After the pride of the SAB company why not move on and have a look at their Grande Dame. Where the 8yo was released in 2006 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of SAB, this 15yo “Single Barrel” was released in 2011 to commemorate the 45th anniversary. Maybe next november we’ll see the next anniversary bottling, a 20yo maybe? The 8yo and the 15yo thus are specials, but there is also a more standard range Borgoe. The first one of those is called the Borgoe ’82 “The Jubilee Blend”, the second is called the Borgoe “Extra” and the third and last one is the Borgoe 5yo “Vintage”. By the way, all White Rums made by SAB have different brand names, so Borgoe only exists as a Golden (or Dark) Rum, whichever word you prefer. Borgoe uses both simultaneously.
Color: Orange gold.
Nose: Very funky smelling. Still caramel and toffee, but there is a lot more going on. Very nutty. Organic clay. After the fatty and creamy introduction, Wood and deep sugared fruits. Honey with dark brown banana skin. This is completely different from the 8yo, not just an older version of it. I’m not completely sure everything is as it should be , but whatever it is, I love it. Fresh cigar box wood. Pencil shavings and dust. Just like the 8yo, the aroma’s it started with take a back-seat and it turns more dry. Smells like a worthy super premium Rum to me.
Taste: It starts out with the simple sugary sweetness, like the 8yo, as well as the fresh woody bit. After that, everything changes and it becomes incomparable to the 8yo. Where the 8yo went down in a hurry, this 15yo sticks to your throat and takes a long time to get down, developing along the way. Perfect balance between the nose and the taste. Again the thick creamy and nutty aroma. Tiny hint of burnt wood bitterness, but that only aids the wonderful taste. Excellent length in the wonderful tasting finish and a good aftertaste. Some tiny acidic wood note appears in the aftertaste, but that is hardly a problem, when so much other aroma’s keep lingering on. This one is far from tasting “thin” even when it shares the low ABV of the 8yo: 40%.
One thing strikes me as odd. The website mentions: “Our own master blender created this special Rum along with the best Rum makers of the Caribbean” and on the back label it states: “The golden rum was selected from each single barrel by our master blender and blended to ultimate perfection”. So several Rum professionals created this Rum or only their master blender? How can this be from a single barrel and be blended? Did they blend the Rum, put it back into a barrel, marrying it and then bottling it from a single barrel? Strange…
Twice the age of the 8yo, twice the price of the 8yo but also twice the taste of the 8yo. Definitely worth the money, if you can find it, because it seems quite hard to get lately.