Brand: Bapt & Clem's
Origin: Trinidad Distillers Ltd, Laventille, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Age: 4 years
Finish: ex-Bourbon, ex-Sauternes, ex-Sherry
Despite not being one of the big independent bottlers, I've got a soft spot for Bapt & Clem's rums. From Australia to Réunion and Trinidad, these rums have some unique origins that spend time in a variety of different wine casks.
This Bapt & Clem's release is a Trinidadian rum that comes to us from Trinidad Distillers Ltd, or TDL. Produced via column still, this rum was aged for 4 years in total; according to the pamphlet (with text in French), the rum spent "several years" aging at origin in ex-Bourbon barrels, before being transferred to the Darroze aging facility in Gascony.
There, the rum was finished in casks previously containing Sauternes wine, and Oloroso, Fino, and Manzanilla sherries, before blending. This sold me, given that I've been a fan of both Trinidad and sherry-matured rum lately. In total, there are 2,850 bottles of Angostura 4 years that came from this release.
Amber, medium clarity, medium viscosity
Butterscotch, vanilla, gummy fruit candy, carmelized marshmallow, sour grapes
Vanilla, strawberries in cream, dusty leather, soft mixed grapes, butterscotch
Medium, funky, soft, warming; oak, vanilla, butterscotch, maraschino cherry
Bapt & Clem's Angostura is a really fun rum, and does not shy away from the fact that it spent a chunk of time in sherry casks. Lots of musty fruit notes one would expect, along with leather, and softened mixed red and green grapes.
While I really enjoy this, I feel the notes of the TDL rum are almost entirely masked by the strong wine/fortified wine finish. Vanilla, butterscotch, and oak do come through, but only after searching for them amidst the other competing flavors.
It seems like sherry cask maturation/finishing is a rising trend in rums, with Foursquare releasing a number of sherry-matured rums lately, as well as Mount Gay's recent Sherry Cask Expression release for the Master Blender's Collection. Add this to the list of great sherry cask rums, as Darroze has done a fine job selecting, finishing, and blending this 4 year rum.