Origin: Mhoba, Malelane, South Africa
Finish: ex-Peated Whisky
My sample today comes to me via a game of rum telephone: this rum is actually an experimental batch of Mhoba rum that was given to a friend of a friend by Knud Strand, mostly known as a spirits enthusiast who has connections to the folks at Mhoba.
The South Africa-based Mhoba rum distillery has impressed many with its unique profile of cane juice-based rum, sometimes utilizing high-ester production methods or staves of endemic wood varietals. While not much is known about this batch of rum we're looking at today, it does fall in line with the inventive spirit of the distillery.
This rum was originally distilled via Mhoba's pot still, then aged for an undetermined amount of time in ex-peated whisky casks; it's possible that this batch spent time aging in glass demijohns with staves of American oak, similar to Mhoba's aged expressions. This was bottled at a strength of 66.8% ABV.
White gold, low viscosity
Crushed sugarcane, Expo marker, pineapple juice, slight white wine vinegar, honey, smoke
Sugarcane, peated smoke, pineapple rind, vanilla, heat, Great Grains cereal
Medium, smokey, bitter; peat smoke, eucalyptus, rye chips, cereal, hint of pineapple
This is an interesting rum; and I truly mean interesting, not a euphemism for "I don't like this but won't say that". Granted, I'll also say that I don't think this is the rum for me, and that's coming from someone who loved the Holmes Cay Mhoba dearly.
On the nose, this is pretty close to the HC Mhoba, with lots of crushed sugarcane notes, pineapple, a hint of vinegar, and stinging Expo dry erase marker. The smokiness only comes through for a brief moment at the end.
Taking a sip, the heavy peat smoke is only slightly held back by the initial rush of sugarcane notes, which is enjoyable, but soon overwhelmed by the peat. Other notes detectable through the smoke include pineapple rind, vanilla, and Great Grains cereal. Even after resting, there's a good bit of heat on the palate.
Overall, this isn't undrinkable, and others may enjoy this; I'd wager if you have a Grander Islay/Peated finished rum, you may enjoy this one. For me, the peated whisky cask is a little too intense a flavor, and I'm not sure it works too well with the Mhoba rum itself.