And if, for once, we tasted… rums (or Rums in this case)! And something tells me that this is just the beginning!


For this we are going to continue a story started on this site (here) a few months ago, and we are going to go… to Scotland for the second part of the REST & BE THANKFUL tasting!


Today, I invite you to taste 3 of the brand's numerous productions: the MICRO BATCH ANTIPODES blend and two Single Cask MONYMUSK 1998 23 YEARS (mark AHJ) and LONG POND 1998 24 YEARS (mark ITP).


We will take the opportunity to discover the distilleries of Jamaica and the specificities of the Caribbean island's rums (stills, marks, esters, etc.).  


Previously on PEATDREAM…


….I then set off on the roads of southern Scotland to one of the magical places that this country has to offer. On the road from Loch Lomond National Park to Campbeltown in the middle of the Beinn An Lochain mountain, I was in search of the legendary magic stone "REST & BE THANKFUL" (see the first part for more information).


And why magic you ask me? Simply because this stone has the obscure ability to lead you to the places of production of the distillates that are poured there! Thus, a few drops of whiskeys produced by the bottler REST & BE THANKFUL, took us to the lands of the Lowlands at INCHDAIRNIE and to Islay in Port Charlotte at BRUICHLADDICH.



Not happy with this success and knowing that the FOX FITZGERALD group company also offers rum, I said to myself that if it worked for Scotland, it would also work over greater distances to Jamaica.


So, still “spinned” by the power of the 59.7% of PORT CHARLOTTE, which I had just tasted in situ, I returned to my dear BRADPEAT which was waiting in the nearby parking lot and I exchanged my 3 bottles of whiskey pour 3 bottles of Jamaican rum.


Take out the bottles with a blue background (reserved for whiskey), then move on to the bottles with a green background (reserved for rum). But make no mistake, we always find our fantastic animals there (see in the first volume).



The nectars offered by REST & BE THANKFUL allow you to discover the specificities of Jamaican rums (but also from Barbados Editor's note) which, for me, are to rum, what peated whisky is to whisky.


Discovery of Jamaican distilleries

and tasting of MICRO BATCH ANTIPODES #1 rum


So in Scotland, take my bottle of MICRO BATCH ANTIPODES rum and slide a few drops onto the stone of the mountain road. Like the previous times, a thick fog fell over the area, quickly, the environment faded and I felt like I was hovering.


A few seconds later, I found myself in a lush forest, surrounded by majestic trees. The air was humid: either it was too late to save the planet because Scotland had passed into the tropics, or I had indeed landed in Jamaica!



I was convinced that there was still time to do something for the planet and that I was indeed in the tropics, when right next to me, I saw the light flight of a hummingbird! This stone is truly magical!


I found myself in the center of the Caribbean island on the edge of a stream and in front of a bar!! This place corresponded to the descriptions that Romain LARCHERON (from FOX FITZGERALD) gave me. I was at REST & BE THANKFUL JAMAICA! The stone had worked!


Behind the bar, I met a Rasta listening to RADIODREAD (if you want to enjoy it, click here)!! It must have come from the stone which formed the link between Scotland and Jamaica! Truly magical!



While Radiohead's reggae covers were blaring from the speakers, the rasta called out to me and said, "What do I serve you, man?" ". I told him that I had slipped a few drops of MICRO BATCH ANTIPODES, so he took the bottle out from under the bar.


While serving the glass, he told me that it was a good way to discover, wisely, the different taste palettes of His island. He began to list the components of the 5 barrels that had been used to create it.


Before introducing me to all the distilleries chosen by Rest & be Thankful to create it, he told me that we will not go into the detail of the Marks here (but I will come back to that below) but more on a mixture of know-how of the island (with a respectable age of 13 years minimum).


In fact, when he gave me the components I understood. Above all, I understood that it was better to talk about the different distilleries before tasting it because, with the 58.7% abv of the liquid, you could quickly get lost.


Carte des distilleries jamaïcaines
Carte des distilleries jamaïcaines


This “Pure Blended Jamaican rum” is composed of:


- a barrel from the south of the island with NEW YARMOUTH (enigmatic distillery located in the town of Clarendon) and which was distilled in 2 large pot stills in 2005;


- a barrel from the north of the island and the LONG PONT distillery and distilled in one of the house's 5 pot stills in 2005;


- two barrels containing distillates produced in 2007 once again in the south of the island in the CLARENDON ESTATE distillery (one from a pot still and another from a multi-column still);


- finally a barrel announced as coming from LLUIDAS VALE in the center of the island and produced in 2008 in post still stills (note here however that the only distillery in the area is named Worthy Park so what we think about it wants –Editor’s note-).



I know we haven't yet tasted the esters in this blend and yet you already have a headache!! And again, I kept it short for you because Jamaican rum is a real adventure (history, associate, brand of rums produced by certain distilleries….).


In short, the best thing is to taste this exotic fruit candy.




The least we can say is that with this beautiful gold-colored rum, we already have a fairly marked approach to the typical Jamaican rum.


The nose is warm and rather heady. It leaves an impression with woody, encaustic and fruity notes on tropical fruits (banana, mango, pineapple) that are ripe and far from having been in a refrigerator. Notes that blend completely with the tropical atmosphere of the tasting.


On the second pass, we will find spicy notes of ginger which sting the eyelashes of the nostrils which combine with the vanilla.

On the third pass, the powerful notes of polish take over and even mix with notes of bitumen.


He just woke me up from my Scottish trip.


On the palate, it is initially soft and sweet with vanilla. But quickly, it gains momentum with increasing spicy notes on a base of sugar cane: first, a cinnamon stick, then licorice and finally a ginger root. We then find the polish of the nose but it does not last and the atmosphere becomes softer with notes of honey mixed with a few hints of spice.


On the way down, it has a burst of herbaceous freshness before returning to the warmth of exotic fruits. The finish is long and leaves a mixture of beautiful notes of vanilla and almost peat.


Discovery of the CLARENDON distillery

tasting of the Single Cask MONYMUSK 1998 23 years old Mark AHJ


Once the tasting was over, I didn't even have time to thank my host, I felt caught up, and above all found myself in less humid air and above all a little fresher! I had returned to Scotland.


Neither one nor two, all these mysteries surrounding Jamaican distilleries and distillates, made me want to go back there (plus it's warmer), also, it's a bottle of Single Cask MONYMUSK in hand that I headed towards the stone again.


You now know how it works...a few drops and boom (fog, wind...and heat).



Here I am back in the sunny Caribbean. Behind me are fields of sugar cane and in front of me a large factory protected by large gates and barbed wire! Not very welcoming!! In the distance I saw a sign that read CDL (CLARENDON DISTILLERS LIMITED)! The CLARENDON distillery factory.


That’s when I remembered what Romain LARCHERON had told me, MONYMUSK is produced by Clarendon! I had arrived at the right place.


In the distance what do I see? The same rasta as during the first tasting! Magic I tell you.


He came closer to me and gestured for me to go to the right towards the big gate which was obviously open.



Once inside the complex, he asked me if I had a safe trip and began leading me towards the buildings.


As I move forward, I can't miss the large distillation columns that sit in the center. However, my host explains to me that although the distillery has existed since 1949, the 3 columns that I see are computerized and modern. He explains to me that if they are important in the production of the distillery, they are mainly used to produce very alcoholic rums (96%) whose ester concentration is quite low (i.e. around 250 gr/hlap - but we we'll come back to that below-).


He explains to me that what brought me here is produced a little further away in the distillery. He also offered to take me there and discover the heart of the distillery.


Tableau de référence des Marks des Rums jamaïcains
Tableau de référence des Marks des Rums jamaïcains


As we walk, he tells me a little about the rather technical concepts but essential to the specificity of Jamaican rums: congeners (non-alcohol content, esters or fatty acids) and Marks.


He explains to me that since 1931 (and the Rum Regulation Law), Jamaican rums have been classified according to 4 types measured in grams per hectoliter of pure alcohol (gr/Halp) and ranging from the lightest (light) to the heaviest (heavy). ):


Common Cleans: between 80 and 150 gr/Halp of ester as its name indicates, the most common in Jamaica (produced from pot stills).


Plummers: between 150 and 200 gr/Halp of ester which are light and fruity


Wedderburns: more than 200 gr/Halp for full-bodied and heavy rums


Continental Flavored/High Ester: between 500 and 1700 gr/Hlap of ester, with extreme aromas that are remembered once tasted.


And as it's not complicated enough, he explains to me that each distillery will have its recipe (Mark) which will itself be divided into the 4 categories (see above).


At CLARENDON, they have nice names like MLT, MLL, MBK, MMW or even MLC. The one that concerns our bottle of the day will also be AHJ (i.e. a Common clean with a concentration of volatile substances of 627 gr/hlap and Ester of 89.6 gr/hlap).


Are you still following?



Moreover, if you are curious, the range of SINGLE CASKs from REST&BE THANKFUL gives you a nice overview of this diversity of Mark.


I tell my host that if I understood correctly, my rum should come from the column then? He explains to me that it’s more complicated than that because it actually comes from pot stills that he wants to show me.


As I enter the activity workshops, I discover dozens of wooden or stainless steel vats with molasses in full fermentation. My friend explains to me that in the wooden ones (12 in total), the fermentation can last almost a month with natural yeasts (and will produce high ester musts) and are intended to supply the pot-stills. In stainless steel ones (24 vats), fermentation lasts only one day and is used to supply the columns.


Exactly, behind this large room where the yeasts are giving their all, he leads me in front of the heart of the distillery: the stills.



I find myself in a room where I discover two behemoths in their juice as if they came out of an anticipation film about the end of the world.


In a maze of pipes and swan's necks, I also discover the two retorts which mix the vapors coming from the swan's neck into the low-wine (40%ABV) and the high-wine (80%ABV) from previous distillations. It is partly from this technique that one of the great specificities of Jamaican rums comes.


A little further on I discover a third and enormous double-twist still: the Vendôme with its capacity of 20,000 liters.


Monymusk Tasting


It is at the heart of the heating and the specificity of the distillery, and at the foot of the stills that my Rasta friend suggests I taste the REST & BE THANKFUL Single Cask MONYMUSK 1998 23 YEARS OLD (mark AHJ).


Beforehand, he explains to me that this rum has had a double life. Once out of the stills located behind us, following the Mark AH (- 90 gr/Hlap) in 1998, it was first aged, here, in the tropics in an ex-bourbon barrel before taking the direction of the Scottish lands where the angels are less greedy.


All over a completely honorable period for a rumor of 23 years! Result, with a loss of 40% in volume over time, a rum limited to 181 bottles offered at 59.4% abv.



On the nose, it will not be as heady as the blend we have just tasted. Rather, they will be finer, but nevertheless present, notes of powerful vanilla mixed with ripe white-fleshed fruits.


The strength of the esters appears more on the second pass but remains quite limited. They are accompanied by smoky notes and woody notes but also by a rise in the power of spices.


The third passage confirms this positioning by adding spices such as ginger and nail and notes of polish.


On the palate, it is quite sweet and fatty as a starter, but quickly becomes lemony and then exotic. A few seconds later, we feel a surge of powerful notes of ginger and pepper. However, the fire then calms down and it “calms down” by becoming spicy honey again. At the end we will feel the strength of the alcoholic particles and the dryness of an almond.


The finish is warm and delicious, with a beautiful almond memory.


Discovery of the LONGPOND distillery

et dégustation du Single Cask LONGPOND 1998 24 ans Mark ITP


Barely had the tasting ended when I again smelled the fresh air of the Scottish hills and found myself in front of the stone. Not even time to say phew!


Never mind, I took the 3rd bottle, a bottle of LONG POND 1998 24 YEARS (ITP mark). I'll spare you the process, but once again I've left Scotland for the humidity of Jamaica.


IF the “logic” was respected, it is now in the north of the island in the town of Clark’s town (town which bears the name of one of the creators of the distillery) that I should have found myself. However, this time, I was not in front of a distillery but in the middle of a sugar cane field in the middle of the mountains.



The field being sloping, I started walking towards the plain because logically the distillery (if I was in the right place) was on flat ground.


After a few moments, I heard screams.


They were approaching me at high speed and seemed to be coming from the path I was trying to return to. Arriving there, I barely had time to take a few steps to the side when I saw a bobsleigh on wheels passing by!


I thought I was dreaming!! the rasta rocket and yet I had not yet tasted the high ester rum from the north of the island! I was definitely in Jamaica.



This feeling passed, I found my man at the edge of the field. He immediately explained to me that the mountain where I was was called LongPond. I had made a good choice and indeed, I saw not far away the high chimney of the distillery for which I had been sent here.


From a distance, the distillery looked more like an old sugar factory! But my friend explained to me that it was normal because in fact she was paired with this one. What could be easier to obtain molasses than to find yourself where it is produced.



My friend explains to me that the distillery dates from the beginning of the 18th century and was actually created by an outcast from the English crown named Simon Clark.


He also tells me that, like many Jamaican distilleries, it has had a turbulent life passing from one owner to another. In particular, it was held for a time by the Canadian Seagram to be integrated into its Captain Morgan. It was nationalized in 1980 and was finally bought by National Rums of Jamaica (now managed by Maison Ferrand through its company United Caribbean Rum Limited -cocorico-). So this distillery is partly French (like CLARENDON).


He explains to me that partially renovated to clean up its waste in 2012, the distillery resumed wholesale production as it had always done.


However, it was partially destroyed in July 2018 and saw its fermentation buildings (with wooden vats teeming with the antediluvian bacteria necessary for the character of the house) ravaged by a fire.



Arriving at the renovated production buildings, he explains to me that it is thanks to the Frenchie Alexandre Gabriel, in particular, that the distillery has regained its splendor and the 24 wooden fermentation vats in the open air (it has also 9 closed vats for light rums) which we have in front of us, and which for a year the distillery has been producing at full capacity again.


He finally explains to me that it is here that the heaviest rums in the distillery are born, sometimes with fermentations lasting almost 4 weeks.



A little further on, he shows me the house muck (a sort of compost made from distillation residue, cane straw and fruit but not from dead animals as the legend says -Editor's note) which is sometimes accompanied by stillage, fruit and other vat bottoms, is added to the fermented molasses to produce an inimitable rum.


If the rum is good, I think it is better to avoid falling into the tanks of this mixture which are teeming with bacteria and acid.


He finally leads me to the heart of the house where this mixture is transformed into delicious (but heady) rum: the still room.



These are five “big beasts”, all different but equipped with a double threat to frighten, which are arranged here. He explains to me that it is thanks to all this equipment that the distillery offers no less than 14 different marks.


Tasting of the LONGPOND Single Cask


It’s time to taste the ITP (esters between 90 and 120 grams per hectoliter) for which we came.


It is therefore a LONGPOND rum distilled in 1998 (well before the fire) and aged as with most of the rums from REST&BE THANKFUL, in an ex-bourbon barrel partly in Jamaica and partly in Scotland, for a total duration of 24 years, before being bottled in September 2022.

Result, only 178 copies of a cask strength rum (offered at 56% alcohol) with a loss (angels' share) of almost 50%.



On the nose, the esters are more present from the start and are reinforced by the alcoholic power of the distillate. This rum will have a fresher appearance than the other two with more discreet fruit notes masked by more pungent notes.


The second passage reconciles us with the notes of tropical fruits and stewed apricots. It will be associated with more woody and spicy notes.


The third passage confirms its fruity character even if we rediscover a thunderous return of esterized particles.


On the palate, it has fruity notes but quickly gives way to notes of exotic wood and notes of vanilla and mixed tropical fruits. Paradoxically, it is a little less strong than Monymusk even if it has spices that stick to the tongue. It transforms quite quickly into honeyed and pastry notes.


On the way down, it has a burst of ginger before releasing empyreumatic notes then over the length more camphorous and dry notes.



As has already been the case for the other tastings of this adventure, barely the glass is finished, not even time to enjoy the heat and the Caribbean Sea and to say goodbye to my favorite rasta, I feel caught up and enveloped in a thick fog and found myself once again in Scottish lands!


But what a great discovery that allowed me (and I hope you too) to sort through the tumultuous lives of the Jamaican rums! If you want to discover even more, the REST&BE THANKFUL range is available on the whiskey house website.


For my part, I think I'll get back in my van and take a little nap before setting off again for new adventures. I'm feeling sluggish with all the jetlag absorbed in a short time.