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Travelling Without Moving With 1423s S.B.S Origin Selection

The Single Barrel Selection (S.B.S.) Origin series from 1423 is a wonderful initiative in my opinion. I’ll try to explain why.

 

Over the past five to ten years there has been increasing talk about rum marks and production techniques. Before, only a handful of mega geeks wanted to know about this type of thing. Hardly anyone was considering drinking high ester rum either. Now, almost every rum enthusiast, their neighbours and their dachshund named Colin are showing interest in all this. Some even see it as a medal of honour to be sipping 80% Hampden DOK. “I’m a tougher rum drinker than you are!” Always makes me chuckle.



To read about different marks and production techniques is one thing. Tasting them is another. Single mark releases have usually been aged, which is great. But……what does it taste like when it comes off the still? That’s the next step, and Denmark’s 1423 has given us an opportunity to add this to our rum tasting experiences. Well….almost. It is watered down to 57%, but we’ll let that one slide. 1423 owner Joshua Sing mentioned the following about the ABV:” There are two reasons for the 57% ABV. First, flavor. We wanted a high ABV where we believe the aroma and flavor shine and at the same time also have an ABV where they could all be the same. One of the rums we buy comes in at 58-60%, so this ABV at 57% made sure all could be the same.”


They’ve packaged the rum in beautiful black bottles. If that makes you think about certain Velier releases then you are right, as they do the exact same thing. Smart move from 1423, as we buy and taste with our eyes a lot, even if we don’t like to admit it. Not only does the bottle look good, it also hides the fact that this is white rum and not the more delicious looking darker colours from aged or coloured rum.


I believe these releases are mostly aimed at cocktail making. I see them more as very valuable educational tools myself. I’m going to rate them as sippers. However, in a little while I’ll put them in our next Big Daiquiri Challenge to see how they perform in that realm.

 

The Cast


1.       Jamaica Cane Juice – Worthy Park Estate – Cane Juice – Pot Still

2.       Jamaica WPH – Worthy Park Estate – Molasses – Pot Still – 240-360 gr/hL esters

3.       Jamaica TECA – Long Pond – Molasses – Pot Still – 1200-1300 gr/hL esters

4.       Jamaica TECC – Long Pond – Molasses – Pot Still – 1500-1600 gr/hL esters

5.       French Antilles Grand Arôme – Le Galion – Molasses – Column Still

6.       Dominican Republic Aroma Grande – A.F.D. (Acoholes Finos Dominicanos) – Cane Juice – Column Still – 500 gr/hL esters

 


Nosing


Jamaica Cane Juice

It’s grassy, grapes, pickles, quite herbal. Not sharp for its ABV.

 

Jamaica WPH

Slightly grassy, strong green olives, aged cheese, ripe banana, sugar cane, light raisins. It’s a tad metallic, which I tend to find in some rums from Worthy Park, like Rum Bar Overproof. After standing for a while I’m smelling a little bit of glue. It’s a very fruity nose.

 

Jamaica TECC

Wooohh, graveyard rum smell. Brown sugar, honey, glue, cinnamon, stewed pears, molasses, rotten vegetables, dusty dates and raisins.

 

Jamaica TECA

Graveyard chapter 2. Light freshly baked bread, nutty, caramel, red berries, light glue, cheese, black tea, light strawberry, sugar cane. Not as glue and rotten veg like as TECC, more on the fruity side.

 

French Antilles

Strong black olives, lots of brine, blue cheese, silver onions, smoked meat, orange, bandaid, pickles. It’s tart and a bit sour.

 

Dominican Republic

Very flat. Some raspberry candy, toilet cleaner, mint, rubbing alcohol, light rubber, light citrus. Quite unpleasant and everything very light. How is this grand arôme again?

 

Tasting


Jamaica Cane Juice

Grassy, slightly metallic, nutmeg, easy going balanced rum. Not super expressive. Not really a sipper for me.

 

Jamaica TECC

Thin-ish, bitter, olives, brine, mushrooms. It’s tart. Rotten something, not sure what exactly. Finish is long. Overall quite unpleasant.

 

Jamaica TECA

Thicker than TECC. Paint thinner, molasses, light petrol, raisins, citrus, light brine, overripe fruit. Finish starts sweet and then turns a little bitter. Works as a sipper.

 

Jamaica WPH

Molasses, olives, cheesy, pepper, light chocolate, pickles. Very balanced. I’d consider this a sipper candidate.

 

French Antilles

Meat, olives, cheese, bbq sauce, sugar cane, salty, tart and medicinal. My final tasting note was “weird”.

 

Dominican Republic

This is a tough one, as there really isn’t much going on. Yeah, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Some cotton candy, light rubber, light marzipan, aguardiente (Colombian), citrus. It’s dreadful. Might as well be Caldas.

 

Conclusion


Rating these as sippers might not seem fair to some people. However, why not? In a time where rum is appreciated more and more, I believe the untouched origins are becoming increasingly popular as well. It will take quite a bit more time for a larger audience to start buying these types of unaged releases, but I believe it will catch on.

Jamaica TECA, Jamaica WPH and French Antilles work well for me as sippers. Jamaica Cane Juice is close, but ultimately not expressive enough. I had higher expectations of that one. Jamaica TECC desperately needs to be rescued by a barrel, or a by a good blender. Quite unpleasant overall. If someone gave me a choice between this and a Hampden DOK, I’d choose the latter each and every time.


Lastly, the Domincan Republic. I’m not sure what’s Grand Arôme about it. It feels like a failed experiment to me. I’m guessing they tried some samples of actual GA rum, perhaps from Savanna, and thought they could easily mimic it. Well, they were wrong. Back to the drawing board for them! It’s very flat, alcoholy and plain dreadful. This distillery also produces Barcelo rums. To me these are light, unoffensive and uninspiring aged rums. They should probably stick to that.


I very much enjoyed going through these. It’s like going on a trip while remaining stationary in your living room. An exploration of worldly flavours. Kudos to 1423 for putting these on the market. I was quite tipsy towards the end of the tasting, but you don’t have to do six in one session of course. I’m really hoping to see some of these releases popping up in (rum) cocktail bars. They are brilliant tools for people who are creative cocktail makers. “A little bit of this flavour and a little bit of that flavour!” They are cheap as well and have a solid ABV, so there really is no reason not to have them in your bar.


Scores

 

Jamaica Cane Juice – Worthy Park Estate – 70

Jamaica WPH – Worthy Park Estate – 77

Jamaica TECA – Long Pond – 82

Jamaica TECC – Long Pond – 52

French Antilles – Le Galion – 77

Dominican Republic – A.F.D. (Acoholes Finos Dominicanos) – 38

 

Click here for info on the scoring method.

Click here for the complete list of reviews. 

 

PS: I’ve tasted the S.B.S. Origin Ecuador in a shop in Holland and liked it very much. I ended up not buying a bottle (unfortunately), but I did want to mention that it’s a good one.


PS 2: I never read other people’s reviews of a product before I taste and write about it, as I don’t want to be influenced in any way. This time, after I was done writing, I started browsing for some additional info about these releases. I stumbled onto Alexandru’s review of the Dominican Republic rum. His opinion on this one is very, very, very…..did I say VERY….different. Either he got an other batch or our palates are miles apart. Check his review here for an alternative opinion.

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