Rare Rum Tasting at Wax Jambu

Last month BarLifeUK popped into Wax Jambu to try some rare and unusual rum’s courtesy of John Barrett of Bristol Classic Rums.

Upstairs at Wax Jambu on Upper Street in Islington is home to the Rum Cove a room and bar dedicated to all things rum and the perfect setting for a unique rum tasting. This evening the room was filled with bartenders, rum bloggers, rum fans and even some guy in a funny hat calling himself Burrell.

We were all there to try 7 rums from the selection of 18 that Bristol Classic Rums currently have on their books. The man behind the company John Barrett travels the world tracking down rare barrels of rum to bring back to the UK, bottle up and offer to bars and private collectors.The rums we were lucky enough to try

The 7 rums we tried were massively varied and gave a great example of the different styles and flavours of rums out there to try.

Finest Mauritius Can Juice Rhum, distiller at ‘La Bourdonnais’
This Rhum Agricole style of rum has to be called Cane Juice due to it hailing from Mauritius but in taste is very much from the Rhum Agricole family. John suggested it with tonic although it soon became apparent this is a favourite serve of his for most rum.

Fine Barbados Rum, distilled in 2003, Foursquare distillery
Made using a combination of column and pot stills this rum is aged for 2 years in used bourbon barrels in Barbados before being moved to the UK for another 7 years aging.

Reserve Rum of Peru, 8 years old
The most unusual of the rums we tried all evening this Solera style of rum is once again aged in used bourbon barrels but you would swear blind it’s a peaty scotch whiskey on both the nose and taste. The strangest tasting rum I have ever tried, if you put it in a blind tasting of Islay whiskies it would fit in perfectly.

Jamaica Rum 2002, Vale Royal Wedderburn
The difference in flavour of this rum comes from the aging process. Instead of bourbon barrels this rum is aged in 20 year old Cognac barrels giving it a very unique taste.

Port Morant Demerara Rum 1999, Port Finish, Guyana
One of three Port Morant rums Bristol Classic Rums have on their books along with a 1990 and 1980. Its aging takes place for 18 months in used port barrels, a technique John is not convinced by.

Finest Trinidad Rum Caroni 1996
Caroni Distillery is no longer open making this a difficult rum to get your hands on. This column still rum is also aged in used bourbon. We were then lucky enough to try another Caroni from 1974 which was aged for 34 years on the island in bourbon barrels (and ‘whatever else they had to hand’) before being bottled in 2008.

Bristol Black Spiced Rum
We finished off the tasting with John’s own take on the current spiced rum trend. With a base of Caroni 4 year old and Mauritius Rhum Agricole style it was very different to most of the Spiced Rums currently on the market. The group noted Christmas Pudding flavours mixed with salt and liquorish. I would imagine it working very well in a hot warming winter spiced rum punch.

We finished off the evening enjoying a couple of Rum & Tonics and chatting with John. It was a great opportunity to try some very distinctly different rums and a special thanks to John as well as Jimi and the Wax Jambu team for organising it.

Keep an eye on the Wax Jambu Facebook page for other events taking place.