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  • Writer's pictureStuart Pearce

Mhoba FAQ Plastic

A much anticipated first collaboration between Velier and Mhoba. Much anticipated by the rum world - much anticipated by me :-)

My previous Mhoba review featured a lineup of 4 of their core range along with the 2021 Habitation Velier bottling. I was super impressed by several of these and have been excitedly awaiting my next Mhoba.

I won't repeat much of the interesting background to the unique Mhoba distillery as it's covered in my previous post. Except to remind you that Mhoba is the brainchild of rum genius Robert Greaves. A tiny artisan distillery located in South Africa where local indigenous cane is pressed for its pure fresh juice - which Robert (Harold Ramis) distils using his bizarre self built high reflux pot still. [Pure cane juice produces a very different rum to the molasses-based rums we are much more used to finding in the UK]

The entire process takes place without added colour or sugar, something strongly emphasised on this bold and unique bottle, with the addition of a gorgeous (and messy) wax cap - to totally free us from plastic.

As today's offering was aged in ex-red wine barrels, I have decided to pair it against the Mhoba French cask. That way I get two glasses of delicious Mhoba :-) The French cask was also aged in an ex red wine cask - in this case, a re-charred cask and only for a year.

The French Cask is a marginally higher abv (65%) so that will be second-up. [I gave the French cask a massive, well-deserved, 88pts in my previous Mhoba tasting!

For today's tasting, I'm being assisted by the silky smooth Molly Johnson & the sublime Melody Gardot.

Velier Mhoba FAQ Plastic - 64.3%, £120, bottle count = not enough!

Aged for 4 years in ex red wine casks before being stunningly bottled at a muscular 64.3%

Eyes: A beautiful dark amber. Noticeably darker and richer coloured than the French Cask. Quite thick and gloopy.

Nose: A big one. Waves of honeyed, estery, summer fruit greet your nose some distance from the glass. More powerful than the French Cask - more glue, more fruit, more depth - and cleaner. Guava, plasticine, shoe polish, a complex yet clean nose.

The French Cask offers layers of deliciously creamy, vanilla summer fruits. A very alcoholic summer pudding. FAQ Plastic builds on this with layers of added flavour and complexity. A touch of paint thinner and some grassy notes.

The alcohol integration is worlds apart, those extra 3 years have really tamed this beast. The French Cask has got a fairly firey nose, as you'd expect for a youthful 65% - FAQ Plastic is so well integrated that you'd never believe they are basically the same strength. So far, very impressed!

Mouth: Wow, that really sings. It certainly delivers on the promises of the nose. Beautiful waves of flavour. Quite different from other Mhoba I have tried. This has a much higher ester - more clairin like - profile. Aged very well. Layers of sweet almost candied flavours. A little cream soda. A long and delicious, clean, faultless finish.

The French Cask is again massively impressing me. The re-charred red wine cask has had a profound impact in only 1 year, softening the rum & adding beautiful creamy summer fruits. Really lovely and certainly worth the 88pts.

FAQ Plastic is a significant step up, both in terms of complexity and completeness - the quality of this rum is very clear. FAQ Plastic gets a massive 90+pts. My highest score for a Mhoba. I'll be buying any I can get (rephrased as 'when I see a flying pig...')

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