Review: Charbay Double Aged Rum (2018)
Back in 2005, Charbay launched its first rum, 100% copper pot distilled from Hawaiian and Jamaican sugar cane syrup. Now, in 2018, that rum is back on the market, with the same formula and again at a scorching cask strength — though today it’s at 137 proof vs. the original’s 136.8. The rum is aged for 5 years in stainless steel, then transferred to used French oak barrels for another 3 years. It is bottled uncut and unfiltered.
We last tasted this rum in 2016. Fresh tasting notes from the 2018 release follow.
As with the prior release, this is outright scorching at full proof, and hard to approach even to nose. It’s big with butterscotch and buttery popcorn notes, and I get some allspice (vs. 2016’s straight cinnamon) too. There’s ample medicinality here, and some petrol, too. On the palate, you can’t get much at full strength, as those raw petrol notes offer a harshness that the sweeter components can’t really cut through. Water tempers the affair, showcasing the inner, tarry/mushroomy funkiness of pot distilled rum, alongside notes of gunpowder and dusky spices. Sweetness hangs on for while — akin to butterscotch candy — with some very dark chocolate notes (in the neighborhood of the licorice I mentioned in the prior review) lingering on the back end, mingling with those earthier elements.
I was surprised to find that I didn’t like this release nearly as much as I did previously, considering that it should be essentially the same juice. However, today I’m finding it a bit less balanced, its powerful flavors at odds with one another, knocked around a bit by a surfeit of alcohol.