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  • Writer's pictureStuart Pearce

Long Pond 2000 - Boom!

I'm back after a brief break. My real job, and our project house (aka the money pit) have been getting in the way again.

And what a way to return - a pair of legendary Long Pond rums distilled back in 2000. I picked up these samples as I'm a massive fan of Long Pond and am really excited to see how these long continentally aged rums live up to the tropically aged monsters I've had previously. To match the funk in my glass - I'm being assisted today by the master of funk & soul - Mayer Hawthorne!

Long Pond - a lesser know Jamaican distillery. Not for long, I suspect - the rums produced here are rapidly being recognised as some of the biggest and most flavoursome on the planet. As interest in quality rum grows - the number of people searching for bigger, wilder flavours is naturally growing too. These rum nerds very quickly find themselves at the distillery gates of Long Pond!

Along with Hampden, also located in the district of Trelawny, Long Pond uses all the big guns to fuel inject flavour into their molasses-based rums - long slow fermentation, pot stills and the quite gross sounding dunder pits. Yum :-)

Long pond was founded in 1753. A 5-year closure from 2012-2017 and a fire in 2018 cause a shortage in their stocks and threaten the very existence of this important and historic distillery. Happily, things are back on track and Long Pond has recently released a new 15 year aged rum (ITP-15) that I'm looking forward to trying in the near future.

Today we have two Long Pond runs that were distilled back in 2000. Single casks purchased by independent bottlers Silver Seal and Duncan Taylor. Aged in Scotland for 18 & 16 years respectively and released a few years back. Bottles of these limited releases still pop up from time to time but sadly the prices are many multiples of the original release.

30ml of each. Left to breath for 30 mins. Nosed first then tasted, in increasing abv order. The smell of rotten fruit while I type this is very inviting :-)

Silver Seal Long Pond, 2000, 18yr, 50%- 255 bottles from cask 19

A very limited release of just 255 bottles from a single barrel. Reduced down a little - bottled at a healthy 50% abv.

Eyes: Both rums are light coloured, considering their fairly long ageing. This is as expected with the barrels being aged in the cooler Scottish climate. The Silver seal is a touch darker thanks to two additional years.

Nose: Immediately this is a very different experience to the tropically aged Long Ponds I've had previously. Fresher and offering a different, sweeter, more citrus fruit than I remember of the higher ester Velier bottles. 50% abv is very approachable. Some esters, lots of apple, lime and pastry. A little sweet vinegar. Cherry cordial. Not a beast at all - quite inviting fruit and vanilla.

Mouth: Very tasty. A long clean finish. Quite sweet. Lots of citrus, not big or sharp like an orange, more rounded like a tangarine. Green tea. Underripe mango. Some sort of tropical cordial. If you remember the taste of strawberry popping candy - this is about as close to that as any rum I've tried (the flavour - not the mouth fireworks, unfortunately!). Decent texture. Very enjoyable - really interesting to taste the impact of 18 years in a cooler climate. The lower ester level and slightly lover abv has resulted in something that's tasty and clearly very well made, but maybe not as exciting as some. [84pts]

Duncan Taylor Long Pond, 2000, 16yr, 54.1%- 237 bottles from cask 17

One of a few casks of Long Pong released by DT a few years ago. This was an even more limited release than the Silver Seal - just 237 bottles. Offered at a slightly more punchy 54.1%

Eyes: Light white wine colour. Good thick consistency.

Nose: More creamy and vanilla than the Silver Seal. Fresh lively herbs. Tropical fruit. Cherries. Again light esters. A touch deeper and more intense than the Silver Seal but still a world of difference from the massive funk monsters in the Velier lineup. [I've 'sensibly' poured a drop of STCE 2005 a control :-) ]

Mouth: A touch bigger than the Silver Seal. More tropical. More pineapple. Some pistachio. A little more ester. Still on the light side for a Long Pond. Overripe banana and a little glue. Again a very clean and well-made rum. A bit of spice mingles well with the sweet caramel and long buttery finish. [85pts]

A couple of very tasty rums. I think these would appeal to a lot of people - however, I'd take the decaying monsters of TECA, STCE & TECC over these every day.

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