A local shop had this Isla Grande 18 year Maison Centenaire rum on a back shelf, along with the 15 and 30 year expressions. The 18 year was $40, so I thought I’d give it a try. The back of the bottle says “Isla Grande Rum, guaranteed pure, comes from the most select plantations from Guadeloupe, Reunion, and Martinique Islands. An exquisite flavor, a remarkable finesse, it is a first rate choice.” The website BlackSeaNY.com is listed, but the rum does not appear on their website, so I assume it’s a discontinued product. http://blackseany.com/rum.html
I opened the bottle expecting it to be a rum agricole (or rhum agricole), but decidedly was not; in fact, it turned out to be a sugar bomb created for the typical tooth-rotting American palate.
Method: Opened bottle, pour straight into a NEAT glass.
Smell: Upon opening, the first whiff I got was a soured milk smell, followed by vanilla. The sour milk smell was a very off-putting start to this bottle.
Taste: caramel, honey, very sweet – definitely not an Agricole rum as one would think coming from the French Caribbean. A bit of nutmeg in there as well. Strong alcohol.
Finish: Sweet, but that sour milk stench remained in the glass, and made this rum really unpleasant for drinking straight.
Score: 5 of 10. I’ll finish the bottle, but only as part of a ti punch or some other drink. Won’t be trying this straight again. Definitely need to mask that sour milk smell.