In April of 2015 I had the opportunity to sample a few of the rums from the Mezan line. I learned from the representatives that Mezan’s cellar master travels around the Caribbean selecting casks of rum from existing and defunct distilleries. They send these casks back to England where the rum is recasked and aged for an additional time period in used Bourbon barrels. They pride themselves on presenting an unaltered product to the public, stating that there is nothing added to their rums and only minimal filtering is used in their processes. In most cases the rum is then bottled and released as part of a limited release.
The exception to this is Mezan XO . This product is a blend of 4-23 year old rums selected from distilleries around Jamaica including Hampden Estate and Monymusk. These rums are blended in England and then recasked for additional aging. After aging the product is brought down to 80 proof, bottled, and released in small batches of 5,000 bottles.
The short neck bottle is secured with black plastic screw cap and clear security wrap. The black, white and gold label provides details about the product as well as the batch number. My bottle came from batch 8146.
The liquid in the bottle is a light golden amber, almost straw color, and in the glass the rum lightens slightly. Swirling the liquid formed a thick ring with equally thick legs that slide slowly down the glass.
When I pour the rum in my tasting glass the rich pungent aroma of everything I associate with a good Jamaican Pot Still is found wafting from the glass. As the aroma settles I detect banana, dried apricot, and orange peel, punctuated by sweet raisins.
My first sip provides a lush full bodied feel with a wash of flavors creating a citrus baseline. Subsequent sips reveal notes of banana, smoky oak, raisins, and molasses in the midline. As the flavor fades into the finish there is a swirl of cocoa, dried tea and a little pop of leather.
Jamaican rums as a category are known for the funky interesting flavors that are produced from the use of the island’s pot stills. The Mezan rum company has managed to capture an excellent example of this. I have been informed by some of my friends in the UK that you can note batch to batch differences, but that the product is always good.
After taking my time exploring this rum I am very curious about the other rums in the line and look forward to trying them. If you are looking for a new Jamaican rum, this one is definitely worth picking up. I plan on enjoying it as a sipper and an ingredient rum for cocktails that specifically designate a Jamaican rum.