|Old bottle on the left, new bottle on the right.|
Brought down to a more tractable 100 proof, this rum is still has quite potent flavors. On the nose, there's quite a bit of caramelized, almost burnt sugar, molasses, tropical fruits, butter, toasted oak and a fair bit of alcohol. A couple more drops of water bring out savory notes that remind me of an Indian restaurant. The taste is primarily the caramelized to burnt sugar and smoky toasted oak, which becomes more subdued and sweeter if you add a bit more water. I'll have more to say on the subject when I review some of the other rums distilled by DDL, but Guyanese rums seem to bear some relation to Islay Scotch whisky.
Where LH151 really shines is in tiki drinks. It's an integral and irreplaceable ingredient in a number of cocktails such as the Zombie, Jet Pilot, Aku Aku Lapu, and of course, the 151 Swizzle:
1.5 oz Lemon Hart 151
0.5 oz lime juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
6 drops Herbsaint
Combine all ingredients and blend with a handful of crushed ice for 5 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass over more crushed ice and dust with freshly ground nutmeg.
This is a dangerous drink. If you use a little bit too much crushed ice, the LH151 will get too dilute and you can all too easily forget just how much alcohol is in this cocktail. However, if you get it just right, the ice lengthens the drink as time goes on and lets the experience mellow over time.
Compared to a lot of tiki drinks, this is almost blissfully easy to put together as it is little more than an extremely potent daiquiri. There's only one kind of fresh juice needed and apart from the rum, all of the ingredients are pretty easy to find.
The rum is obviously prominent as it forms the bulk of the drink. The lime juice adds its usual snap and is balanced by the simple syrup. The extra touches are what make it really special. The standard Don the Beachcomber one-two punch of Angostura bitters and Herbsaint do their dance around the main flavors and are accented by the nutmeg. The rich, bold, smokey flavor of the LH151 is wonderfully complimented by these additions and everything comes together as a simple but very tasty drink.