Well that’s a long title isn’t it? If you know me you’ll know I love unadultered rums from the Port Mourant still so this is a real treat for me. The Port Mourant is a historical double pot still made out of greenheart wood. It’s very unique as there are only two other stills made from the same material and they all reside under the roof of Diamond Distillery in Guyana – you might be familiar with their flagship rum range, El Dorado.
Today I’m having a showdown between two different independent bottlings from the same company – Atom Brands.
Master of Malt was founded in 1985 as a small retailer and independent bottler. Also under the Atom Brands umbrella, That Boutique-y Rum Company was launched in 2018 as an independent bottler with funky colourful labels and smaller bottles (50cl). Both brands bottle spirits from various producers and do not add any sort of colouring or other additives.
Honestly I wasn’t aware Master of Malt had their own brand of bottlings, even less so rum ones, until I saw the rum ones released during Christmas. When I had a closer look I noticed they have similar if not the same specs as some Boutique-y Rum releases so I wanted to see if they are the same liquid.
I got these two Port Mourants as they look similar on paper, the only obvious difference thing being the ABV. The Boutque-y PM’s label mentions that it’s an AW marque which is a marque that was originally made at the former Albion Distillery so this would a recreation of that profile. The Master of Malt PM’s states both the distillation year – 2008 and the cask type – refill cask which the Boutique-y doesn’t reveal.
There’s no cross reference between the two besides the time spent in oak – I know the first batch of Boutique-y PM (the one I’m reviewing now is batch 2) was also distilled in 2008, but it was a different marque so it doesn’t say anything. Guess I just have to taste them both and compare… the work of a reviewer, eh?
There is a good chance the tasting notes will be similar so I apologise in advance if I repeat myself.
That Boutique-y Rum Company – Diamond Distillery Port Mourant, 11 Year Old (Batch 2)
Molasses based, wooden pot still distilled and aged for 11 years in unspecified casks – probably ex-Bourbon or rum refill casks, or a combo of both. Bottled at 56.4% ABV without any adulteration and 701 bottles available – mine is number 42.
On the nose it smells like the classic Port Mourant – shocking, I know. Black tea, saffron, banana bread and hazlenuts. Printer ink, white pepper, mango puree and liquorice. Its aroma is quite balanced and inviting. Muscovado sugar, floral honey, yellow apples and crystallised ginger. Pencil shavings, tobacco and cacao butter.
On the palate it becomes a little smokey as well. Liquorice, burnt wood, banana flambe, sea salt and ripe pears. Black pepper, ginger and some toffee. It has an oily mouthfeel with a touch of minerality. Earthy and floral as well. Canned mushrooms, dried apricots, cayenne pepper and blood rich in iron (I know…). The finish is long with liquorice and tea.
Master Of Malt – Diamond Distillery Port Mourant, 11 Year Old (2008)
Molasses based, wooden pot still distilled and aged for 11 years in a refill rum barrel. Bottled at 50% ABV without any additives with only 201 bottles as this is a single cask – this bottle is number 17.
On the nose it seems a bit sharper than the TBRC. Liquorice, cumin, banana bread and non-packaging cardboard. Gherkins, sea water and lime zest. This one feels more acidic and savoury so far. Canned mushrooms, saffron and a hint of ginger. Pencil shavings, tobacco and black tea with milk.
On the palate it tastes less spicy that the TBRC. Liquorice, banana sweets, menthol and black tea. Peat smoke, black pepper and a touch of raspberries. Seems a bit more bitter and less rounded than the previous one. Burnt cigar, dark chocolate, canned mushrooms and pickled peppers. The finish is long with black pepper, menthol and overripe banana.
This is quite a challenge, they’re not the same, but it’s not easy to pin-point exactly what makes them different. The TBRC PM seems a bit tammed, but it does have a touch more spice, perhaps because of the higher ABV – its profile is pretty moreish and consistent from the initial sip and towards the finish. The MoM PM has more of a smokey and savoury taste, but it lacks some spiciness – the profile of this one varies from initial to mid palate and seems a touch more unbalanced and wild.
I’m somehow relieved to see the rums are not the same given the fact that they are both basically bottled by the same company – not to mention the price difference. The That Boutique-y Rum Company PM is priced at £47 for a 50cl bottle and the Master of Malt PM bottling is just £45 for a full fledged 70cl which is quite the difference considering the amount of rum you’re getting with each bottle.
Both of them are great expressions of the Port Mourant rums, but I have to say that TBRC takes the lead by a pinch flavour wise for me – that being said, the MoM expression is undeniably better value for money. As far as I’m concerned none of the rums will last long as I find them delicious.
That Boutique-y Rum Company – Diamond Distillery Port Mourant, 11 Year Old (Batch 2) score:
Value for money: 14/15
Master Of Malt – Diamond Distillery Port Mourant, 11 Year Old (2008) score:
Value for money: 15/15