Hold onto your rum drinking pants…a 61%ABV, 8 year old Jamaican PURE SINGLE RUM in a 750ml bottle that is on our shores for the FIRST TIME and EXCLUSIVE to the Tribe.
Our Members Extra is a single cask, pure single rum from none other than LEGENDARY Jamaican Distillery – Clarendon (home to the famous Monymusk). Bottled by American indy bottler, Holmes Cay, we are proud to launch the Holmes Cay Jamaica EMB 2014 This unique collaboration brings together Clarendon’s renowned Caribbean craftsmanship with Holmes Cay’s expertise in selecting exceptional single-cask rums.
The Jamaica EMB 2014 is a single cask, pure single rum. It was aged in Jamaica for 8 years in an ex-bourbon cask before being transported to New York State for bottling. This is a single cask, pure single rum, non-chill filtered with absolutely no additives apart from water. Bottled at a huge 61%ABV and to top it all off… 750ml bottles! Eric is straight up speaking my language with that choice!
Eric Kay is a bit of a kindred spirit to our much-loved Justin Boseley (of Dead Reckoning fame) – both committed to sourcing and independently bottling the worlds best rums for our drinking pleasure! Eric, like Justin, scours the rum-world searching out sublime rums and then takes them home to either bottle straight up, or finish for a period of time and then bottle.
Now what does the EMB stand for in this rums name? Well, Jamaica uses a ‘marque’ system to identify different types of rum form different distilleries and different distillers in those distilleries. You can learn more about the Jamaican rum ‘marques’ in this article from ‘Cocktail Wonk’. That article states (amongst other things) that the ‘EMB’ marque was distilled in Clarendon in a pot still, is a medium ester spirit (240-250 ester count) and there was no dunder used in the ferment.
This is the third Holmes Cay rum we’ve featured this year. The Esotico Blend and the Barbados 2012 single cask both received exceptional feedback from our members and the superb Jamaica EMB 2014 is bound to follow suit. I think we’ve saved the best until last in fact!
Our Tasting Notes
Nose: Lots of luscious, sweet, overripe tropical fruit salad at first, with bubblegum, maraschino cherry and vanilla notes bringing up the rear!
Palate: Big and boisterous on the palate – the 61% is quite well behaved- but it’s still 61 frikkin percent! Unbelievably silky and viscous though, big waves of sweet fruit salad get matched with cloves, vanilla and other biscuit spices.
Finish: For such a big rum, the finish definitely measures up – lot’s of oomph –but no ouch here. Lovely and warming, the various spices stand out as the sweetness dries.
This is a BIG, boozelicious, funky rum that is incredibly (almost scarily) approachable for a 61% rum. A splash of water, or some ice will temper that some, but take care – the smooth integration of the alcohol is a trap! Lots of sweetness in this rum that is prevented from becoming sickly by a finish that dries out leaving your palate ready for another!
From Holmes Cay
Hello Rum Tribe! This is Eric Kay from Holmes Cay, and we are bringing you yet another single barrel rum to you guys. This is a great rum from the Clarendon Distillery, also known as Monymusk down in Jamaica.
This rum is a medium, ester marque. The E M B is the, uh, the mark originally comes from the Bog Estate in Jamaica. Now made by Clarendon Distillers. This one was aged eight years – fully tropically aged in Jamaica.
We brought the barrels up and bottled them in New York state and we brought it down a little bit. It came out of the barrel at almost 72%, so we brought it down to just a nice light 61%, which makes it eminently flavourful and drinkable.
I think you guys are gonna like this one. It’s got a little bit of Ester-y funk to it. That classic Jamaican profile. I think you’re gonna like this one.
Pepper and papaya on the nose, tropical fruit, clove and leather on the tongue, with a finish of leather and baking spices.
About Holmes Cay
Holmes Cay (pronounced ‘key’) Rum curates a continuously evolving collection of the best small-batch, limited-edition rums from all over the world. Single Cask selections are aged in cask, while Single Origin editions are younger single expressions or blends.
Founder Eric Kaye — a lover and collector of rum as well as a lifelong entrepreneur — started with a clear vision of the spirit’s wide open potential. His purpose for Holmes Cay is to give spirits lovers access to great rums that they can learn about, collect and savour.
In the US, the rum category is still largely defined by dated references, tropical themes, and limiting cocktail programs. The opportunity to lead authentic elevation of the category nevertheless exists. Rum is not only about pitchers of pina coladas or Tiki Tuesdays, because like any expertly made spirit, the right rum can be savoured and explored with great pleasure.
Holmes Cay was founded to help spirits lovers discover the exciting diversity of rum flavours by curating a wide variety of rum profiles. All are made with expertise and without short cuts. Holmes Cay is a modern take on an aged product — One that lets the authentic, unadulterated beauty of rum shine through. When you see Holmes Cay on the label, you know the liquid and its source have been carefully chosen to ensure that the flavours showcase the very best of their home distilleries. Each Holmes Cay product is an expression of craftsmanship and quality ingredients. Each needs no embellishment or additives.
Holmes Cay focuses on bringing special, limited-edition casks from respected and up-and-coming distilleries that are difficult or impossible to find in the United States with its Single Cask rum line. As with any high-quality aged spirit, these rums cannot be replicated once they’ve been depleted. With recent additions to the more accessible Single Origins and blends, Holmes Cay is about finding the best rums of any age in the world and sharing them for as long as they last.