Ten To One, a blender of unique multinational rums, is out with its first reserve bottling, paying tribute to the company’s birthplace of Trinidad and Tobago. Ten To One Single Cask Reserve is a limited bottling of just four hand-selected casks of 17 year old Trinidadian rum.
Clearly well-aged with a rich nose that evokes leather, oiled wood, slick raisins, and spicy gingerbread, this is an evocative rum, albeit one which is filtered through the heaviness that comes with very old rums — showing notes of asphalt and tar, giving it a certain gritty (but not unwelcome) quality.
The palate’s a bit rough to start, with a touch of hogo despite this likely being a column-distilled rum. Overripe pineapple and lime leaf notes kick in soon and override any early booziness, and again a hefty leather note builds as the rum develops in the glass. Notes of tobacco and more of that gingerbread provide balance against the fruit, and the finish is surprisingly restrained on the whole. Burly and seductive, it’s a rum that admirably threads the needle between freshness and austerity, though you’ll certainly pay for the privilege to sip at it.