Samaroli Caribbean 2003

Samaroli Caribbean 2003-RG2-USE

Product of:  Distilled on Cuba, aged and bottled in Scotland.
Aged:   8 years
Price: $90
Alcohol: 45% ABV
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes 
Very Smooth.  Samaroli Caribbean 2003 displays a hue like pale straw,  a color you might expect more from a Riesling than an eight year aged rum.  The lack of darker coloring is likely the result of the much cooler climate of Scotland (where Samaroli ages this rum) than the spirit’s native tropical Cuba.  In any event, there is no evidence of added caramel in the color nor the aromas and flavors.  Many legs form quickly and run at a snail’s pace, before the second round begins to drip.  Many of the legs refuse to run, and stay aloft the rum trace like seeds waiting to join the next swirl.  Samaroli Caribbean 2003 entertains inside your glass.

Pull the cork and a sweet floral perfume and leather bouquet dance out of the bottle.  Unique, fairly-like aromas that leave traces – not substances – of musty wood,  then waxy smells reminiscent of fat Genoa salami, plus mild star anise, a hint of peat and scents of rain falling on fresh growth under an overgrown forest canopy – apparently the Scottish mist had its affect.   The higher ABV penetrates only slightly.  On initial taste, the anise and leather flavors are more pronounced, along with sweet tobacco.  Nitrogenous earthy vegetal flavors add a pleasant dimension to this already complex rum.  A few drops of water softens and sweetens it, entices the flavors to play nice, and adds density to the medium-weight body.  The sip ends slightly warm due to the higher %ABV, but flavors linger, delivering white pepper, oaken vanilla, smoke and anise. 

The Samaroli label is generally better known as an small bottler of select whiskies.  However, Italian-born Silvano S. Samaroli applies equally stringent criteria when choosing rare and delicious rums to bottle in Scotland.  The Samaroli Caribbean Rum reviewed here is a beautifully expressed blend of Cuban rums that were distilled in 2003, then shipped to Scotland to undergo secondary maturation until 2011.  

A natural color wooden cap over real cork seals the heavy traditional bottle.  While the dark glass completely masks any view into the color of the rum inside, the label is pure art deco, perhaps an homage to Maxfield Parish’s work; ethereal, sensual, and comforting.

Attention collectors:  you need this rum.  Despite a world filled with overused clichés, Samaroli Caribbean 2003 is the definition of unique, both in lineage and taste.  Its aromas are precise, its flavors reflect both sides of the Atlantic’s atmosphere.  Samaroli Caribbean 2003 makes equal partners of its Cuban heritage and its Scottish upbringing.  Think Desi and Lucy.  Think talent, commitment, synergy.  With that DNA, achievement is a simple act of fate.  Now start looking.  Mr. Samaroli’s single barrel yielded only 648 bottles.  Precious.

Reviewed:  The Rum Gallery reviewed bottle No: 00559 of 648 total production in February 2013 at The Rum Gallery, USA.  The rum was blended from casks # 6 and 8.

© Dave Russell 2017