Clarke's Court Black Gold

Black Gold-RG1

Product of:  Grenada
Aged:  undeclared
Price: $EC125 / $US50
Alcohol: 46% ABV
Sugar: 46-50
 g/L (estimate) 
Context: Spiced Rum
RG Rating: 9

Objective Notes 
Poured from its opaque black bottle, Black Gold rum shows a reddish gold color in my tasting glass.  After swirling, small beads of rum form at their own slow pace.  A small number of them gather and run very slowly down the inside of a tasting glass, but most just hang there from surface tension.  Hmm, it will be interesting to taste how sweet this rum is.

The eyes don’t tell us much about a rum, so it’s up to the other senses for evaluation.  Aromas of very fresh, soft, almost oily nutmeg, mace and mild rummy alcohol are exhibited in good measure without overpowering.  Slightly lesser notes of cinnamon (cassia bark), clove and star anise are also apparent.  The cassia bark and star anise might account for the overall woody sensation; it is different from what aging in a charred oak barrel would cause.  There’s considerable complexity in the overall spiciness of this rum.

The initial taste reveals significant pineapple-like sweetness on the tongue that's not as easily detected by the nose, and full of spicy nutmeg and cinnamon flavors.  A medium-heavyweight body provides  valuable substance to the rum, offsetting the more ethereal nature of the aromatic spices.  Left lingering as the finish tapers away is a residual cinnamon and mild nutmeg taste on the tongue and top of throat.

Grenada is nicknamed “The Spice Isle” because it’s the World’s second-larger producer of nutmeg and many other spices.  In fact the charming nation’s flag features a nutmeg tree branch bearing fruit, split from bottom-up as when it matures, revealing the shell – covered in brilliant red mace – that protects the nutmeg spice inside.  The fruit is used for making jam, jelly and pancake syrup.  The mace is used as a spice, and it’s fire-engine-red color is used for dying clothing, lipstick, etc.  Of course the aromatic nutmeg spice itself is wonderful for baking, especially in pies, and as a garnish on eggnog, painkillers, rum punches, etc.

Clarke’s Court Black Gold was introduced to the local Grenadian market in 2015 without any fanfare outside of the country, and has received less attention than it deserves.

Clarke’s Court Black Gold it stops just short of a “spiced rum” as we know them.  Possibly a more accurate descriptor would be an “infused” rum.  Think of Black Gold as Grenada in a bottle.  This rum needed to be produced.  For us rum collectors, any trip to Grenada has two required takeaways:  Rivers rum from the historic River Antoine Distillery, and now Black Gold from Grenada Distillers Ltd.  Totally different, they are each totally Grenada.

Reviewed:  July 2016 while sailing in the Grenadines, Eastern Caribbean and later at The Rum Gallery, USA. 

© Dave Russell 2017