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  • Writer's pictureStuart Pearce

Epic Mhoba - THE FINAL (tasted blind)!!

Twelve bottles of the very best Mhoba rum started the knockout. We're down to these final 4, and today the champion will be crowned!!

A quick summary of how we got here:

This Epic tasting has been an absolute treat with many outstanding rums. For a young distillery Mhoba is producing some incredibly tasty and complex bottlings and I can't wait to discover what Robert has planned for the future.

Enough waffling on, we have a champion find.

4 rums. 15ml if each, left to open up for 30mins. Nosed first, then tasted, in completely random order. Assisted today by the silky sounds of The Marcus King Band.

Introducing the finalists...

(I won't repeat my initial tasting notes, you can find those in the articles on each heat)

Mhoba Cellar Selection for 1802 Bar Paris, 6yr, 59%, 36btls

Both the oldest and by far the rarest bottle. Just 36 bottles were ever made in an inaugural 'barrel' pick for the outstanding 1802 Monte Cristo Bar in Paris. A pure 'Glass Cask' rum - aged for a huge 6 years in a glass demijohn with charred white oak staves.

LMDW Antipodes Collection, 5yr, 60.8%, 286btls

Next up is special single barrel release for La Maison du Whisky. A blend of single and double pot distillations from 2017, aged entirely at the distillery, for 4 years in an American Oak ex-Bourbon cask and then for 1 year in a French Oak ex-Cape Red Wine cask.

Mhoba Cellar Selection for 1802 Bar Paris, ?yrs, 63.5%, 72btls

A second 'barrel' pick for 1802 Monte Cristo Bar in Paris. Another tiny release (just 72 bottles). This rum was initially aged in a glass demijohn with charred white oak staves, and later transferred to a French oak ex-South African brandy cask for a further year. The first Mhoba rum to be double matured in this way.

Velier Mhoba FAQ Plastic, 4yr, 64.3%, 1000btls*

Velier's first collaboration with Mhoba. A selection of particularly high ester rums, aged at the distillery in South Africa for 4 years in ex-red wine casks before bottling without reduction.

*plus VSGB mini bottles ...must be 3 years I've been waiting to join but still nothing :-( :-(

The battle:

It's pure glass cask Vs glass cask secondary aged in ex-brandy cask Vs 4yrs in bourbon cask & a year in red wine Vs 4yrs in red wine.

Unquestionably the finest flight of Mhoba rum ever compiled. The winner is obviously me 😁😎 but I do need to pick a favourite bottling.

I have no preference for which bottle is crowned champion, but for complete objectivity I am carrying out the final round completely blind. Mrs SecretRumBar has 'numbered' and mixed up the 4 glasses.

On the nose:

Red - a huge nose, full of sweet chewy esters and tropical fruit. A really big slap in your face of flavour. The fruitiest and sweetest nose of the four

Green - A little drier. Still clearly high ester. A touch more oaked than 'red', incredible depth and complexity.

Yellow - Also drier than red and more of those those oak tannins, but with some delicious tropical fruit hitting in waves.

Orange - A big and 'chewy' nose. Again drier than 'red' but so deep and rich. Musky candy. Lovely dark fruit and solvent.

In the mouth:

Red - The fruitiest and most candied of the bunch. A real treat. A massive mouthful with globs of flavour. Long and spicy finish. Possibly not quite as complex, elegant or balanced as the other four, but definitely the most fun [89+pts]

Green - Lots of fruit. A big mouthful of berries, spicy oak and caramel chocolate. And a decent streak of acid that focusses things well. Boozy strawberry candy. The most moreish of the line-up. Outstanding. [90+pts]

Yellow - this builds and keeps building. Layers of flavour and a lovely texture. Zesty. Liquorice and banana caramel. A little tannic bitterness but an amazing rum. [90pts]

Orange - Lots of old fashioned sweets. And dark wine berries. And spicy vanilla oak. So complex and elegant. A classy rum [90+pts]

So close. What a treat. All four are off the scale. A tie in first place between 'Green' and 'Orange'. But what are they...? FAQ and Antipodes crowned champion!

Red- 1802 v2 (72btls) [one point higher when tasted blind]

Green - FAQ

Yellow - 1802 v1 (36btls) [half a point higher when tasted blind]

Orange - Antipodes

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