Rum Review : Renegade Pre-cask series

Yet another long interval splits two of my reviews. I’m sensing a theme here.

This time, to make up lost time and reviews, I’ll be tasting the range of THE hottest new thing in rum. Renegade rum’s pre-casks. Well… when I say, the hottest new thing I basically mean; a new brand, new distillery but one with massive respect for older practices.

Renegade is the new venture of Mark Reynier, the man who brought Bruichladdich back to what it is today and who created the Irish Whisky distillery of Waterford. A whisky mirroring the world of wine in many senses. From its single farm expressions to the Organically and Biodynamically grown barley for their respective whiskies and eventually the Cuvées and Micro-Cuvées. Selecting the best fields, barley, and maturation that give -supposedly- the best whisky.

But this is not about whisky. we’re talking rum here. Renegade has the same general idea as Waterford. Creating a spirit that differs noticeably from terroir to terroir. Terroir is a principle mainly connected with wine and its grapes. The idea is that the environment is very important for the characteristics in the grapes that are grown in certain regions, this entails: soil, temperature, sunlight, water, moisture,… It’s a very significant part of wine-making as the end result (wine) lies very close to its raw material (grapes). In distillates, the idea of terroir has always been seen as mumbo-jumbo, something for the marketeers.

This is what Mr. Reynier is trying to disprove. He’s made it his mission to prove terroir makes an actual difference. I won’t judge on his endeavors in whisky here. But let’s see what these principles bring to rum. And he’s doing it in Grenada, the home of River Antoine. A location chosen by the wide variety of landscapes that should let the Terroir shine through.

I’ll be trying 5 rums, all of which are completely unaged and at 50% ABV:

Old Bacolet: Here we have a terroir which lies on the Southern cost of the Island. It’s a flat flood plain between two rivers. The high availability of water and clay combine for a luscious growth of cane. Here they use a cane variety they call CAIN. Distillation was done by pot still.

New Bacolet: A south-facing, steep-sided, sunbaked bowl. A location with more slopes and a rougher growing location than Old Bacolet. Here they use the Lacalome Red cane variety and distil using pot stills.

Dunfermline: Dunfermline also lies on a slope, on the north-eastern coast of the Island. Here we have two expressions, both from the same field, same cane, but different distillation. One pot still, the other column still.

Pearls: On a coastal plain, with an Iron-rich Volcanic underground, the cane used here is called Yellow Lady and the distillation is also through pot still.

 Old Bacolet (comparative tasting with New Bacolet)




Fat and sweet grass. It almost has fruity qualities, I’m getting apples, pears and even a beginning of raspberries and other red fruits. Nail polish and cleaning supplies too.


Vey different than the nose. Here the I have some nettles, mint, and hay. The cleaning supplies turned to metal. A mix of sweet and salt. Very punchy.


Long finish with little development. The freshness lasts for quite a while without revealing a lot of new flavours

New Bacolet (comparative tasting with Old Bacolet)




Much more “classic” Agricole nose. Fresher and minty with a considerable amount of minerals. Scallops, dill, and seaweed.


Still has a very dry taste. Very fresh with lots of citrus. Grass in a glass. This reminds me of a good Marie-Galante rum. Also some olive brine after a bit.


Also quite long with much of the same characteristics hanging on. These Bacolets are similar in flavour development, yet they do have very different “base flavours”

Dunfermline: Colum still (comparative tasting with Pot Still)


Never saw a cask in its life


Smells like the fruits & vegetable department of my local supermarket. Fresh salads mixed with a hint of summer-y fruits and some low-fat Greek yogurt.


Fresh , pointy. White peppers combined disinfected grass. A bit harsh and extremely aggressive on the palate. It tastes as though it’ll be extremely proficient against Covid.


Due to the intensity and sharpness of the rum, this lingers for a while. Perhaps a bit too long. Let’s quickly get to the Pot Still.

Dunfermline: Pot Still (comparative tasting with Collumn Still)




Much fuller than its columned companion. This reminds me of the Providence First drops. Meat, olives, grass that’s been lying in the sun for a couple of days.


Much better and well-balanced as well. It’s rather fat and really sticks to the palate. The meat takes a step back to expose the fresher elements more, but it still provides a nice coating for a gentle experience. Though it still has some peppers, it’s a benefit here as it complements the complexity instead of adding aggressiveness like with the column distilled sibling.


The finish here is medium-long and adds some subtle smoky notes. I’m very curious what a cask will do with this.



Glass, but liquid (I’ve run out of ways to say it looks clear)


Very funky, overripe everything. Some Jamaican funk. Marinated meat and olives overwhelm me with the first sniff. After a while, the nose opens up nicely to reveal some red fruits; raspberry’s, blueberry’s and even some strawberry’s


Same funky qualities, this could easily compete with the Jamaican heavy-hitters. Lots of minerality as well. At first, there’s a lot of full flavours, the meat and mineral rocks are very prevalent at the start. only towards the end do the vegetal qualities start coming through.


Here I’m getting that transition from full and fat to grassy and fresh. It never fully changes but this gives it a nicely complex and lasting finish. I guess this tasting was really building up to a climax.

Conclusion :

Overall, the tasting notes here are almost identical with every rum. This is of course normal as they’re so closely related and all unaged. It was mainly the balance and depth of those similar flavours that sets them apart and makes some great and others not so much. Let’s give out some points. Old and New Bacolet were decent enough but will have to develop with ageing to stand out. Dunfermline column was sharp and aggressive, not my thing. Things really got good at the Dunfermline Pot still and the Pearls. Both rums with something special going on. Full-bodied and with a varying degree of funkiness.

Old Bacolet: 7/10

New Bacolet: 7/10

Dunfermline Column: 5/10

Dunfermline Pot: 7.5/10

Pearls: 8/10


Rum Review : Macnair’s Exploration Rum Series

After yet another incredibly long intermezzo I’m back. Yes I’m a very inconsistent poster and unbelievably lazy at times (extended times at that). BUT! I just received some samples to review, so here we go again.

The samples I received came from Glenallachie, a Scottish whisky distillery. No stress I’m not going to be reviewing whiskies, there are enough whisky reviewers in the world (plenty of rum reviewers too, but I don’t care about that). The samples they’ve sent me are of the new endeavor of Master Blender Bobby Macnair: The Exploration series.

Macnair is trying his hand at masterblending rum with his experience as a whisky man. For his inaugural series Macnair chose to limit himself to one country: Panama. Now, I haven’t been too wild about rum from Panama. I like it okay, it just doesn’t really give me goosebumps or anything of the sort.

Quick rundown on some specs: both the 7 (unpeated) and 15 have been aged in a combination of red wine, virgin oak and ex bourbon casks. The peaed 7 has had an American oak and ex-peated scotch whisky cask treatment.



I’ll use the colours mentioned on the little brochure that was given to me, as they are simply beautiful. This one is ‘Burnished Bronze’


Fresh, fruity and a bit sharp in the beginning. A very kind nose with tropical fruits, hints of mango, some coconut and stonefruits. A gentle layer of milk chocolate makes this feel like a summer-y fruit-chocolate pie. In the beginning there is a slight spiciness. This fades away quite quickly, leaving you with a pleasant though very average nose. Very forgettable nose


Warmer and sweeter than the nose suggests, there’s more spice and some added fruits. Bananas, mangos and oranges. This combines well with the still-present milk chocolate and some caramel. Hough it’s all a bit flat flavour-wise. I do notice a certain thickness about the rum in the mouth, so perhaps it’s sweetened? Not sure though.


There’s a duality about this finish. On the one hand there’s a bit of a spiciness, on the other hand, my lips are kind of sticky… yet another clue for sugar.

All things considered, it’s nice but too kind. If the price is right this can be a pretty little tipple to casually enjoy with friends, you just don’t have to invite the biggest rumheads.

7Y Peated


This one they call ‘Sunset Gold’. How romantic


This is something weird, the peat is instantly recognizable and has a bit of weird effect on the rum. It feels like a rather sharp and light smoke of a menthol cigarette, instead of a heavier cigar. Any scent from the rum has quite literally gone up in smoke. I’d really think this is a peated Speysider if I didn’t know better.


The palate is also overloaded with peat. Some inkling of rum can be found, but one has to dig incredibly deep to find it. This is not really what I’m looking for in rum, nor do I hope anyone is.

Peat works incredibly well in Whisky, it supports the flavours of the Barley and it simply fits. After all, what grows together, goes together. Peat and barley are something for the continent. Peat and sugarcane is just a combination that doesn’t do it for me, at least not in this configuration. Perhaps in a heavier rum with a more characteristic palate the peat would work better. But even then, I wouldn’t like to combine this overdone smokiness with what could be a good rum.

This is not a good match. I like my rums to have character, this however is no doing anything for the name of rum or peat for that matter.


The smoke flavours stay for a longer time than I care for. Otherwise there isn’t much to it. I think someone better check the distillery before they burn it all down with peat.


I kid you not. I had to wait 30 minutes and a pint of water for the flavour of the previous rum to subside enough to be able to taste this one properly.


Here they combined both, giving us ‘Golden Bronze’. Whether it’s due to lack of creativity or because they may just have a dart board with sexy words for brown on it and they per chance hit these particular words a couple of times, I wouldn’t know… But it sound good though, like you’d describe someone who’s been sunbathing in California for 2 weeks


Fatter and heavier than the 7, which also makes it smell somewhat sweeter and less ethanol-y. The fruitiness made way for more of the milk chocolate and woody vanilla. Some nuttiness is also present. Much more pleasing nose. Some tropical and juicy fruits are detectable on the secondary nose


Warm, gentle, light spice. Very similar to the 7 year old, but doubling down on the sugar-y and woody notes. 46% is a good ABV for this one, giving it just enough power to be interesting. It has a bit of a barbadian/ St-Lucia style body. Very nice this one


Medium-long with a lovely aftertaste. The Spiciness is gone and I’m left with orange, pastry, chocolate and hints of caramel. All wonderfully balanced.


The unpeated 7 isn’t bad, its just not something I would buy. It’s a bit too sharp on the nose and forgettable on the palate.

The peated 7 is just wrong. Good for Macnair’s to try and experiment across spirits. But please don’t do it anymore. It’s not because peat works really well in some whiskies it’s guaranteed to work with rum . and definitely with rum from Panama.

The 15 however is very nice. Warm and chocolate-y nose. Very accessible yet still interesting palate and a well-timed and pleasant finish. A nice daily sipper.

Overall this was an interesting experience, mainly because I’ve now tried a peated rum… unfortunately. The other 2 rums were nice, but not something I’ll be giving a lot of attention to or give a very high rating. They’re not bad but also nothing that’ll make your eyes pop and astonish you.

Macnair’s 7 (unpeated): 5/10

Macnair’s 7 (peated): 2/10

Macnair’s 15: 6.5/10