Rummieclub - Dutch Rums Review
Yep - rum hand made in Amsterdam! And by all accounts about as handmade as you can get.
Rummieclub is a tiny artisan Dutch micro-distillery run by Judith and Martijn Gerrits. And when I say handmade, I mean that these two collect wild yeast for the fermentation and have their mitts on every stage of production from there, right through to hand bottling and labelling.
Super tiny production using organic molasses from Paraguay, fermented for a week or more, distilled in a 500L Istill, and produced without any filtration or additives.
Rummieclub are excitingly experimental using different wild and home grown yeasts. And recently the introduction of dunder to their long fermentation. [Dunder is an extract from previous fermentation, added to accelerate future fermentation, similar to a 'starter' that's used when making sourdough]
The use of wild yeast and their own dunder should hopefully produce a flavour packed rum :-)
This experimentation from batch to batch means that every bottling will be very different. A lack of consistency that's a treat for rum nerds but potentially unnerving for someone who wants to know what to expect from a rum year on year.
Rummieclub are refreshingly open about their project (which I understand was part crowd funded) as well as their experimental approach to rum production. Check out their recently revamped website (here)
Today I will be reviewing their first two batches of unaged, overproof rum, and their first batch of barrel aged rum. I'll try the lower abv, aged rum first, and then move on to the unaged pair. Assisted in this selfless endeavour by The Boss, Bruce Springsteen.
Rummieclub Barrel aged batch 1, 45%, 210btls
(Presumably) batch 1 rum, aged for 12-18mths in ex-bourbon barrels. A blend of a selection of barrels from the distillery. Very light golden colour as you would expect from the brief continental aging.
Nose: A little melon and sour yoghurt. Grassy, sour berry mix. Creamy vanilla. Some richness and warmth. Smells like yoghurt cake. Could do with either being a bit fresher and funkier, or going the other way and being deeper and richer for me, but it's not bad at all.
Mouth: Not a million miles away from the nose - starts with creamy, biscuity notes, and light strawberry/summer fruit syrup. Some funkiness mixed in there too. The taste has an interesting about-turn part away through - to a drier, fairly long spicy finish. Drunk neat the excessive creaminess/butteriness would get a little sickly for me after a glass but it's interesting and well worth a try. [73pts]
Rummieclub Overproof batch 1, 58%, 130btls
The very first batch of overproof rum released with an outturn of just 130 bottles. The cool labelling was designed by local street/graffiti artist.
Nose: A punchy nose. Not necessarily in a good way. A malted, creamy, yoghurty start. Not far from the nose of the aged version. Then summer cane fruit mixed with sour, curdled milk. Really not doing it for me.
Mouth: A good thick mouthfeel. Spicy start soon swings back to the creaminess so prevalent on the nose. Really coats your mouth with a sort of rubbery, salty yoghurt. Taste is a step up from the nose but overall the malted notes are really putting me off (I'm not a fan of anything malted so very biased on this front). [68pts]
Rummieclub Overproof batch 2, 58%, 152btls
Batch 2, with another bold and attractive label. This time I understand there was use of the dunder mentioned above.
Nose: As expected, given the experimental distillation described earlier, this is completely different. We've lost much of the curdled, malted milk and have taken a big step up the funk-o-meter. Heavily rotted orchard fruit, with an unfortunate hint of bile. Quite resinous, overall is much less uninviting than batch 1. Time to take the plunge.
Mouth: Different, but sadly still not doing it for me. Curdled fruit drink rather than curdled yoghurt this time. Lots of decent spice, ginger and clove, and a little pleasant bitterness. Much more fruit than batch 1, but I can't get away from the sour curdled taste, and hint of bile. [71pts]