effect on me. It relaxes me and makes me take the time to enjoy and study this velvety liquid. The longer you take, the better it gets. A rare example of a delicate rum I actually enjoy.


Riding on the Privateer train keeps on being fascinating. There are far more ups than downs and I keep looking forward to trying new releases. I’m hoping the next tasting will contain a rum that beats DD 31!

Scores


Distiller’s Drawer #28 – New England Bottled in Bond – 76

Distiller’s Drawer #10 – Wolf Rum – 80

Distiller’s Drawer #27 – Sirens’ Song – 50

Queen’s Share P239 – 77


Click here for info on the scoring method.


Click here for the complete list of reviews.

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