Black Tot is Speciality Drinks’ blended rum brand, inspired by the Royal Navy’s tradition of perpetual blending. Last year they presented the first (2021) Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve.
For the 2022 Master Blender’s Reserve, they drew inspiration from historical rums. At the heart of this release is their perpetual blend, further matured in ex-Sherry casks. This reserve was then married with components from four countries: Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados. It’s a complex blend with rums between 2 and 30 years old. More details about the recipe are available on the Elixir Distillers website.
Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve (54,5%, OB 2022, 6000 btl.)
Nose: on the darker side, with tropical notes and balanced esters. Barbecued pineapple mixes with warm orange and ripe bananas. Cinnamon, chocolate and brown sugar. Then a clear Caroni-like element comes forward, with some petrol and tarry hints. Liquorice and all-spice. Then also fresh herbs and marmalade, with a lightly varnished edge.
Mouth: full-bodied, showing a nice overview of darker rum notes. Starting with oak spice, liquorice and nutmeg, later moving to stewed banana, demerara sugar and chocolate. Then hints of black tea, oak char and light tarry notes. Cinnamon sticks and aniseed. Raisin sweetness underneath. There’s a lot going on but it finds a nice balance.
Finish: long, with more cinnamon and spiced chocolate, aniseed, dry tobacco and ripe fruits.
A well structured rum blend, with some heavy Trinidad style at its base, I would say. A nice tropical fruitiness and dark sweetness add extra layers. Overall this historic blend is complex while keeping it drinkable. Success. Available from The Whisky Exchange.