Brand: Raising Glasses
Origin: Trinidad Distillers Ltd, Laventille, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Age: 8 years
To wrap up the final installment of the hype-fest ahead of our session with Raising Glasses, we're reviewing the last of their original 2022 single cask releases. "Guardians" pays homage to two figures from Trinidadian folklore– Mama D’leau, who is a defender of the river waters, and Papa Bois, who lures poachers by posing as a deer, before crushing them to death.
Raising Glasses Guardians is an 8 year old beast of a rum– clocking in at 67.9% ABV. It was originally distilled at Trinidad Distillers Ltd. using one of their column stills; it spent 6 years aging in a first-fill ex-Bourbon cask, before being transferred to the UK for another 2 years of aging.
I have been loving high proof column still Trinidad rum lately, so let's dive right in.
Copper, medium clarity, medium-high viscosity
"Classic" bubblegum, tobacco leaves, mesquite BBQ, grilled peaches, underripe bananas, ethanol
Strawberries, raspberries, red apples, tobacco leaves, mesquite BBQ, paprika, cinnamon bark, vanilla cream
Long, warm, fruity, smoky; tobacco leaves, vanilla, red fruits, bubblegum
Holy smokes! This is a rum and a half, with tons of complexity as delivered by savory BBQ and tobacco, sweet and sour strawberries and raspberries, and spices like vanilla and cinnamon. While Guardians integrates the proof really well, it borders on being overbearing.
Classic bubblegum is first up on the nose and pokes through again at the finish, while tobacco leaves, red fruits, and spices like cinnamon, vanilla, and paprika are joined by savory and smokey BBQ notes. There is little subtlety in this rum, instead favoring a more "smack you over the head" approach with many of these flavors.
Personally, I would temper this down to ~60% ABV and I think it would be perfect. There's no problem with the high proof per se; we get plenty of flavor and complexity, but the strength can be overwhelming at times. In all, this is a ton of fun and another wonderful expression and a gem of a single cask selection by Raising Glasses.