Spring Spirits is a company owned by Manuel Wouters, who is famous in Belgium as the bartender of the Sips bar in Antwerp, one of the first and still one of the leading cocktail bars of Belgium. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the bar, he approached The Whisky Jury and selected this Uitvlugt rum, a 1997 vintage 24 years maturation in an American Oak-refill Barrel.
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten (WhiskyNotes) 87/100 points
Nose: funkiness and sophistication at the same time. Lots of petroly aromas with polished brassware and freshly sharpened pencils. Soft olive brine and sardines. Fresh pine needles and chopped herbs. Maybe some orange peels as well. Turns out the coastal and medicinal theme also works at this moderate strength.
Mouth: now a generous sweetness sets in, with sweet oak, molasses, spearmint chewing gum and even light hints of pineapple liqueur in the background. Faint vanilla too. Later it gets a little more phenolic again, with liquorice, olives and resins. Round and relatively accessible.
Finish: medium, still some natural sweetness, bready touches, herbs and sweet citrus.
It’s only 46.9% but the label confirms it’s bottled at cask strength. Quite rare to have such a gentle Guyana rum. We may prefer the stronger expressions, but I can definitely see the potential in a bar like Sips, winning over people that may not be familiar with this style of rum. Highly drinkable.