While India has a long history of rum-making, Camikara is India’s first cane juice rum made with the sugarcane grown in the country. (Much Indian rum is made from molasses or jaggery, which is a hybrid of cane sugar and other sweeteners.) The name Camikara means “liquid gold” and derives from Sanskrit. After distillation, the rum is aged for 12 years in American oak. The weather in India hits extremes even bolder than the Caribbean, so 12 years there represents serious time in cask. The angel’s share was steep on this one, with only 6.6% of the original distillate remaining in the barrel after aging. While an 8 year old rum is on the way, today let’s dig into the 12.
Camikara 12 Years Old pours beautiful amber gold in the glass. It is made without any additional coloring, flavoring, or sugar, and the brilliant hue speaks to its lengthy time in wood. The nose is lovely with clean sugar cane notes overlapping caramel, generous ginger, vanilla, and honey. The palate follows suit: Honey comes first, followed by caramel, ginger, vanilla, and orange zest. These notes are not overly different than what we might find in a well-aged Caribbean rum. Midpalate, the wood asserts itself with some drying tannins coming to the fore, and a bit of an alcohol bite follows. It’s a high proof rum, so this is to be expected, but the heat took me a bit by surprise. The finish is a bit shorter than I would like, but it remains pleasant as the complex notes fade. Altogether, this is a delicious first effort for Camikara. I’m excited to see what comes next.
A- / $90 / camikara.com