I just felt like sipping a rum tonight, and felt like a “classic” sweet rum. After passing over several of the darker, aged sipping rums, my eyes landed on a bottle of Kaniche Rum Martinique. From what I remember this is not quite a “classic” rum and it’s not too sweet, but for some reason it clicked tonight.
The bottle says this is “From the French Caribbean” and also that it’s a “Product of France.” A article by Robert Plotkin, Anejo Rum – New Darling Of The Snifter Set, says that the Kaniche Martinique is “A blend of old rums, Kaniche Martinique Rum is aged 12-years in small cognac casks. It is highly aromatic and has remarkable finesse and complexity.” (Plotkin also wrote an article called Sizzle In The Caribbean – The 12 Most Romantic Rums which was key to my beginnings of rum enjoyment.)
My memories of my last bottle, from about 2 years ago, says that it’s a very good rum and just about exactly fits the mood I have tonight.
This is a medium golden rum, and smells quite fruity yet not too sweet, with the barest hints of barrel and apple and some other delicacies. Given Plotkin’s description above, I can certainly detect some cognac overtones here.
The taste is quite like the smell described, though quite a bit dryer than expected and a touch more wood. Generally I don’t care for wood tastes in my rums, but this is quite subtle and far from the smoke or char tastes that I truly dislike. The mid-tastes are good, not too strong and with some very subtle tastes rolling around. The finish is short, with a very mild burn that makes this very sippable. It’s definitely a dry rum, which is to be expected from a French Martinique rum. It’s also quite tasty, and very much a fine sipping rum.
Another taste makes me think deeper about those delicate tastes inside, and my thoughts tend towards what is almost heresy: This is probably a damned fine mixing rum. It’s bold enough to stand up to being mixed, yet it’s not overpowering and would complement many mild fruits. Yet its dryness does not lead towards one of those “typical” overly-sweet fruit-and-rum drinks. It’s sophisticated, and would deserve a sophisticated cocktail. I’ll have to keep this in mind…
Another small glass gets poured as I contemplate this rum again… It’s dry, not sweet like I normally like, yet I don’t mind that lack of sweetness. The dryness works well here. It certainly has complexity, but in very subtle ways – most likely a carry-over from the cognac casks. This is quite smooth, and very sippable as I’ve said. The predominant flavors are fruit, a little wood, and the rest is all subtle tastes with a great balance overall.
This is certainly a high quality rum, and when I checked the label for the price I was pleasantly surprised: $27. But I snagged this on a whim at a rather ritzy little wine shop in an overpriced town, so I would expect to pay closer to $23 or $24 normally. For that price, this is a very good rum indeed.
Overall, I highly recommend this rum – especially if you get a better price than the $27 I spent.