Brand: Transcontinental Rum Line
Origin: South Pacific Distilleries, Lautoka, Fiji
Age: 4 years
For only the second review of a Fijian rum, we come to my first bottle from the Pacific island: Transcontinental Rum Line Fiji 2014.
TCRL Fiji 2014 is a blend of pot still rums originally produced at the South Pacific Distillery, the most ubiquitous rum producer we see in independent bottlings. For this release, the rum was aged in presumably ex-Bourbon casks in Fiji for about 2 and a half years, before being sent to Europe for the remainder of its 4 total years of maturation. It was bottled by La Maison du Whisky at a strength of 48% ABV.
Golden, low viscosity
Underripe pineapple, salt water, paint primer, guava, Elmer's glue, starfruit
Underripe pineapple, green bell pepper, starfruit, salt water, guava
Medium length, bitter, fruity; oak, starfruit, paint primer, bell pepper, glue
I remember my first taste of this, as it was my first Fiji rum and I thought it was pretty wild: slight industrial funk, tropical fruit funk, and a bite of saltwater. Perhaps I've been spoiled by rums with a greater levels of funk, but re-tasting TCRL Fiji 2014, I find it falls a bit flat.
The entry is quite light, providing underripe pineapple, paint primer, glue, and guava on the nose, and that same pineapple mixed with green bell pepper and starfruit upon tasting the rum. The body itself is fairly light, and doesn't quite wrap itself up for the finish, but rather unravels into a ton of different tropical fruit, vegetal, and industrial notes for the finish.
Fiji 2014 is a young expression, and I could certainly see myself rating a longer-aged version higher. This makes me think that my approach to Fiji rum is similar to rhum agricole: it needs to be either higher proof and unaged, or at least medium-high proof and aged for 10 years or more for it to really hit the mark for me. This is a nice introduction to Fiji rum if this bottle is your first opportunity to try it, however in my opinion, better examples exist.