Apologies in advance for the lack of concrete information on today’s topic, but multiple independent rum bottlers all releasing 1994 vintage, 26 year old rum from a certain Jamaican rum distillery made me think it’s a good time to tackle this. I’ve already discussed four out of six of Jamaica’s remaining operational rum distilleries on Malt. Those four are Hampden, Worthy Park, Appleton and Long Pond. The remaining two are Clarendon and New Yarmouth.
Despite the rise in fame of Jamaican rum, the New Yarmouth distillery is still pretty unknown. This isn’t surprising because the distillery doesn’t bottle any rum under the distillery’s name. At first, I thought my introduction to this distillery was this bottling of Compagnie Des Indes New Yarmouth 12 year. But apparently, the first Jamaican rum I ever tried, the Wray & Nephew Overproof, comes or mainly comes from New Yarmouth.
For starters, New Yarmouth is the lesser-known sister distillery of Appleton. It was acquired with Appleton when Campari bought out J. Wray & Nephew in 2012. Like Appleton, it’s said to have pot and column stills. The more knowledgeable rum folks I know are sure that well-known brands such as the Wray & Nephew Overproof and Coruba are made here. Aside from these, not much else is surely known about the distillery.
Here are other things which sound almost certain but are still speculations about the distillery:
- The recipe for Wray & Nephew Overproof and Coruba has changed due to the rising demand of rum. It’s guessed that they used to be mostly column distilled rum. But now, it’s said to be only column distilled rum.
- With there being an idea of where New Yarmouth’s column distillates mostly end up, the main mystery left is what happens to the pot distillates. The most common guess is they end up with brokers and blenders. Which means brands of rum who source and blend rum, would probably have New Yarmouth rum in them.
- Aside from the speculation that New Yarmouth’s rum ends up with brokers and blenders, I’ve also heard some say it’s possible that Appleton rum has some New Yarmouth distillate in them.
The different bottlers I’ve seen that have released 1994 26 year old New Yarmouth rum are Singaporean-owned Malt Cane & Grain, Hunter Laing’s Kill/Golden Devil, Vallinch & Mallet, The Colours of Rum and Thompson Bros. I’ve heard that the story behind this is that a broker sold a bunch of barrels to Main Rum, and that these are all column distilled rum.
For those who don’t know, Main Rum is the one-stop shop for buying rum. They’re owned by E&A Scheer, who have been buying rum and other sugarcane-based spirits from all over the world for centuries. E&A Scheer mostly buys rum to blend. Main Rum mostly buys rum to age and sells them by the cask.
If this piece has made you more curious about New Yarmouth, check out this article for more historical info. This Single Cask Rum piece also shows a bit more information and a list of who else has bottled NY rum.
Compagnie Des Indes New Yarmouth 12 Years Old – Review
55% ABV. Distilled June 2005; bottled Aug 2017. Bottle 114/319. Barrel #JNY17. Bought in Japan in 2018 for around USD $90 to $100.
Color: Pale gold.
On the nose: Like stepping foot in the fruit section of a wet market. It’s refreshing and sweet. Despite the high ABV, I feel like I’m nosing a 46% ABV spirit. But it’s full and deep. I instantly think this is pineapple galore. There are medium aromas of canned pineapple chunks, pineapple-flavored candy, tepache, Taiwanese pineapple cakes, and ripe pineapples. In between and after this pineapple festival are light and brief aromas of brandied cherry juice, cherry-flavored candy, banana candy, soursop, peppermint, mint and pimento dram.
In the mouth: Not as fruity sweet and pineapple-y as on the nose. At the front are medium but lasting tastes of tepache, cane vinegar, ripe pineapples, soursop, brandied cherry-juice, cherry-flavored candy, mint, pimento dram and banana candy. The more I sip this, I start to realize this rum has lost its layers. It’s not a bad thing since the different notes just endlessly rotate and take turns.
A solid rum that I’d like to have more of on a regular basis. I love how the nose is different from the mouth; But both departments are full and expressive. The lack of an ethanol kick in both aspects is a huge plus as well.
It’s unfortunate that the distillery’s marque isn’t on the label. But I hope this profile is consistent regardless of factors such as marque and single cask or not. Because of how unavailable this is in the market, I think a lot of experienced Jamaican rum drinkers pause and think.
Despite the lack of legit sources, the abundance of pineapple flavors plus the vinegar notes make me think the distillery uses dunder and muckpits. It’s not as pungent as the Long Ponds and Hampdens I’ve tried, but I have to point out that most of the Long Ponds and Hampdens I’ve had were purely aged in Jamaica. While this one surely spent more time in the EU. The different climates will surely have affected the rum.