Sunday 30 October 2022

Dead Reckoning Rum: Independently bottled rum from around the World [Tasted #605 - 607]

We don't feature a lot of malternatives on the blog, but when we do, we prefer them to follow the same types of whiskies we typically like to drink - i.e. cask or higher strength, single cask, and/or independently bottled. So when Justin Boseley of Dead Reckoning Rum (IG) reached out recently, it only took a quick Google to learn this was the sort of malternative that ticks the TimeforWhisky boxes...

Justin runs La Rumbla Imports, a premium spirit store based in South Australia focusing on (you guessed it) rum, but also runs his own independent rum brand Dead Reckoning Rum, described as "An Australian Independent label specialising in master-mixed rum blends, single casks and some rare, forgotten ‘barn-finds’ of the Rum world".

Justin was kind enough to send through three samples of recent and upcoming releases, specifically:
  • Dead Reckoning Rum Mutiny - South Pacific Cask Strength 21 Year Old (65%)
  • Dead Reckoning Rum South Pacific Muscat Cask 10 Year Old (47%); and
  • Dead Reckoning Rum Mhoba - South Africa 2 Years 5 Months Old ex-Red Wine Cask (56%)

Being a relative newbie to rum, I hadn't heard of South Pacific Distillery, but a little Googling led me to learn it's from Fiji, owned by Coca-Cola, and has been bottled by other independent bottlers (Samaroli, Kill Devil etc..) previously. Whilst the distillery does release some of own bottlings at the younger end of the spectrum, it seems they didn't quite know what to do with some of the older stock they had on-hand, which is how Justin came to bottle the 21 Year Old featured here (due for release in November in Australia, $200AUD RRP).

Dead Reckoning Rum Mutiny - South Pacific Cask Strength 21 Year Old (65% ABV, 21yo, 100% tropical aged, 85-90% angels' share, 285 bottles, Fiji, $200AUD)
Colour: Deep burnished copper.

Nose: Grass-laden earthiness, stewed pears and peaches, along with banana & singed straw, funky, intriguing and inviting.

Palate: Big, mouth-filling Esthers give way to blackberry and blackcurrant notes, intense blackcurrant jubes, 85%+ dark chocolate and coffee beans then some black jelly babies. It’s big, very big, but not at all harsh. LOTS of flavour.

Finish: Long, dark chocolate coated coffee beans.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 90/100 (Martin). At 65% this could've just been an overly hot mess, but it's not at all. It's complex, full of flavour, big, and delicious.

Dead Reckoning Rum South Pacific Muscat Cask 10 Year Old (47% ABV, 10yo, 100% tropical aged, 50% angels' share, 1,240 bottles, Fiji)
Colour: Copper gold.

Nose: Esthers, grass, and a sweet fruitiness.

Palate: I get toffee at first, followed up by Sultanas and 70% Lindt Chocolate. These are big flavours, but they're refined, and at 47%, eminently drinkable.

Finish: Long, with slight oak tannins and coffee grounds.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 89/100 (Martin). I like this.

Dead Reckoning Rum Mhoba - South Africa 2 Years 5 Months Old ex-Red Wine Cask (56% ABV, 2yrs 5mths old, 21% angels' share, 377 bottles, South Africa, $170AUD)
Colour: Burnished copper-gold

Nose: Wow, instantly I just get huge amounts of blackcurrant juice, followed by some apple juice. It's intense, it's huge, it's obviously young, but it's packed full of flavour.

Palate: Big esthers, alongside fresh apple juice and juicy blackcurrants. I left the sample bottle half-full for ~2 weeks and after that oxidation, noticed some chocolate milk and caramel chews.

Finish: On the shorter side, with more blackcurrent and grape, hints of chocolate before ending in slight hints of drying oak.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 86/100 (Martin). Super unique, youthful and not overly complex, but definitely a well-made rum - tasty and in no way "harsh".

Thanks to Justin of Dead Reckoning Rum for providing these samples - definitely a brand I'll be keeping my eye on in the future.


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