With sunny summer temperatures, it’s not particularly difficult to drift off to the Caribbean. And of course, when you hear the word “Caribbean”, you quickly think of rum. All the more convenient that I reviewed a Jamaican rum in my last article about the Hampden 8 Years. Especially because we do not have to reorient ourselves for today’s article. (provided test product)*
Strictly speaking, we only have to orient ourselves about 150 kilometers or – depending on the route – about a 3-hour drive south, because that’s how far apart Hampden Sugar Estate and Clarendon Distillery in Lionel Town are. Those who know a bit about Jamaican rum will know that the Clarendon Distillery distills rums of the “Monymusk” brand (which is why it is also called Monymusk Distillery). And it is exactly such a rum that I have in front of me today.
In addition to the name “Monymusk”, which is quite prominently applied on the label, the first thing you see when you gaze at this bottle is “Rest & Be Thankful”. Consequently, we are dealing with the “Rest & Be Thankful Monymusk 2012 Pure Single Jamaican Rum”, what a sonorous name. Rest & Be Thankful is actually the name of a 331-meter-high mountain in central Jamaica’s Cockpit Country.
The Rest & Be Thankful Monymusk 2012 Pure Single Jamaican Rum (I just had to write the name out in full once again) is a blend of 24 barrels of pot still rum that feature the distillery marque MDR. Rums with the MDR marque have an ester content of about 145-150 g/hl. Barrel aging took place in American oak barrels and lasted 9 years, with part of the maturation taking place in a continental climate (the exact duration is not specified).
Well, time to take a good look, scent and taste:
Aroma: a distinctly Jamaican soul meets you here, with plenty of fermented fruit, pineapple leading the way, but also some pear, still green mango, passion fruit and behind that some ash and gasoline. Perhaps that sounds again quite strange, but is a wonderful aroma play. If you are looking for and want Jamaican “funk” in a rum: here you go, it is straightforward and very typical to find. Over time, one also notices a subtle vanilla that was actually present all along, but at first was completely overshadowed by the more expressive flavors.
Taste: Wow, there is straight up a potpourri of petrol & fruit, very, very awesome! I swirl the rum back and forth in my mouth and can’t decide if I want to focus first on the clear notes of roasted pineapple or yet the tones of slightly burnt barbecue flavors. Behind that, there’s also dried fruit and again some vanilla, but I keep falling back to thoughts of barbecue at a Caribbean gas station. Seriously, barbecue and fruit is the programmatic dichotomy here, and it really makes me want to take the next full-bodied, intense sip. The 46% vol., at which this rum was bottled, suit him well, it should not be less.
Finish: very long with fermented pineapple and burnt vanilla cream.
Sure, you can do a lot with this rum. It is very strong in character, which of course should not be underestimated. So, if you want a drink in which you want to bring out the rum flavor rather subtly or even conceal it, then this is certainly not the first recommendation. On the other hand, it has what it takes to compete with a number of other ingredients, which leads us directly into the tiki business. And there I was eager to try a drink I know from Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, which comes from the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego. The signature drink of the restaurant is called “Mr. Bali Hai” and was named after the restaurant itself (which already exists since 1955) and has been slightly changed and adapted over time. The recipe below I have taken over from Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and minimally adapted with regard to some ingredients. For example, I used the Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur (because I neither own nor know the Bebo Coffee Liqueur of the original). A complete comparison to the original I can therefore not set up, but one thing assure: The drink is just awesome!!
Recipe “Mr. Bali Hai” (adapted from Jeff “Beachbum” Berry):
4.5 cl Rest & Be Thankful Monymusk 2012 Pure Single Jamaican Rum
3 cl Veritas White Blended Rum
2,25 cl Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur
4,5 cl Pineapple Juice
3 cl Lemon Juice
0.5 cl to 1 cl sugar syrup (in the original 1 cl – can be adjusted according to personal taste and sweetness of the coffee liqueur)
Preparation: Shake all ingredients vigorously over ice and strain into glass filled with crushed ice.
Glass: Tiki Mug or Highball
Garnish: pineapple wedge (I preferred a nice blossom), some fresh mint and three coffee beans
Buying sources: at specialized retailers or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.