Review: Case 1 Rum Port Cask Finish

Review: Case 1 Rum Port Cask Finish

We first introduced you to the rums of Old Line Spirits last summer with their unique Single Malt Cask Finish. Since then, its Navy veteran founders, Mark MacLaughlin and Arch Watkins, have decided to rebrand their entire rum line with the Case 1 moniker. I’ll let Old Line explain that one:

In Naval Aviation the term Case 1 indicates ideal daytime flying conditions at “The Boat” (i.e., the aircraft carrier). Arch and Mark have never lost the taste for adventure and the thrill of experiencing new ports-of-call. And nothing could ever beat the Case 1 launch from ship-to-shore ahead of a port call – if you’re lucky enough to be the one scheduled for that flight! The Case 1 brand taps into the feeling of sipping a drink with your friends in a warm and friendly port with the daily requirements of everyday life drifting farther and farther away…

The new Case 1 rum offerings include an Original, Navy Strength, and this offering, Port Cask Finish, which is aged for eight years and finished in ex-Port wine casks for an undisclosed period. Let’s check it out.

The Port finish on this one is unmistakable and intense. On the nose, a dark, winey note dominates. It’s not overly sweet, but the berry notes are jammy, bordering on overcooked. The rum itself feels lost inside all that stewed dark fruit with just a bit of molasses poking through. On the palate, things are even more dominated by the finishing, with a tart and sugary entry that’s redolent of oxidized wine and torched sugar. A thick brown sugar note studded with hints of tropical fruit arrives on the mid-palate and attempts to deliver a bit of balance before the finish rolls in, offering a gently warming conclusion that’s packed with more dark fruits and lingering notes of grape must, burnt sugar, and vanilla custard. Reminiscent of the Madeira Cask Single Malt, there’s just too much of the finishing cask at work here.

This is the first finished release under the new Case 1 label, but we’ll presumably see more, perhaps including a new version of the Single Malt Cask Finish that we tasted last summer. Distribution is in the works for several mid-Atlantic states, but for now, if you’re looking to snag a bottle of this one, you must visit the distillery in Baltimore. And also love Port.

100 proof.

B / $40 /

Case 1 Rum Port Cask Finish




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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