Jamaican rums: Clarendon, Monymusk, Long Pond, Arcade…

Jamaican rums: Clarendon, Monymusk, Long Pond, Arcade…

Six rums today, but we’ll limit ourselves to Jamaica. We have two Long Ponds, a Monymusk and two Clarendon bottlings. We finish this session with Arcade, an unaged blended rum from all five Jamaican distilleries.


Long Pond 21 yo 2001 (51%, Precious Liquors for Auld Alliance 2022, cask #6, 268 btl.)

Nose: high esters and relatively fruity, with unripe pineapples and bananas. Gentle apples. Some grassy notes and whiffs of agave. Then olives and tar come forward, as well as herbal notes and eucalyptus. Varnish on top.

Mouth: this comes accross a lot younger (perhaps due to its continental ageing). A fairly neutral profile showing some of the Jamaican funk (olives, light tar) but not much. Then there’s this subtle hint of stewed fruits and green banana. Most of it revolves around grassy notes, liquorice and a vague sweetness.

Finish: nice length, rather clean and easy going.

Quite a neutral Long Pond: I expected more funk. Mind that it’s not a bad example in any way, it just seems a little thin and restrained. Let’s see how this compares to a sister cask in the Colours of Rum series.



Long Pond 21 yo 2001 (56,4%, The Colours of Rum 2022, cask #4, 245 btl.)

Long Pond 2001 - The Colours of RumNose: perhaps a little more closed at first (higher ABV) but otherwise very similar. Fairly shy, unripe fruits. Overdue bananas, hints of varnish and fresh grassy notes.

Mouth: more of this restrained fruitiness, mixed with liquorice, plenty of esters and grassy notes. Menthol freshness, some pine needles and white pepper. Seemingly spicier than the Precious Liquors bottling, with a brighter banana note as well.

Finish: slightly longer, with more of this spicy banana lingering on.

Overall this is really similar, but the profile seems slightly more complex here. Still available from the Colours of Rum website or Master of Malt for instance. Score: 87/100



Monymusk ‘MBK’ 1998 (54,8%, Rest & Be Thankful for Kirsch Import 2022, American oak cask #27845, 133 btl.)

Monymusk 1998 - Rest & Be Thankful - Kirsch ImportNose: more classic and forthcoming, I’d say. Earthy notes, fresh pine needles, but also green olives and light tar. Light varnish, as well as ginger and pineapple. Maybe a hint of pear. Again a little tame in terms of ester levels and funky notes, but everything is there.

Mouth: now quite spicy, with a saline edge and the sourness of lemon and grapefruit underneath. Hints of bananas. Then more towards liquorice and herbs, as well as star anise, ginger and clove. Wood resin and a hint of dark chocolate in the end.

Finish: rather long, going back to earthy notes.

This still doesn’t reach the expected ester levels, but it’s a rich Monymusk nonetheless. Great balance. Still available in a few German shops. Score: 89/100



Clarendon 25 yo 1997 (63%, Rum Sponge 2023, refill rum barrels, 124 btl.)

Clarendon 1997 25 Years - Rum Sponge 20Nose: rather volatile, with plenty of glue and varnished boats. Roasted sesame, soy sauce. Then eucalyptus and fir needles. A lot of herbal extracts too, say thyme and rosemary. Menthol and tar. Hints of cigars in the background.

Mouth: massive ester power with a big medicinal character. A heavy mix of black olives, liquorice and pine resins. Wee salty notes, hints of kerosene and pencil shavings. Later also a tart fruity note.

Finish: long and tarry, with more salty liquorice and black olives.

A great powerhouse, with heavy flavours but also nice flashes of fruits. I found it rather drinkable too, even at 63%. A lovely drop. Sold out from Decadent Drinks but LMdW still has a few bottles. Score: 91/100



Clarendon 26 yo 1995 (65,7%, The Colours of Rum 2022, American oak cask #433947, 260 btl.)

Clarendon 1995 - Colours of Rum 433947Nose: starts on cigar boxes and slightly musty cupboards. Then brighter notes come out: mint leaves, sour plums, with lychee in the background. Light grapefruit and hints of rancio. Whiffs of pine resin, apple vinegar and pencil shavings in the distance. Very aromatic.

Mouth: quite extractive and sharp. At first it’s all about pine wood, menthol and heavy liquorice. Peppery notes and roasted nuts, with a herbal bitterness. A few drops of armagnac. Then there are flashes of pineapples and papaya but they stay in the background. Plenty of briney esters.

Finish: long, on menthol and lots of oaky notes. Salty hints and petrol too.

This is EMB  – Bog Estate style rum. The estate closed in the 1940s but Clarendon kept its style alive. Quite heavy and sharp (not unlike Long Pond) so not for beginners. A lovely marque though. Score: 90/100



The next rum is also Jamaican, but it is an unaged blend of multiple distilleries: Long Pond, Hampden, New Yarmouth, with smaller parts of Clarendon and Worthy Park. This comes at a monstrous strength of 75% ABV. I once had a George T. Stagg and Belgian Owl above 70% but this is a new personal record.


Arcade – unaged Jamaican rum (75%, Swell de Spirits for V&B 2022, 500 btl.)

Arcade unaged Jamaican rum - Swell de Spirits - V & BNose: some solventy notes, banana candy and sweet (tinned) pineapple. Quite full-bodied even though the profile itself is not very wide. Hints of aniseed and light esters. There’s a syrupy edge to it, which seems to balance the fierce alcohol.

Mouth: again quite full-bodied. The extreme ABV is not impossible to enjoy. Hints of liquorice and tapenade, with overripe bananas and vague hints of pineapple. A lot of herbal notes and camphor take over after a while, becoming almost medicinal.

Finish: long, with more of this (slightly bitter) herbal character and hints of anchovies.

A funny bottling. Complexity is limited of course, there’s not much funk to be detected, and I’m not sure the extreme ABV is really necessary. More of a curiosum in my opinion, how could you ever down a full bottle? Score: 82/100