6 Rums: Black Tot, Uitvlugt, Clarendon, TDL, Martinique

6 Rums: Black Tot, Uitvlugt, Clarendon, TDL, Martinique

We start this session of assorted rums with the fourth edition of Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve. As always it comprises spirits of different ages, from Trinidad, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana and Grenada as well as their perpetual reserve blend (around 20%). This year the special accent (2.7% of the recipe) comes from a 29 year old Grenada rum produced at an undisclosed distillery. Check out our review of the Master Blender’s Reserve 2022 in comparison.


Black Tot Master Blender’s Reserve 2023 (54,5%, OB 2023)

Nose: oranges and charred pineapple against a backdrop of tar, liquorice and industrial oils. Then sandalwood, black tea and caramelized nuts. Cloves and cinnamon, as well as light whiffs of nail polish remover and dried fruits. Nicely aromatic, not too heavy but still offering a good sense of Navy rum.

Mouth: liquorice, herbal tea, orange peels and marmalade. A heavy mouthfeel but also a refreshing lightness. Then caramel sweetness sets in, with toffee, pecan nuts and a little baked banana. Tarry notes that reminds us of Caroni. Peppercorns and chocolate too, as well as walnuts and nutmeg.

Finish: medium length, on dark caramel, black tea, orange peels and raisins.

A nicely complex rum which manages to keep the middle between caramel sweetness, herbal freshness and more austere, industrial elements. Available from The Whisky Exchange or TyndrumWhisky among others.


Now two Uitvlugt 1991 releases. One is the first bottle of the Tsuki no Hyakushi series, 100 aspects of the Moon. The series is a selection of craft rums and single malt whiskies curated by Stefan Van Eycken.


Uitvlugt 31 yo 1991 (52,6%, Precious Liquors ‘100 Aspects of the Moon’ 2023, 205 btl.)

Uitvlugt 31 Years - Precious Liquors Nose: rather heady, on iodine, grapefruit peels, leafy notes and a dusty, youngish kind of wood. Also pears and lemon balm. Then caraway and ginger cake. Mentholy notes, ink and green olives too.

Mouth: still this dusty note, with varnish and olive brine. Drops of camphor oil and herbal potions. Hints of gherkin brine, lime juice, a little plastic and grassy touches. Green peppercorns, including a few tannins and hints of bitter almonds.

Finish: quite long, on wood shavings, citrus fruits, toffee and a light salty touch.

Really good and very drinkable, with above average complexity, but as often I find Uitvlugt rather focused on woody elements. Score: 89/100



Uitvlugt / Port Mourant 30 yo 1991 (62%, Distilia ‘The Golden Age of Piracy – Bellamy’ 2022, cask #2, 278 btl.)

Uitvlugt 30 Years - Bellamy - Distilia Nose: a similar profile, highlighting the slightly rougher and woodier notes. Dusty leaves, old cupboards with dried herbs and hints of lemon peels. Plenty of green spice and black tea. Slightly fragrant hints of apricots in the distance, but they fail to stand out.

Mouth: rather woody and tart. Of course the high ABV makes it punchy. Green spice, hints of dried herbs and echoes of dried fruits. Just a hint of olive brine and varnish. After a while it turns to bittersweet notes.

Finish: rather long, with toasty notes, some dried fruits and herbal drops in the end.

Since there’s always this woody side, I seem to like old Uitvlugt better when the alcohol is a bit more subdued. Compared to the excellent Long Pond 1983 or Caroni 1999 this is a slightly less convincing pirate. Score: 87/100



Clarendon 10 yo 2011 (Monymusk) + 2013 (EMB) (57,1%, Rum Sponge 2023, refill rum barrels, 250 btl.)

Clarendon 10 Years - Rum Sponge Nose: ah yes, pure Jamaican style. Very fruity actually, lots of overripe bananas with hints of pineapple and even physalis? A little acetone, as well as whiffs of vanilla cake and icing sugar. Sour brine, hints of grapefruits and olives.

Mouth: a peppery onset, with more pineapple, banana and juicy pear. Then minty notes, some grass, candied ginger and vanilla. Funky esters, sure, but very drinkable. Lime cake, lemonade and light resinous notes, with growing spice towards the end.

Finish: medium length, back to pepper, a hint of tar.

Rather straightforward Clarendon with a youthful vivacity, but the combination of two styles adds balance and depth. Great quality at an affordable price, so pretty much a no-brainer in my opinion. Available from Decadent Drinks or Master of Malt for instance. Score: 90/100


The next one is a young rum from a country that gets less attention from indie rum lovers: Martinique. It was distilled in 2013 but only put into (French) oak casks in 2018. Hence an age statement of 4 years.


Martinique 4 yo 2013 (58%, FRC 2022, French oak, 200 btl.)

Martinique 4 Years - FRC Nose: dusty apples mixed with a Côte d’Or banana filled milk chocolate bar. Some caramel coated walnuts, with rich oaky layers as well. Then mocha ice cream and hints of lemon peels.

Mouth: caramel sweetness, citrus freshness and a generous dose of woody notes. Still this peculiar hint of dusty yellow apple and a lot of cocoa. Brown sugar sweetness and mashed banana too. Then quite a lot of Mokatine candy and a bittersweet edge towards the end.

Finish: quite long, still hints of coffee candy with some coppery hints.

If you only look at the age statement, then this would seem uninteresting. However it certainly exceeds our expectations. Quite aromatic and rounded, a good affordable all-rounder. Still available from different German retailers. Score: 86/100



TDL 12 yo 2009 (64,5%, Swell de Spirits 2022, bourbon cask + rum cask finish, 317 btl.)

TDL 2009 - Swell de Spirits Nose:
plenty of pastry notes, with hints of coconut cream, banana candy and vanilla milkshake. Apples, maybe pineapple on syrup too. Then plenty of baking spice, with oaky notes and mint. A light meaty and rubbery touch as well? Not entirely what we expected from TDL, maybe the palate proves us different.

Mouth: fruitier. Bananas, hints of oranges and mango. Vanilla marshmallow. A lot of wood again, alongside salty brine, milk chocolate and cinnamon. Still a bit of coconut and baked apple, with mintiness and some bitter almond. Rubber keeps appearing. Interestingly different.

Finish: quite long, on spiced chocolate, with this combination of vanilla and milky notes staying strong.

Strangely high on vanilla notes and banana candy. Lately we have a sweet spot for TDL but this doesn’t really fit. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good rum, adding a few drops of water makes it better still. A few bottles left at Master of Malt. Score: 84/100