Review: Rum Swedes Jamaica 2000 & Guyana 2003 from Svenska Eldvatten

Svenska Eldvatten is a small and independent bottler of high quality spirits from around the world, based in Gothenburg and with a focus on whisky. However, on September 2 they released the first two bottlings of their new singel barrel series Rum Swedes.

First we have a Jamaican rum distilled in September 2000 at Hampden Distillery, aged in a bourbon barrel and bottled in June 2013. This release is 58,4% ABV and limited to 185 70 cl bottles.

Nose: Rather aggressive but pleasant notes of ripe figs, arrack and some smoky charred oak, baked pumpkin spice and some burnt rubber thrown in for good measure. Mouth: Surprisingly subtle considering the nose and high proof, yet still a nice amount of arrack, burnt sugar, tropical fruit, vanilla and a slightly dry strawy finish similar to rhum agricole.

Mai Tai with Jamaica 2000
Definitely not as sweet and pungent as Jamaican rum can be, Jamaica 2000 is a tasty and complex sipping rum which packs a punch with a unique character and hefty ABV - so you might consider adding some water - and it made me intrigued to find out how it would work in a nice cocktail. The obvious choice for me was Mai Tai (30 ml Rum Swedes Jamaica 2000, 30 ml Rhum Clément VSOP, 30 ml lime juice, 15 ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, 7,5 ml simple syrup, 7,5 ml Giffard Orgeat - shake with crushed ice, pour unstrained into a double old fashioned-glass, garnish with spent lime shell and a sprig of mint) and it's very nice, no doubt about it, but maybe the Jamaica 2000 is too similar to the Rhum Clément - which normally balances out the funkiness of the other rum - to really shine in this drink.

Next up is a rum from Diamond Distillery in Guyana, rested in a bourbon barrel from December 2003 to July 2013. This release is available in 230 70 cl bottles at 60,9% ABV.

Nose: Prominent sweet notes of maple syrup together with the characteristic pungency of overripe tropical fruit and a soothing smokiness from vanilla and wood, even some cigar tobacco. Mouth: not as heavy as the nose suggested, with a straightforward sweetness of maple syrup and raisins mixed with orange peel and spiciness from cinnamon and cloves and lastly a long satisfactory finish with a touch of wood.

Mai Tai with Guyana 2003
This is a full-bodied yet surprisingly dry and subtle demerara rum which is highly recommended for sipping with some drops of water added - but does it work in a drink? It was time for another Mai Tai (30 ml Rum Swedes Guyana 2003, 30 ml Rhum Clément VSOP, 30 ml lime juice, 15 ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, 7,5 ml simple syrup, 7,5 ml Giffard Orgeat - shake with crushed ice, pour unstrained into a double old fashioned-glass, garnish with spent lime shell and a sprig of mint) - and I think we have a winner! While not as funky as some other demerara rums, it works wonders together with the grassy rhum agricole, spicy orange and bittersweet almond - wow!

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