A unique blend of four Jamaican pot and column still rums from Monymusk, Long Pond, Worthy Park and the fabled Hampden Jamaican distilleries and the Rum Tribe has the entire Australian allocation! That’s right you want the funk that is the Mezan XO, you gotta be in the Tribe!
The result is a homage to Jamaican rum by the folks at Mezan made up of rums aged from 4 to 23 years old! A glowing tribute to fruity funk and tropical tastes all wrapped up in a floral party shirt! Absolutely fantastic on its own – or in your favourite cocktail.
Having been tropical-aged in Jamaica the casks are then taken to the UK where they are married together and then re-casked in ex-bourbon casks for “a certain amount of time before being bottled to encourage the flavours to melt and to improve the rum’s structure and subtlety”.
For a flagship product, Mezan sure don’t make a lot of this, only 5000 bottles worldwide in this batch and we have all of it for down under!
Our Tasting Notes:
Was Gwen Stephani having a premonition about April’s rum when she said “Shit is BANANAS. B.A.NAN.A.S”?… Because on first open of the Mezan XO, you may well think exactly the same thing! (and apologies for the musical earworm I know many of you will be experiencing now).
The colour is much lighter than what some may expect from an aged Jamaican rum – but remember, this is ‘the unaltered rum’ – Mezan rums are proudly un-coloured. Don’t let it fool you, the mellow colour belies a huge flavour that comes out punching!
Nose: Mashed banana in custard with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a mate eating banoffee pie in the seat next to you (just a smidge of caramel).
Palate: Rich and creamy mouthfeel with an explosion of esters… banana, papaya, mango, all the tropical favourites on a pastry crust base. A mild spice and faraway funk to remind you of where it came from.
Finish: Sweet and luxurious. More of that funky baked banana vibe rides out of sight on a pleasant spice unicycle. A delicious finish to savour!
Tasting Notes from Justin Boseley (Dead Reckoning):
Pouring a dram into a glass, the nose is wonderful and very representative of the Jamaican style – banana and sweeter fruit. Taking a sip, I immediately notice the light, round mouthfeel. After a few seconds the flavour intensifies with banana explosion, and a moderate alcohol burn comes into play. It’s readily apparent, as the label says, that this rum hasn’t been sweetened. It doesn’t need it – it’s thoroughly enjoyable the way it is!
The Mezan XO Jamaica is a blend of rums from several distilleries. This blend allows the floral column’s distillate to marry with the higher richness and ester content of pot still rums.
Tasting Notes : Pungent and generous with aromas of fresh banana and sweet spices typical of great Jamaican rums.
How to taste? Mezan XO can be enjoyed neat, as well as in sophisticated cocktails. The powerful aromas will give your most refined cocktails excellent structure and a distinctive character
The first thing to know about Mezan is that they aren’t a distillery. In fact they are not even involved in sugar cane or any aspect of rum production – other than ageing, blending and bottling. Headed by Master Distiller Neil Mathieson, Mezan seeks out and buys single-origin rum casks from all over the Caribbean. Each cask is hand-selected and then shipped to the UK for further ageing.
Once in the UK, each cask of rum is then re-casked into ex-bourbon barrels. Mezan sources most of their bourbon casks through Heaven Hill distillery in Kentucky. They age in the UK due to the lower temps causing less interaction with the wood. “The UK” says Neil, “gives a very slow development of the spirit in comparison to the Caribbean and lets us manage the cask influence to a greater degree.”
Neil says he looked to the Scotch, Armagnac and Cognac industries and felt he needed to begin aging rum in a similar way to see how its character developed. “We are targeting rum drinkers—not necessarily those who would turn to Bacardi—and also those who enjoy other brown spirits.”