Review – Clarke’s Court Rum
The Clarke’s Court distillery hails from Grenada and has been in operation since 1937, although records indicate that a mill has been on the site since the 18th Century. Imported molasses are used to distill the range of rums which currently total some 16 in number.
This rum is created from rums that have first been aged for 8 years before being blended and barrelled again for a second maturation. This rum was released in 2010 to celebrate Grenada’s 37 years of independence.
Nose: Understated aromas of dried fruit and candied peel sitting atop of a mild molasses base. The double ageing is not immediately evident as the wood takes a back seat, with a moderate alcohol heat and nutmeg-spicing instead taking the lead.
Neat: Much improved over the nose, albeit with an initial plasticky mouthfeel that means this is a grower rather than a ‘love at first taste’ rum. This is swiftly followed by a blast of fruit lead by banana but joined by raisin and dried tropical fruits. The mid palate unfortunately dips, with an meagre spice element that leads onto an improved finish that leaves a well balanced sweet fruit finish. As with the nose, this is a lighter-tasting rum that is not dominated by oak despite the double ageing.
Mixing: Intelligent mixing serves this rum well, with some excellent results when that mid-palate is given a boost. It does for example make a pleasingly fruity Daiquiri, but the use of bitters in the Planter’s Punch is an even better option. The relatively subtle flavour profile also means that it isn’t a good choice to go up against very bold flavours such as the hazelnut note in the Fosbury Flip. The fruit notes are the main strength of this rum, meaning that it partners well with a spicy ginger beer, particularly with a squeeze of lime and a dash or two of bitters to harmonise the flavours. With banana being a characteristic note, it makes sense to head for a Funky Monkey; a creamy concoction that delivers all the guilty pleasure flavours you’d expect. This is however also a rum that can hold it’s own in more ‘serious’ drinks. Used in place of Whiskey in a Sazerac for instance, the fruit contrasts beautifully with the herbal absinthe.
Clarke’s Court Overproof
Neat: The resinous/oily character from the aroma carries over and creates a full and rounded mouthfeel which stretches out the flavours nicely. Dried tropical fruits of the papaya ilk, custard, black pepper and tobacco all make an appearance, as does unfortunately a chesty burn which can’t entirely be explained by the high abv. If it were not known this were a rum, its sugar cane base is not immediately evident.
Clarke’s Court Spicy Rum
Neat: Similarly oily as with the regular overproof upon which this rum is based, but also sweeter. Still very delicately spiced, although the fruity notes are more discernible. Very minimally spiced considering the overproof abv.
Clarke’s Court #37 blend is a decent, and versatile mixing rum. The characteristic banana-led fruity profile gives it a unique edge that offers a hint of the tropics when considerately mixed.Rating: ★★★
Clarke’s Court #37 Blend is available to buy from Master of Malt.
★: Terrible, only drink for a dare.
★★: Meh, not undrinkable but best left alone.
★★★: Reasonable, middle of the road.
★★★★: Tasty stuff, well worth seeking out.
★★★★★: Incredible, booze doesn’t get better than this. You need a bottle in your life.