Fall 2022 finds Holmes Cay dropping four of its single cask rum offerings, including a pair of dueling selections from Jamaica and a bottle from Australia. Let’s dive in to the collection.
Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Belize 2006 – A 16 year old molasses-based column still rum produced at Travellers Liquors Distillery in Belize. Produced on a manually-operated column still, 100% tropically aged, and bottled in Belize; four casks selected and bottled at 61% abv. Robust, with notes of coffee bean prominent on the nose, plus ample spice, extracted fruit notes, and a touch of dried flowers. Hot on the palate, but approachable, with a stronger coffee bean note, some toffee, ample vanilla, and layers of raisin-infused gingerbread. Lovely through and through; I never would have guessed it was 100% column still rum. 122 proof. A / $130
Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Jamaica 2007 ITP – A 15 year old pot still rum from Long Pond Distillery, all-molasses spirit made from Long Pond’s light ester mark Ive Trelawny Pot (ITP) mark. It may be a light ester rum, but there’s plenty of fruit to spare here, with notes of overripe banana and guava on the nose, touched with some cinnamon. A bit more brooding on the toasty palate, the fruit is more muted, giving way to notes of chocolate, allspice, and some flambeed pineapple notes on the finish. Very soulful and rich, though less balanced than Belize. 112 proof. A- / $137
Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Australia 2012 Beenleigh – All molasses, 100% pot still rum, produced at Beenleigh Artisan Distillery in Queensland, Australia, where it was aged in Australia for 6 years in American oak before moving to the UK for 4 more years in ex-bourbon casks. Four barrels selected. A very distinctive product, this rum has an oily nose that offers secondary notes of molasses infused with black pepper. The palate feels immediately harsh and pungent, almost green as it demands a healthy splash of water. Notes of banana pudding and toasted marshmallow emerge with appropriate tempering, the finish finding a stronger oak-infused quality. 122 proof. B / $100
Holmes Cay Single Cask Rum Jamaica 2014 EMB – An 8 year old pot still, molasses-based rum from Clarendon Distillery, made using a medium-ester style mark. Aged entirely in bourbon barrels in Jamaica; three barrels selected for bottling. A much more traditional bottling than the 2007 ITP, this has all the hallmarks of pot distillate, laden with hogo, bristly underbrush, and a smear of overripe fruit on the nose. Punchy on the palate with notes of fresh, black cherries and tropical fruit, it’s balanced by plenty of pepper and some oaky notes. Warming and spicy on the finish, with notes of gingerbread. All the greatest hits of Jamaica in one overproof glass. 122 proof. A- / $85