I’ve had this rum for a few weeks now and have been holding off opening it as I felt that it deserved a bit of an occasion. Well I return back to working away from home tomorrow after a wonderful three week break, so I suppose that’s as good as an occasion as any. It’s the Hoochery Distillery, Single Barrel Selection, Ord River Rum. Bottled at barrel proof of a gnats ball-hair under 65%, I knew this needed some kind of respect. I already have an Ord River 40% and that had a massive flavour profile so I knew that this one was going to take some wrangling with.
It’s distilled, aged and bottled in the Kimberly region of far north Western Australia. High in the tropics and one of Australia’s last frontiers full of Crocodiles. I get a feeling that owner and distiller Spike Dessert isn’t thinking about urban city types when he bottles his rums. These are rums for people who don’t mess about and certainly don’t sip on Mocha Locha Chai Latte’s.
The bottle has that satisfying wax seal which always seems a shame to break. The aroma from the bottle surprised me in that it was very pleasant. Quite sweet and almost “homely” I poured a slug forgetting it’s high proof (The aroma gave me a false sense of security I think). A sniff from the glass and again that lovely warm homely smell. I could smell worn leather Winchester couches in a library full of antique books. A roaring log fire and plenty of wood. Gorgeous. Then I took a sip of it…neat… Nice, warming, slightly sweet then BANG!!!! Holy SH*T!!! This stuff kicks like a wild donkey with a tooth ache!
There was no way I’d be able to manage this at this strength and I gave it a good dash of water and a couple of cubes. Ahhh thats better and more manageable. I felt like I’d just been served a lesson in respect and maybe put back in my place and reminded that I live in the gentrified city and have no business messing about with things from the Outback. The water and ice calmed it down to my level and opened it up nicely. Now that it was much more user friendly I sat back and began to enjoy the flavours and complexity. Lots of woody notes but not overly oaky, smokey and comforting. A slight sweetness in the mouth which grows drier as time goes on. The finish is very aniseed and it lingers forever. Another Aussie winner. I really hope that these rums become available to the rest of the world.