2009 Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection 12 Year Old Full Proof Single Blended Rum (750ml)BARBADOS$165. 00 Bottle$1980.00 DozenABV: 60%
- Nick's Import
For those serious about rum, Foursquare needs no introduction. Within an industry dominated by corporations, marketing hype and additives, the distillery has become a byword for classic Caribbean styles. Master Blender and Distiller, Richard Seale continues to fight for transparency in production and labelling. His talent and drive led noted spirits authority, Fred Minnick to describe Foursquare as "the Pappy of rum." This is the seventeenth Exceptional Cask Release since the original 1998 edition. These releases are the personal passion of Seale. Typically around eleven to twelve years old and bottled around the 60% ABV mark, the 2009 is an 'all-natural' (nothing added) blend of pot and Coffey distilled molasses rums, delivering the kind of purity, poise and elegance at 60% that leans towards XO cognac. Full-term matured in Barbados in 1st, 2nd and 3rd fill ex-Bourbon barrels, the flavour profile follows the aromas in a complex, seamless integration of banana bread, baked pineapple, mango, dried figs, coconut, wild honey and sweet spices that powers on at remarkable length. There is barely a trace of burn from the alcohol, the finish finely balancing the sugars with notes of cigar box, pepper and molasses cake. It feels utterly effortless from beginning to end. Give this sensational rum time to breathe to experience it at its best. Very limited stocks.
Other reviews... Wow! Surprised this hasn’t had a full house given to it yet so here is one from me. This is better than the 2007, and as good as the 2008. Different yes, more subtle, less burn and dangerously easy to sip. Richard Seale is a genius. 10/10 - rumratings.com
- 2008 Foursquare Exceptional Cask Selection 12 Year Old Full Proof Single Blended Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$189. 99 Bottle$2279.88 DozenABV: 60%For those serious about rum, Foursquare needs no introduction. Within an industry dominated by corporations, marketing hype and additives, the distillery has become a byword for classic Caribbean styles. Seale continues to fight for transparency in production and labeling. His talent and drive led noted spirits authority, Fred Minnick to describe Foursquare as "the Pappy of rum." This is the thirteenth Exceptional Cask Release since the original 1998 edition. These releases are the personal passion of Richard Seale, Foursquare's current Master Blender and Distiller. Typically around eleven to twelve years old and bottled around the 60% ABV mark, the 2008 is an 'all-natural' (nothing added) blend of pot and Coffey distilled molasses rums, full-term matured in Barbados in 1st, 2nd and 3rd fill ex-Bourbon barrels. Extremely limited stocks.
Other reviews... Look for intense aromas of prunes, dried cherries, maple syrup and burnt sugar with more subtle notes of roasted banana. This rum is buttery on the palate, with an interesting complexity and rich fruit flavor of dark berries, vanilla, praline, cinnamon spice and black pepper. There's quite a long fade, with savory qualities coming through. Savor it a while and notice how the flavor evolves over time. 92 points - distiller.com
Foursquare Rum Distillery 2008 delivers everything it promises on the nose and then some more. Without samples to hand I wouldn’t like to rank and rate the series. This is no disappointment. It might even be the best example of this “expression” we have had so far. Another instant classic from Foursquare. - thefatrumpirate.com
2016 Habitation Velier Hampden Diamond H Jamaica Cask Strength Pure Single Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$255. 00 Bottle$3060.00 DozenABV: 62%
- Nick's Import
Velier have released another Hampden marque in the series: 'Diamond H' (also noted as '<>H'). At 900 and 1000 gr/HLPA after distillation, this is a typical example of a high ester style , though less extreme compared to its predecessors HGML and C<>H. We tasted a 10ml sample alongside Hampden's 47% 'LROK'. This is almost twice as intense offering compelling aromas of shellac and funk giving way to fruit bread, pineapple pudding, icing sugar and plantain (amongst other notes). It boasts a super pure, high definition 'tropicality' with an almost sappy, briney, agave-like edge and bittersweet flavours of cocoa, semi-ripe mango and papaya continuing the theme at length. Aged entirely in Jamaica for five years in ex-bourbon barrels with an angel's share of 40%, it's another complex, powerful and evocative Hampden that will appeal to both rum purists and collectors. 62% Alc./Vol. Very limited stocks.Notes from the bottlers... Nose : Intense and concentrated. Pineapple, black olive, notes of star anis. Palate: Full-bodied and refined. Banana, almond paste, acetone. Overall : Empyreumatic and deep. Citrus fruit, notes of hydrocarbon.
The Velier company was founded by the Chaix family in 1947. From 1953 to 1983, this small traditional company located in the port of Gênes, specialised in the importation and distribution of wines, champagnes and spirits. In 1983, then aged 25, Luca Gargano acquired shares in Velier. Under his influence the company began specialising in the importation of exceptional spirits to be supplied to the most prestigious establishments in Italy. In the early 1990s, Luca Gargano heard rumours of a mythical, quasi-legendary stock of St James Rum that had supposedly been distilled at the end of the 19th century. Eventually he discovered proof that this stock, distilled in 1885 and bottled in 1952, did indeed exist. And in 1991, following lengthy discussions, Luca finally managed to acquire the entirety of this stock, which he then released on the Italian market. These selections of rums have since multiplied and led to a myriad of Velier selections.
2007 Habitation Velier Worthy Park 10 Year Old Cask Strength Jamaica Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$199. 00 Bottle$2388.00 DozenABV: 59%Worthy Park Estate is an historic Jamaican distillery that re-opened in 2005. Habitation Velier are releasing their rums in conjunction with WP, so strictly speaking, these are not independent bottlings, rather more like a joint business venture.
This ten year old 100% Pot still rum is a result of the third distillation since re-opening. Aged in ex-bourbon barrels and bottled in late 2017, notable here is the designation 'WPL' on the label which stands for 'Worthy Park Light', meaning it's a relatively low ester rum. Habitation Velier are also now emphasising the Worthy Park title, rather than using the still names (e.g. 'Forsyths', as on the 2005 and 2006 editions). Extremely limited allocation. Tasting note: [20ml sample] Deep honey gold. Initial nosing finds subtle scents of icing sugar, liquorice root and peppercorns; Second pass is more intense, expressive and complex, now picking up oily, resiny aromas as well as raw sugar, banana cake, rolling tobacco, wild honey wavering between drier notes of lead pencil and plantain. Unfolds in the mouth in a tsunami of cocoa, unrefined sugar and vanilla countered by pineapple and caney freshness. Ends zesty, grassy, finely astringent, prolonged. Exceptional. Best Worthy Park to date. 59% Alc./Vol.
- 2009 Habitation Velier Last Ward 9 Year Old Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$199. 00 Bottle$2388.00 DozenABV: 59%Habitation Velier are building a reputation as 'The House of Pure Single Rums', releasing in conjunction with various Caribbean distilleries. Strictly speaking, these are not independent bottlings, rather more like a joint business venture. Each "Pure Single Rum" is meant as an expression of each distillery’s unique still, as pictured on the labels. This now very rare Barbados edition was produced at the famous Mount Gay distillery in a triple-distillation pot still. As such, it's the first rum in the three-hundred-year history of the distillery to be produced exclusively via a pot still. A marrying of nineteen of the oldest barrels available to Velier at the time, ten years of tropical aging saw a whopping 64% of the rum lost to evaporation. Finally bottled at barrel proof, unfiltered, sugar free, and completely aged in ex-bourbon barrels on site, this historic release should be on every collector's short list. (The name is a tribute to Frank Ward and his family, who owned and ran the distillery for over a century before it was acquired by Remy Cointreau). 59% Alc./Vol.
2013 Habitation Velier Foursquare 2 Year Old Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$160. 00 Bottle$1920.00 DozenABV: 64%Consistently praised as a producer of some of Barbados's finest rums, the Foursquare distillery is also the home of famous brands like Doorlys and R.L. Seale. This all natural bottling from Velier was 100% pot distilled and bottled in 2015 after brief maturation in x Cognac barrels. Tasting note: Bright gold. A few off notes, but builds nicely with a powerful bouquet reminiscent of wild honey, cinnamon and brandy sauce. Second pass finds nuances of clove, ginger bread and dark chocolate. Oily and warming with medium-sweet, spiced fruit cake flavours, along side honey and light molasses. A beautifully balanced and surprisingly elegant rum that shows amazing control and maturity for its youth.
64% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
- 2010 Habitation Velier Monymusk EMB 9 Year Old Cask Strength Jamaica Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$210. 00 Bottle$2520.00 DozenABV: 62%Habitation Velier are bulding a reputation as 'The House of Pure Single Rums', releasing in conjunction with various Caribbean distilleries. Strictly speaking, these are not independent bottlings, rather more like a joint business venture. Each "Pure Single Rum" is meant as an expression of each distillery’s unique still, as pictured on the labels. This edition is from Jamaica's Clarendon Distillery (est.1949), home to about 5-6 column still marques and about 20 pot still marques. Amongst these is Monymusk. Named after a bygone sugar plantation, the brand has only been around since 2012. Velier's is distilled in a single retort pot still, resulting in a powerful, fruity rum with esters around 270 gr/hpa. Like all the Velier rums, it is entirely aged in the tropics, bottled at barrel proof without chill filtration or added caramel or any other element. Very limited stocks. 62% Alc./Vol.
2006 Habitation Velier Forsyths 11 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$185. 00 Bottle$2220.00 DozenABV: 57.5%Worthy Park Estate is a historic distillery in Jamaica that re-opened in 2005.
During the second year of distillation, 25 barrels of the high ester WPM marque were bottled in a unique, unrepeatable release. This is it: 100% pot still rum from estate grown molasses bottled 11 years later at natural strength, with zero additives and entirely aged in the tropics in x Bourbon barrels. Extremely limited allocation. Tasting note: Beautiful deep amber - topaz colour. Highly aromatic, drier nose-feel is also compellingly pure, with golden syrup, raw sugar and dried grass-like notes developing dried mango / apricot, vanilla, caramel and sweet oak. Entry is bittersweet suggesting liquorice strap and golden syrup. Mid palate turns softer, creamier bordering on luxurious. Finish melts across the tongue, closing caney / grassy then oaky, nutty, spicy yet remarkably fresh. Near zero burn. Resonates over ten minutes with echoes of molasses and ripe tropical fruits. Exceptional. 57.5% Alc./Vol.
- 2007 Habitation Velier Last Ward 10 Year Old Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$199. 00 Bottle$2388.00 DozenABV: 59%Habitation Velier are building a reputation as 'The House of Pure Single Rums', releasing in conjunction with various Caribbean distilleries. Strictly speaking, these are not independent bottlings, rather more like a joint business venture. Each "Pure Single Rum" is meant as an expression of each distillery’s unique still, as pictured on the labels. This now very rare Barbados edition was produced at the famous Mount Gay distillery in a triple-distillation pot still. As such, it's the first rum in the three-hundred-year history of the distillery to be produced exclusively via a pot still. A marrying of nineteen of the oldest barrels available to Velier at the time, ten years of tropical aging saw a whopping 65% of the rum lost to evaporation. Finally bottled at barrel proof, unfiltered, sugar free, and completely aged in ex-bourbon barrels on site, this historic release should be on every collector's short list. (The name is a tribute to Frank Ward and his family, who owned and ran the distillery for over a century before it was acquired by Remy Cointreau). 59% Alc./Vol.
2011 Habitation Velier Hampden LFCH 7 Year Old Cask Strength Jamaican Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$189. 99 Bottle$2279.88 DozenABV: 60.5%Built in 1750 and sought after for its powerful, estery, pot-distilled spirit, the Hampden estate is renowned for possessing the best cane lands in Jamaica producing the highest tonne sugar from tonne cane milled. LFCH is a new marque created in 2010, identifying rums with a 200-250 Gr/hpla ester count, which means you can expect a very fruity style. This youthful Velier was distilled in 2011 and bottled in 2018 with almost half lost to evaporation. Extremely limited stocks. Tasting note: [15ml sample] Deep gold. The stunning cognac-like bouquet is a creamy melting pot of fruity-oily complexity unfolding as lanolin, dates, dried figs, white chocolate, bush honey and banana bread. Incredible restraint at 60% with a charge of molasses, baking spices and dried banana leading into fresher, caney/grassy notes to finish. Cocoa, all-spice, molasses and hints of curry leaf through the prolonged aftertaste. Worth it for the nose alone. Superb. 60.5% Alc./Vol.
- Hampden Estate Great House Distillery Edition 2021 Release Pure Single Jamaica Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$199. 99 Bottle$2399.88 DozenABV: 55%
Founded in 1779, Hampden's Great House ('Habitation' in French) traditionally served as a storage warehouse for barrels until the early 1900s. Recently Hampden have been putting out their own bottlings of aged rum, rather than selling in bulk for others to market. Luca Gargano, director of Habitation Vélier, brought this production to the attention of rum lovers globally. However, despite it's 'Velier' presentation, the blending was done by Master Distiller, Vivian Wisdom. Considered by experts to be the most authentic in the Jamaican pantheon, this promises a heady, captivating and bewitching rum experience. All tropically aged, it goes without saying, no sugar or flavouring has been added. Like last year's release, the second edition is allocated globally. Very limited stocks. 55% Alc./Vol.
- Hampden Estate 8 Year Old Pure Single Jamaica Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$120. 00 Bottle$1440.00 DozenABV: 46%
Velier has more or less had exclusivity on Hampden rum bottlings since 2018, a collaboration that's likely to continue through their new organisation of La Maison & Velier. However, Luca Gargano makes it clear that this is not a Velier release, despite the similarity in packaging. After 250 years of exporting in bulk to independent bottlers and merchants alike, Hampden have finally released a rum under their own label. In this case, Velier is merely the distributor.
Thirty one barrels make up the blend. All the rums were derived from fermentation with wild yeasts (or dunder) "...a process not totally dissimilar from sour mashing in Kentucky, which uses the spent lees of distillation to cultivate flavour producing bacteria. The muck that's harvested from those pits is added to the fermentation to create one of the most biologically complex worts in the world of distillation and the resulting spirit is packed full of complex esters."
Add to that eight years of 100% tropical aging (arguably equivalent to over two decades in a European climate) and you have a drier styled rum with all the funk and complexity you associate with Jamaica's best. Cut back with local spring water to 46% Alc./Vol., no sugar or flavouring is added.
Other reviews... Although not my favourite, this is real quality stuff. Unsweetened, uncoloured, single pot-stilled rum. All ingredients declared, the standard Luca Gargano and Richard Seale are trying to get the industry to aspire to. Nose very funky, in keeping with the esters declared on the label. Gluey, acetone entry, fading into dried bananas. In the mouth it's a beast, punching above its 46%. Alcohol and other volatiles kick your palate, there is a long spiritey finish, but a shortage of dried fruit and wood. Bone dry, sweetness 1/5. In the throat there is a burn that goes up your nose and follows down into your gullet. This is not a subtle rum. It'll make you sit up and take notice of what is the craft of double retort pot stills. The complete opposite of Zacapa / El Dorado / Diplomatico. I'm not sure whether I'd buy it again, but I loved the experience of unusual, but serious quality. - rumratings.com
- Hampden Estate Overproof 8 Year Old Jamaican Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$150. 00 Bottle$1800.00 DozenABV: 60%A tiny allocation of this much awaited overproof release from the legendary Hampden Estate has finally arrived. Promising the kind of "Jamaican Funk " that's garnered a strong following, it's also the first aged rum to be released directly by Hampden, otherwise only available via independents. 60% Alc./Vol. Other reviews... If you like Worthy Park rums and the older Appleton Rums, the 12 but the 21 in particular, then I think you will get a lot of enjoyment out of this. If you are after some insane ester heavy bruiser then give this a swerve. But please re-consider at a later date. Hampden Estate Overproof is a really well-balanced, beautifully put together rum. At 60% ABV it should satisfy anyone’s desire for “Cask Strength” rum. Also it is priced competitively alongside the Indie bottlings. I would certainly recommend picking up a bottle of this, instead of perhaps chucking at a 20 year plus independent bottling. It makes a belting rum and coke as well…
4.5 stars - thefatrumpirate.com
- Hampden Estate Great House Distillery Edition 2020 Release Pure Single Jamaica Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$180. 00 Bottle$2160.00 DozenABV: 59%
Probably one of the most allocated rums in recent history. A large market like the UK received just 240 bottles. Australia has much less.
Founded in 1779, Hampden's Great House ('Habitation' in French) traditionally served as a storage warehouse for barrels until the early 1900s. Recently Hampden have been putting out their own bottlings of aged rum, rather than selling in bulk for others to market. Luca Gargano, director of Habitation Vélier, brought this production to the attention of rum lovers globally. However, despite it's 'Velier' presentation, the blending was done by Master Distiller, Vivian Wisdom. It's a potent combination of two marques: OWH distilled in 2013 and Hampden DOK distilled in 2017. Similar to the way Scottish malt has PPM to measure peat (shorthand for parts-per-million), rum has g/hL AA, or grams per hectoliter of absolute alcohol. Some tasters equate the ester count to reflect the degree of 'fruitiness' or 'funk' in the rum. Here the majority (80%) OWH component falls between 80 and 120 grams of esters while the DOK falls between 1500 and 1600 grams. You can infer the aim of blending two very different ester counts is to create a balanced flavour profile. Considered by experts to be the most authentic in the Jamaican pantheon, this promises a heady, captivating and bewitching rum experience. All tropically aged, it goes without saying, no sugar or flavouring has been added.
Notes from the bottlers... Profile: powerful, the first nose is medicinal, camphoric, spicy, fruity (very ripe pineapple) and slightly tarred. With aeration, it evolves on the sweetness of molasses, notes of pipe tobacco and heady flowers (tuberose). Over time, it becomes more and more fruity (pear, peach). Tight, the attack on the palate reveals mineral (basalt), chocolate, liquorice and fruity (pineapple, Williams pear). Empyreumatic, the mid-palate is in turn tarred but also tangy (orange zest). Smooth, the start of the finish is delicious (vanilla cake, mille-feuille). It should be noted that the taste palette is constantly gaining in finesse. The retro-olfaction is powdery (cocoa), spicy (cinnamon) and refreshing. 59% Alc./Vol.
Hoochery Distillery Ord River Overproof Rum (750ml)Kununurra, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA$99. 99 Bottle$1199.88 DozenABV: 56.4%
Owner, developer and farmer Spike Dessert fell in love with the Kimberley when he saw it in 1972. In 1995 with the onset of Sugar Cane being grown in the Ord River Valley, he saw a way to diversify his dream and created the Hoochery - the oldest continuously operating distillery in Western Australia. Now if you are wondering about the name Hoochery, the name was trademarked by Spike from the word Hooch which goes back to the Hutanuwu (later modified to Hoochinoo) Indian tribe of Alaska who made alcoholic liquor - this is until it became the more popular name for the illegal activity of bootlegging!
Built on his farm just outside of Kununurra in the heart of the beautiful Ord River Valley is a small pot distillery, which has the capacity to produce over 50,000 bottles of Rum a year. The Ord River Rum is made from local sugar cane, wet season rainwater and yeast that is all vat fermented, pot distilled, charcoal filtered, aged in oak barrels and hand bottled. The distillery is 100% Australian owned and operated.
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- Inner Circle Green Dot Overproof Rum 57.2% ABV (700ml)AUSTRALIA$59. 99 Bottle$719.88 DozenABV: 57.2%
Inner Circle Rum was first produced by the CSR (Colonial Sugar Refinery) Company last century for the pleasure of its employees and very special clients - hence the name. From its first distillation, the objective was to make the best rum possible. In 1970, Inner Circle Rum was released into the Australian market and immediately created a cult like following. Those who found the Brand, ‘’only spoke of it in whispers but sung it’s praises loudly!’ It was originally available in three strengths, Underproof, Overproof and 33% Overproof. The label was instantly recognisable by it’s coloured circle and became identified as red, green or black dot. However, in 1986, CSR sold their rum distillery interests and Inner Circle was removed from the market. A great Aussie icon disappeared. In 2000 Stuart Gilbert, an Australian Olympic Yachtsman still lamenting the loss of his favourite rum, sought out and became acquainted with Malcolm Campbell who had been responsible for the distillation and quality control of Inner Circle from 1972 to 1986 when he supervised the very last bottling. To Stuart’s delight, Malcolm was only too willing to apply his many years of experience to the task of producing a rum deserving of the Inner Circle name. Inspired by this revelation, Stuart acquired the rights to the Brand name and now offers his product to the rum lovers of the world! In 2004, Inner Circle Rum purchased the Beenleigh Rum Distillery which, after some re-engineering, has begun producing the highest quality pot still rums. The Company has also purchased Offices in the old CSR Cooperage building at Pyrmont.
Presently the Rum is produced using the labour intensive pot still method, rather than the continuous distillation method used by most other commercial rums. The pot-still method is generally agreed to produce rums of a higher quality. Inner Circle Rum is made to the same blend and by the same blender as it was when it was last commercially available. The same quality that made it an icon brand has become the standard for the future of this 100% Australian owned company.
Inner Circle Green Dot 57.2% Dark Rum recently won the Jim Murray Trophy for the Best Rum at the prestigious 2004 International Wine and Spirit Competition held annually in London. Often referred to as “the Olympics of the beverage industry”, this competition is arguably one of the premier competitions of its type in the world and attracts the world’s best producers who showcase their products against their global competitors (www.iwsc.net ). As well as winning the Trophy for the Best Rum, Inner Circle Rums were also awarded 2 Gold Medals, 3 Silver Medals and 2 Bronze Medals. Considering there were many major global Corporations entering their branded Rums in this Competition, this small Australian Company has taken all before it, beating the best Rums from all over the world!
Other reviews... Rich copper hue. Robust toffee, floral, and brown spice aromas. A round, soft entry leads to a big, full-bodied palate with lush dried tropical fruits, burnt caramel, buttered roasted nuts, and lavish brown spices. Finishes with a huge wave of peppercorns, hot spice and a minerally, slightly rubbery edge. A dry powerhouse style in the vein of fine alembic Armagnac. Opens up tremendously with a little spring water. 57.2% Alc./Vol.
International Review of Spirits Award: Gold Medal
94 points (Exceptional) - tastings.com size>
Jimmy Rum Small Batch Navy Rum (700ml)Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, AUSTRALIA$110. 00 Bottle$1320.00 DozenABV: 57.8%Tasting note: [Batch 001] Clear. Similar to the standard strength 'Silver', the aroma evoking hints of crushed ants(?) and balsa wood in an exotic combination of grassy / briney / waxy / peppery complexity. Mouthfilling and well rounded sappy, grassy, briney flavours with a surge of white pepper heat. Finishes creamy, viscous, medium long. Highly textural. Good cocktail option. 57.8% Alc./Vol.
- Kill Devil Single Cask Guyana 11 Year Old Port Ellen Finish Cask Strength Rum (700ml)GUYANA$240. 00 Bottle$2880.00 DozenABV: 60.9%The Kill Devil series showcases the quality and diversity of rum from the Caribbean and further afield. Single casks are specially selected for shipment to Scotland for finishing. Behind the label are 'Hunter Laing', famous for their indie whiskies - which explains how they've got their hands on an x sherry cask that previously held Port Ellen single malt for 25 years. The rum itself is sourced from Diamond Distillers (El Dorado et al), however the still(s) used aren't disclosed. Just under 690 bottles are on offer. Other reviews... Molasses, treacle toffee and some smoky raisins come through as I keep sipping. There is a really complex array of spicy notes coming in and out of play as well. This is a very complex multi faceted spirit. It’s almost like a mixed Whisky and Rum in many ways. 60.9% Alc./Vol. 4 stars - fatrumpirate.com
- 2005 Leith Stillroom Foursquare Distillery Cask Strength Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$230. 00 Bottle$2760.00 DozenABV: 63.3%
A cask strength whopper from Barbados bottled by Leith Stillroom at 63.3%! Consistently praised as a producer of some of Barbados's finest rums, the Foursquare distillery is also the home of famous brands like Doorlys and R.L. Seale. This edition was distilled in 2005 and bottled in 2019 with no chill filtration or colouring.
Notes from the bottlers... On the nose, deliciously rich and malty with fragrant vanilla and Christmas cake. Toffee apple and coffee coming through with undertones of sense oak and buttery molasses. In the mouth, toasted oak with cigar and coffee bean bitterness developing into burnt notes of spiced fruit, thick treacle and a subtle note of camphor; a touch of smoke lingers with a long sweet finish.
- 2003 Leith Stillroom Diamond Distillery Cask Strength Rum (700ml)GUYANA$180. 00 Bottle$2160.00 DozenABV: 59.6%
The 'real deal' in rum is on offer in a range of very limited single cask editions from UK bottler, 'Leith Stillroom'.
This one's sourced from Guyana's only operating rum producer. Located on the east bank of the Demerara River near Georgetown, all of the country's historical stills were consolidated at DDL's Diamond Distillery around 2000. Unfortunately, Leith's label doesn’t state which still (or stills) this particular bottling was created with. What we do know is that is was distilled in 2003, aged in an ex-Bourbon cask for 16 years and bottled all-natural. Rum purists can expect a full bodied and potent Demerara expression.
Notes from the bottlers... On the nose, fruity with red cherries and dates: coconut with ripe bananas and sweet melon; apricots with a hint of coffee beans developing into oak spices. On the palette, bananas with pineapple rind; molasses and sticky brown sugar; bitter dark chocolate and cinnamon, bursting with dried tropical fruit peels and gently spiced. 59.6% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
- Mhoba Select Reserve Glass Cask 60 South African Rum (700ml)SOUTH AFRICA$180. 00 Bottle$2160.00 DozenABV: 60%
Interest in Mhoba's rums is gaining momentum globally. Nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Onderberg district of Mpumalanga, founder Robert Greaves initially intended to make a South African version of Cachaca. Years of experimentation led him beyond that vision. His rums have been summed up as "...well made, unmessed-with, cask strength, and very, very original." This edition is no exception. A sugarcane juice distillation aged for more than two years in large glass demijohns, virgin American oak staves cut and charred at the distillery were included in the vessels. The liquid was then transferred from these "glass barrels" to x-South African whisky casks for a finishing period.
Producing since 2015, Mhoba harvests the Nkomazi variety of sugar cane from a farm adjacent to the distillery. The cane is hand cut and pressed by an in-house mill. The cane juice (not molasses) is fermented in part by a local baking yeast as well as wild yeasts. Distillation is conducted with a pot still designed by Greaves. The particularity of this still is to favour a maximum reflux in order to develop heavy and aromatic distillates. 1000 bottles produced. 60% Alc./Vol.
- Mount Gay XO Limited Edition Cask Strength Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$265. 00 Bottle$3180.00 DozenABV: 63%Weighing in at a hefty 63% ABV is this new limited edition from one of the Caribbean's top rum producers. A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the island's independence, it comes handsomely packaged in a timber presentation box, complete with booklet and notes written by master blender, Alen Smith. A blend of pot and column distilled molasses based rums, and originally released as a UK exclusive limited to 3000 bottles worldwide, we have received a tiny allocation. This rare gem has had more than one reviewer on the blogosphere summing it up as "easily the best Mount Gay rum yet." Extremely limited stocks.
- 2000 Plantation Single Cask Jamaica 19 Year Old Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$210. 00 Bottle$2520.00 DozenABV: 51.6%
According to at least one blogger, unlike the majority of Plantation's bottlings, this one is a drier style. Molasses based and produced at Jamaica's Clarendon Distillery via a pot still, it spent 18 years in bourbon casks followed by one year in 350 litre Ferrand casks that previously contained cognac from Borderies. These casks bring added sweetness along with rancio and flower notes. For those interested in the numbers, they are: 1251 g/HL AA; Esters : 256 g/hL AA and a final ABV of 51.6%. It comes labelled with Clarendon's 'MBK' marque accordingly.
Built in 1949, the Clarendon distillery is one of the Caribbean’s newer producers, built back in 1949 when it was running a single pot still built by Louisville, Kentucky coppersmiths, Vendome. Since 2009, it's been joined by a second, larger pot still of Indian manufacture and a modern five-column still. While National Rums of Jamaica has a 73% share, the remaining 23% is owned by their biggest customer, Diageo, who reserve the majority of Clarendon’s output for their Captain Morgan and Myers’s brands.
Notes from Plantation... Nose : Mango, passionfruit, Mirabelle plum, jam, heady flowers as lilac and lily of the valley, brandy tones. Palate: Very intense on the fruits, from acidulated plum to ripe pineapple and banana, light bitter almond and hint of caraway. Finale : Compote, flowers, aneth.
- 2005 Plantation Fiji 15 Year Old One-Time Limited Edition Rum (700ml)FIJI$135. 00 Bottle$1620.00 DozenABV: 50.2%
Exchanges of cultures and knowledge, innumerable tastings and passionate discussions between Alexandre Gabriel and Liam F. Costello at the Rum Co. of Fiji resulted in this limited edition. Molasses based and distilled entirely in triple column stills, it was aged for 14 years in Bourbon casks in the moderate climate of the Fiji Islands, followed by a proprietary second maturation for twelve months in Ferrand French oak barrels in Cognac. Each step of the way, both the Fiji and the French teams worked hand in hand. The final outturn was 28 casks at 50.2% Alc./Vol with an ester count of 99.1 g/hL AA.
Notes from Plantation... Nose : Intense, it starts on a fruity and spicy profile with/ cooked apple and prune, cinnamon and hints of galangal. It then evolves on golden syrup, pear, vanilla, and nutmeg. Empty glass : Gingerbread, cocoa, and prune. Palate : Mellow, it follows the nose with fudge milk chocolate, nuts, licorice an ginger. Finish : Lingering, on allspice, golden syrup, and galangal.
- 2011 Plantation Barbados 9 Year Old One-Time Limited Edition Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$120. 00 Bottle$1440.00 DozenABV: 51.1%Only 24 casks were made of this one-time-only rum, with a fraction of the outturn making it to Australia. A blend of column still and pot still molasses-based rums distilled in 2011 at the West Indies Rum Distillery (est.1893) on Barbados, it was filled into Bourbon casks and aged on site at Brighton Beach for four and a half years. From there it was shipped to Château de Bonbonnet in France – the home of Cognac masters Maison Ferrand – where it spent another four and a half years in their casks gaining further complexity in the cooler European climate. It was finally bottled as a 9 year old at 51.1% with an ester count of 120 g/hL AA.
Notes from Plantation... It opens with woody and spicy notes with cinnamon, pepper and ginger, then it becomes fruitier with raisins, prune and citrus peel with hazelnut and almond in the background. Palate : Gentle at first and very fruity on raisins and walnut, it then becomes stronger and dryer with tons of chocolate, caramel, vanilla and nutmeg with some dried flowers and cooked fruits and citrus peel building up sip after sip. Finish : Long on prunes, nuts, chocolate and pepper.
- 2003 Plantation Jamaica 17 Year Old One-Time Limited Edition Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$135. 00 Bottle$1620.00 DozenABV: 49.5%
If you haven’t tried proper Jamaican rum before, then start here. This all-natural offering from Plantation promises a great example of what Jamaica does best: A high ester, high strength combination of intense fruit plus a little 'funk', rounded off by secondary notes from Ferrand's double maturation. Molasses based and produced at Jamaica's Clarendon Distillery in a Double Retort Vendome Pot Still, it was tropically aged for 16 years in 200 litre Bourbon casks followed by a twelve month period in 350 litre Ferrand x-cognac casks. The final ester count was 422 g/hL AA , with the outturn totalling 29 casks.
Notes from Plantation... Pronounced fresh, fruity and encaustic notes mixed with passion fruit and green banana, elegant woody notes, prune, vanilla with bitter almond and fresh fig. Palate : Dry and long with mango, candied fruit, date and prune finishing on floral notes. Finish : Pepper, red berry ending on vanilla and banana flambee. A great sipping rum. 49.5% Alc./Vol.
- 1996 Plantation Jamaica Rum 22 Year Old Extreme No.3 HJC Cask Strength Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$365. 00 Bottle$4380.00 DozenABV: 56.2%The third release in Plantation's 'Extreme' range is actually two rums: Both come from the Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica. Both were distilled in 1996 and spent 21 years maturing in x bourbon barrels before Ferrand’s traditional finishing in cognac casks in France. Labelled ITP and HJC respectively, they're the result of two slightly different 'recipes'. In Jamaica, distilleries classify rum based on the content of 'esters' post distillation (the aromatic chemical compounds created during fermentation. These determine how heavy the rum is). For Long Pond, their ITP is the slightly lighter of the two marques - having said that, both are described as "full-bodied and funky", with the HJC showing all-round better balance, fermented for three weeks with an ester count of 345 g/hl AA. In July 2018 there was a large fire at Long Pond Distillery and over 65,000 litres of rum were destroyed. The historic distillery is still standing, but it may be some time before we see more like these. Just over 2000 bottles of each were made for the worldwide market. We have a tiny allocation so collectors will be scrambling for the pair. Plantation's Extreme series is a collection of limited-edition rums that are "simply perfect in their natural state". The Master Blender adds, "Sometimes we find a rum barrel in our cellar that stands alone for its uniqueness of taste which can only be described as “extreme”. This cask is then set aside and bottled for its sheer exquisite essence, resulting in a very limited edition of what we call Plantation Extreme."
- 1996 Plantation Jamaica Rum 22 Year Old Extreme No.3 ITP Cask Strength Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$365. 00 Bottle$4380.00 DozenABV: 54.8%The third release in Plantation's 'Extreme' range is actually two rums: Both come from the Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica. Both were distilled in 1996 and spent 21 years maturing in x bourbon barrels before Ferrand’s traditional finishing in cognac casks in France. Labelled ITP and HJC respectively, they're the result of two slightly different 'recipes'. In Jamaica, distilleries classify rum based on the content of 'esters' post distillation (the aromatic chemical compounds created during fermentation. These determine how heavy the rum is). For Long Pond, their ITP is the slightly lighter of the two marques - having said that, both are described as "full-bodied and funky", with the ITP being the fruitier of the two, fermented for three weeks with an ester count of 386 g/hl AA. In July 2018 there was a large fire at Long Pond Distillery and over 65,000 litres of rum were destroyed. The historic distillery is still standing, but it may be some time before we see more like these. Just over 2000 bottles of each were made for the worldwide market. We have a tiny allocation so collectors will be scrambling for the pair. Plantation's Extreme series is a collection of limited-edition rums that are "simply perfect in their natural state". The Master Blender adds, "Sometimes we find a rum barrel in our cellar that stands alone for its uniqueness of taste which can only be described as “extreme”. This cask is then set aside and bottled for its sheer exquisite essence, resulting in a very limited edition of what we call Plantation Extreme."
Plantation Overproof 73% Original Dark Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO$110. 00 Bottle$1320.00 DozenABV: 73%Tasting note: Brassy gold. Packed and expressive with scents of cornflake honey crackles, golden syrup and thick vanilla amid the vapoury spirit. Second pass dries the bouquet offering hints of banana fritter, marmalade and damar varnish. Rich and creamy entry; more biitersweet as the alcoholic attack strikes mid palate. Super intense cocoa, vanilla, then bitter toffee and banana cake enter as the tongue nipping spices retreat. Surprisingly controlled for all the spirit here. Long and delicious. A massive statement in Rum. 73% Alc./Vol.
- 1999 Plantation Guyana 18 Year Old Extreme No.2 Cask Strength Rum (700ml) - Uitvlugt DistilleryGUYANA$299. 00 Bottle$3588.00 DozenABV: 59.7%Plantation's Extreme series is a collection of limited-edition rums that are "simply perfect in their natural state". The Master Blender adds, "Sometimes we find a rum barrel in our cellar that stands alone for its uniqueness of taste which can only be described as “extreme”. This cask is then set aside and bottled for its sheer exquisite essence, resulting in a very limited edition of what we call Plantation Extreme." Distilled in March 1999 and bottled in September 2017 with a total outturn of 1000 bottles, this rum was created at Guyana's now-dismantled Uitvlugt distillery in March 1999 and then aged in bourbon casks for 15 years, before three further years of maturation in Cognac casks. While Uitvlugt continues to operate as a sugar refinery and producer of molasses, the equipment used for rum production reportedly ceased operation in 2000. Not surprisingly, the rums have become quite collectible. 59.7% Alc./Vol. Very limited allocation.
1991 Rasta Morris Uitvlugt Distillery Single Cask 26 Year Old Cask Strength Guyana Rum (700ml)GUYANA$499. 00 Bottle$5988.00 DozenABV: 58.8%
- Limit One per customer
A very desirable Uitvlugt, bottled by Belgian indie, Bert Bruyneel (of Asta Morris fame) who, not content with whisky, is constantly on the look out for high quality, tasty rums. In order to accommodate the category he wasted no time and started a new label - 'Rasta Morris'. The outturn from this cask was 216 bottles with only a small parcel making its way to Australia.
Long closed and now highly collectable, derived from the Dutch for ‘out-flow’ or “owt-flut”, Uitvlugt is a village on the coast of Guyana, the name of a river, and most importantly, the name bestowed to a legendary South American distillery. Established around 1750, Uitvlugt's double wooden pot stills were famous for producing a heavier style of rum. However, like many rum regions through the 19th and 20th centuries, production declined in Guyana. The equipment at Uitvlugt was mothballed around 2000, and the acclaimed Diamond Distillery is now the custodian of its historical stills. 58.8% Alc./Vol.
- Rum Diary Royal Fortune Navy Strength Spiced Rum (700ml)Victoria, AUSTRALIA$110. 00 Bottle$1320.00 DozenABV: 57%Born in Fitzroy and finished by hand, this small batch premium spiced rum is the essence of The Rum Diary Bar. It's taken to the next level in this Navy Strength edition that incorporates Lapsang Souchong, smoked brown cardamom and black pepper to create a smoky, earthen and slightly salty finish. Other reviews... Spicy fruit on the nose. Same continues in the flavour finishing medium long. Well balanced throughout.
Bronze Medal, International Rum Awards 2019
1992 Samaroli Hampden 27 Year Old Cask Strength Jamaican Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$550. 00 Bottle$6600.00 DozenABV: 54.5%Tasting note: [10ml sample] A rum that shows what can happen when careful and superior selection leave their mark: Pure magic. Still caney, profoundly rum-like and astoundingly fresh, the flavours are so beautifully arranged with an orchestral control to the point where language seems pointless. Samaroli demonstrates there are still amazing rums out there to be found, often flying beneath the radar. This is one, with a saturating, sensory attack that ascends two or three octaves before coming back to earth. For sheer length alone, it beats almost any other wood aged spirit. The aftertaste continues well beyond five minutes. One only available. Built in 1750 and sought after for its powerful, estery, pot-distilled spirit, the Hampden estate is renowned for possessing the best cane lands in Jamaica producing the highest tonne sugar from tonne cane milled. 54.5% Alc./Vol.
- Scheer Velier 11 Year Old MMW Wedderburn Tropical Aged Cask Strength Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$280. 00 Bottle$3360.00 DozenABV: 69.1%These fascinating Scheer-Velier bottlings were originally released as comparison sets (Tropical and Contintental aged bottlings). The concept was to showcase the differences between Continental versus Tropical aging. As the name suggests, they were created in collaboration between Dutch independent bottler 'Scheer', and Master Blender and renowned rum guardian and advocate Luca Gargano of Velier. Aged entirely in Jamaica's tropical climate, this expression blends two casks distilled in 2008 and ten casks distilled in 2007. Part of the Wedderburn category of rums produced by the Monymusk-Clarendon distillery, it comes with an ester content of 315.6 grams per hectolitre of pure alcohol. Described as "Extreme and uncompromising" with a massive ABV, expect something quite special for the hard core rum lover. 69.1% Alc./Vol.
- Scheer Velier 14 Year EMB Plummer Tropical Aged Cask Strength Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$300. 00 Bottle$3600.00 DozenABV: 69.7%These fascinating Scheer-Velier bottlings were originally released as comparison sets (Tropical and Contintental aged bottlings). The concept was to showcase the differences between Continental versus Tropical aging. As the name suggests, they were created in collaboration between Dutch independent bottler 'Scheer', and Master Blender and renowned rum guardian and advocate Luca Gargano of Velier. Aged entirely in tropical Jamaica and composed of a blend of ten casks distilled in 2006, two casks distilled in 2004 and four casks distilled in 2002, this is part of the Plummer (EMB) category of rums produced by Monymusk distillery. With an ester content of 324.5 grams per hectolitre of pure alcohol, expect a complex, extroverted and deliciously generous rum. 69.7% Alc./Vol.
That Boutique-y Rum Company Caroni 20 Year Old Batch 2 Cask Strength Rum (500ml)TRINIDAD$450. 00 Bottle$5400.00 DozenABV: 54.7%
- Limit One per customer
Caroni bottlings are now entering the league of semi-mythical wood aged spirits. To find a well aged expression is increasingly rare. This 20-year-old weighing in at 54.7% is an obvious opportunity for collectors. One of 1875 bottles released as part of Boutique'y's batch 2, Caroni's full flavoured nutty, sweet and smokey molasses profile is now a rare relic of flavour history. The distillery has long since closed, and as you can see from the label, it’s looking a little worse for wear. When Caroni shut down their stills in 2002, it marked the end to 'heavy' rum production in Trinidad. Extremely limited stocks.
2007 The Drunken Master SNK Samurai Showdown Foursquare 14 Year Old Single Cask 011 Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$480. 00 Bottle$5760.00 DozenABV: 57.2%
- Limit One per customer
If you are in Taiwan, The Drunken Master Whisky Bar in Kaohsiung has a following for its prolific collection. Evidently rum is not far behind. Several single barrel bottlings are now on offer. Cask #11 nicknamed 'Samurai Showdown' leaves a lasting impression, with powerful, complex aromatics evoking caramel fudge, dates, vanilla bean and roasted nuts, leading into fresher notes of raisins, cinnamon and orange spice cake; the alcohol balance at natural strength is breathtaking, managing feline composure in a slow, luxurious cascade of raw sugar, over-ripe banana, moist molasses cake, wild honey, cafe-creme and high-cocoa dark chocolate flavours that rebound over minutes. Released in collaboration with Japanese video game hardware and software company, 'SNK corporation', it's rum for the lucky few: 260 bottles are available for the world. Tasted from a 20ml sample. 57.2% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
- 2003 Transcontinental Rum Line Guyana Single Cask Rum (700ml)GUYANA$270. 00 Bottle$3240.00 DozenABV: 60.4%
The TCRL single cask series represent the oldest rums ever bottled by La Maison du Whisky. Molasses based and pot distilled in Guyana in 2003, cask #MDK0367 was aged nearly 16.5 years in the European climate before being bottled at its natural proof with an outturn of 251 bottles.
Notes from the bottlers... Profile: Mellow and refined. Nose: Demerara sugar, white fruits, elegant nose. Palate: Straight and vegetal, cooked mango. Final: Peppery notes. 60.4% Alc./Vol.
- 2001 Transcontinental Rum Line Trinidad Single Cask Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD$260. 00 Bottle$3120.00 DozenABV: 59.9%
After seventeen years in Trinidad & Tobago, this ex-Bourbon barrel sailed across the Atlantic where it was matured for 1.8 years in Europe. Distilled in a column still from molasses, mostly aged under tropical weather, this is a marvellous woody, dry and complex rum. The outturn was 273 bottles. Very little has made it to Australia. 59.9% Alc./Vol.
Notes from the bottlers... Profile: Dry and complex. Nose: Very complex, dunder, rotten fruits, rancio, polish, redcurrant. Palate: Polish, peppermint, damp wood, dryness. Final: Varnish notes.
- 2005 Transcontinental Rum Line (Foursquare Distillery) 13 Year Old Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$240. 00 Bottle$2880.00 DozenABV: 59.2%Another addition to the the 'TCRL' label from La Maison & Velier, launched in 2016. This time, it's a full-bodied blend of Barbadian pot still and column still rums from Foursquare. Distilled in 2005 and tropical-aged in ex-bourbon casks for eleven years, it was finished in ex-rum casks in the Continental climate for a further two years. All natural and cask strength. Notes from the bottlers... Profile: the deep initial nose wavers between spices (pepper), camphor, chilli and heady florals (geranium). Allowed to breathe, it becomes vegetal (sugarcane) and tertiary (mushroom). The lively attack is characterized by notes of pipe tobacco, gillyflower and spice (curry). The more unctuous mid-palate is milky (coconut), honeyed (bay leaf) and syrupy (cane sugar). The long finish is oriental (Turkish delight) and apricoty. Ginger gradually coats the sides of the mouth. 59.2% Alc./Vol.
- 2006 Velier Beenleigh Tropical Ageing 15 Year Old Cask Strength Australian Rum (700ml)Queensland, AUSTRALIA$330. 00 Bottle$3960.00 DozenABV: 59%
Two recent Velier bottlings of Beenleigh have landed. It's difficult to say which is more desirable. Considerably older than the first edition, the 2006 distillation was also produced via a single column still, then re-distilled in a copper pot still. Reported to be the oldest Beenleigh ever offered, a spell in large brandy vats was followed by first fill x bourbon barrels and a final finishing in historic Kauri pine vats at the distillery in Eagleby in Queensland. A genuine landmark for Australian rum and an obvious collectable, over 43% was lost to the angel's share during its lengthy tropical maturation. Nothing was added before bottling at natural strength of 59%. Very limited stocks.
Velier Foursquare Plenipotenziario Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$299. 99 Bottle$3599.88 DozenABV: 60%Tasting note: [20ml sample] These all-natural, high strength bottlings from Barbados have become sought after. This one's made by Richard Searle at Foursquare and bottled by Velier. They've continued a traditional naming convention - in this case the latin 'plenus' means “full”, and 'potens' means “powerful” - appropriate given the 60% ABV. Produced from a blend of light rums distilled in a triple column still and heavy rums distilled in Foursquare's famous double retort pot still, 'Plenipotenziario' is full-term tropical aged in ex-bourbon casks for twelve years. Some may find the oak overpowering, especially in the opening stages. Further air contact shifts the focus from cedar and sandalwood towards walnut fudge, raisin cake and rum-soaked pipe tobacco; drier, spicier notes of oak shavings and peppercorns follow. It moves into fifth gear on the palate with an intense, bittersweet attack of sweet oak, dried banana and baking spices finishing with an evocative 'tropicality' that extends for minutes into the aftertaste. Hugely flavoursome, water brings out more fruity sweetness, but it demonstrates good balance uncut. 6000 bottles are on offer world wide. Very limited stocks. Other reviews... This one was blended at birth indeed, and entirely aged at the distillery. The name would suggest that the good people involved are willing to engage in smooth diplomacy, unless I’m not getting it right. I suppose I am not getting it right, am I? Colour: amber. Nose: pumpkins, ripe mangos, and pencil shavings all over the place. As usual, rums aged in the tropics are more extractive and display more oak tones, sometimes towards cedarwood, as is the case here. Whiffs of geraniol (bees love that!) and brown liquorice. A curious wee meatiness too. Beef jerky? With water: thin strips of duck slow-cooked in orange juice and honey and further flavoured with cedarwood extracts. Or something like that. Mouth (neat): perfect, just too strong. But that’s easy to fix… With water: works. Oak in abundance but that’s sweet fruity oak, plus liquorice, figs and pipe tobacco. Notes of citronella and basil sauce, Thai-style. Hold on, give me a world map… Finish: long, not thick, with good coffee and triple-sec. Kaffee-Schnapps, as my ancestors used to say. Liquoirce in the aftertaste. Comments: still young and straight (years aren’t actually any longer in the tropics, as Einstein found out), but as a child-rum it’s pretty perfect, this little Plenitopen… hold on, Peltinozent… I mean, Pinelpota… No, wait, let’s gather our forces… Plenipotenziario! Phew! 90 points - Serge Valentin, whiskyfun.com ...another cracker…..not quite my favourite of their output but with a bar set this high, we have to be picky. Blends rely on skill and knowledge to continually create new and different expressions whilst also keeping core ranges consistent. This ex-bourbon release is a big, brooding and woody affair steeped in the familiar Foursquare vibe but offering a new extension to the familiar with the use of the heavier column distillate. It’s a massively enjoyable ride where layers reveal themselves on the nose and palate and they keep developing whilst retaining complete coherence during the transition. It’s unlike other ex-bourbon releases such as 2004, 2005 and 2007. It’s also unlike the recently released Nobiliary…though they feel connected…this will be reviewed soon. With such a wealth of barrel types now at Foursquare plus the installation of their new cane crusher and distillations using cane juice, there’s plenty more to come. - Rum Diaries Blog Notes from the bottlers... The complex first nose is particularly exotic (mango, banana). Spicy (pepper), once allowed to breathe, it develops notes of vanilla and chocolate. Gradually, citrus fruit (lemon, orange) refreshes the palate. The concentrated attack is smoky and aniseedy. The spicy (nutmeg) and floral (carnation) mid-palate gradually becomes spicy (cayenne pepper). The silky start of the finish is fruity (apple) and candied (apricot). Very mineral (slate) and powdery (cocoa), it is then heady (lilac). The retro-nasal olfaction is a subtle mix of nuts (almond) and sweet spices (cinnamon).
- 2014 Velier Indian Ocean Stills Chamarel 4 Year Old Cask Strength Mauritian Rum (700ml)MAURITIUS$154. 99 Bottle$1859.88 DozenABV: 58%Part of a new range from Velier that brings together agricole expressions from Indian Ocean-based distilleries. This one's from Mauritius, however it doesn’t (yet) have license to use the term “agricole” on the label the way Martinique, Guadeloupe, Reunion and other classified agricole producing regions do. Owners of the Beachcomber Hotel chain (one of the largest companies in Mauritius) are behind the venture which was founded in 2008 by the Couacaud family and named after an historic French landowner. Positioned on the south of the island surrounded by 35 hectares of sugar cane fields, hand harvests are the norm. Chamarel can produce lighter distillates in their Barbet single column still, or heavier styles using either their pot still 'Cognacaise' or 'Armagnacaise' still. This one's from a single column still. As mentioned, it's an agricole style, so it's entirely from fresh pressed sugar cane juice, not molasses. Following four years of tropical ageing it was bottled at 58%. Production was capped at 2284 bottles. The Chamarel rums have already received positive reviews from the likes of Serge Valentin at whiskyfun.com. Very limited stocks.
Velier Foursquare Patrimonio Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$399. 00 Bottle$4788.00 DozenABV: 58%A new Velier made in collaboration with the renowned Richard Seale of the Foursquare Rum Distillery. 'Patrimonio' means ‘Heritage’, although the reference here isn't clear, you'd guess it's to do with the production: Copper double retort pot still and traditional coffey still rums distilled in 2004 and bottled in 2019 were entirely matured in the tropics, initially in ex-bourbon barrels before being transferred to first fill ex-Oloroso Sherry barrels for a further four years. Nothing has been added. Extremely limited stocks. Tasting note: [15ml sample] Bright topaz. Redolent of hot cross buns, banana cake and raw sugar with a strong cinnamon accent, this is pure and intense delivering a medium dry attack of sticky-date pudding and plantain flavours. Caney and spiced-up to finish, the aftertaste turns mildly fruity (ripe banana(?) with the sugars recovering late. A beauty, but give it time to show its best. Non chill filtered. 6000 bottles. 58% Alc./Vol. Other reviews... Patrimonio for me, is the one that can rival the experience of the legend that is 2006. A faultless display of rum making utilising traditional techniques and perfectly employing the heritage associated with historical maturation of Rum in Barbados. All of this is being done in a fully compliant manner with the proposed Barbados Rum GI which some are calling stifling and a barrier to innovation…..Amazing eh… - Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2019
Velier Royal Navy Tiger Shark 100 Proof Rum (700ml)Caribbean,$299. 00 Bottle$3588.00 DozenABV: 57.18%Tasting note: [15ml sample] This is the second edition of Tiger Shark, a blend of Worthy Park and Demerara Distillers Pot Still rums aged entirely in the tropics. The nose is wonderfully estery with heady scents of banana fritter, dates, mango chutney and milk chocolate developing over drier notes of cigar box and cedar. Astringent and woody on entry then gently bittersweet: Plantain, molasses and raw sugar flavours flood the mouth with a warm rush of alcohol. Well balanced uncut, the finish is fruity, woody, resiny and sustained over several minutes. A very impressive assemblage from Luca Gargano. 57.18% Alc./Vol. Other reviews... I like the presentation and it does look quite Naval and official. Even if it isn’t. As with all Velier releases there are no additives. All the rums have been aged in ex-bourbon barrels.... All in all this is a really excellent rum. One which will please Navy Rum fans and connoiseurs of Worthy Park and DDL as well. A really well balanced and well put together blend of aged rums. It’s heavy but not overly so and has enough sweetness and lighter elements to make this work really, really well. It’s still available so I would strongly recommend picking up a bottle. I prefer it over last years release. Last years release was a heavy on the Caroni as this is the Worthy Park. I feel this is a much better balanced rum. It suits my palate more as it is sweeter. Note we are aren’t talking sweet as in dosage – this rum as the front label attests is “Sugar Free”. Great stuff...
4.5 stars - thefatrumpirate.com
- Velier Foursquare Sassafras 14 Year Old Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$299. 00 Bottle$3588.00 DozenABV: 61%Part of the distillery’s collaboration with Italian distributor, Velier that began in 2016, this double-matured rum spent three years in ex-bourbon oak and a further 11 years in ex-Cognac casks. a Blend of Pot and Column distilled rums, the name refers to the well known aromatic flower, traditionally used to flavour root beer. According to Foursquare proprietor, Richard Seale, no Sassafras was used in the making of the rum - it's just “a symbolic link”. It's reported to be another superb blending effort with just 6000 bottles on offer gloabally. Fully matured in the tropics.
Notes from the producers... Bold and dry. Nose: Condense and vigorous. Nuts, citruses, toasted notes. Palate: Wide and generous. Coco, caramel with spices, elegant oak notes. Finish: Complex and pronounced. Precious wood, pepper and hints of roasted coffee beans. 61% Alc./Vol.
- Vieux Sajous 4 Year Old Cask Strength Clairin Rum (700ml) - 2nd ReleaseHAITI$160. 00 Bottle$1920.00 DozenABV: 56.3%
This is the second in a series of rums totally aged in Haiti for over four years. Produced at the Chelo distillery (St Michel de l’Attalaye), owned by Michel Sajous and then bottled by Velier at cask strength, like its predecessor, this Clairin-style is a blend of twelve casks (some previously containing single malt; others Caroni rum). Typically made in runs of just over 2000 bottles, the first release was exceptional (95 points). Expect something similarly engaging here. It will be fascinating to see how these remarkable spirits develop at five years and beyond. Once again, kudos must go to the dedicated rum importer who continues to source these truly exotic distillates for Australian rum enthusiasts. Distilled in 2017 and bottled in 2021. 56.3% Alc./Vol. Very limited stocks.
Other reviews... [First release tasted] This ‘vieux’ clairin is technically well rum and has been matured in a dozen casks such as ex-Benriach or ex-Caroni. So this one too is pretty ‘meta’ or ‘cross’, but I doubt Benriach had much impact on it, unless that was peated Benriach. Let’s see… Colour: straw. Nose: more linseed oil and picture varnish that at any painter’s, really. Goes then towards almonds, both bitter ones and regulars, then the much expected olives and benzine, and finally some softer, vanilla-driven notes, with touches of camphor and menthol. Feels older than 4! With water: we’re off to Jamaica! Plastics, petrol, tar, olives, camphor, goat head soup (not too sure about that one, but cheers to The Stones!…) Mouth (neat): very salty, brine-y, full of liquorice, earth, parsnips, petrol and olive oil, and of course sugarcane. It’s pretty rich, with very good clean power, while retaining some of the clairins’ much appreciated ‘soft dirtiness’. With water: goes on and on like that, with added citrus and star fruit. Finish: a notch less heavy, but still very salty. Notes of graphite oil, fusain… We’re at a painter’s indeed. Plastics are back in the aftertaste – typical! Comments: I would tend to enjoy the best white ones even better, but I just love this very characterful style. Basquiat (and the Rolling Stones) in a bottle. 87 points - whiskyfun.com
Vieux Sajous 4 Year Old Cask Strength Clairin Rum (700ml)HAITI$140. 00 Bottle$1680.00 DozenABV: 50.6%Tasting note: Being the first rum totally aged in Haiti for over four years, this has caught the attention of more than a few rum chasers, quickly selling out in several markets overseas. Produced at the Chelo distillery (St Michel de l’Attalaye), owned by Michel Sajous, and then bottled by Velier at cask strength, this Clairin-style is a blend of twelve casks (some previously contained Benriach single malt; others held Caroni rum). It offers a fabulous intermingling of Clairin vs. aged agricole aromas, opening with heady grassy / caney notes alternating between fennel, cumin, maraschino, dried banana and light molasses. It's surprisingly soft at 50.6% ABV and while some of the vivaciousness of unaged Clairin is lost, what's most impressive is the sheer persistence: flavours of plantain, grilled pineapple and thyme are followed by lingering, caney sweetness that stays with you over several minutes. It will be fascinating to see how these remarkable spirits develop at five years and beyond. A dedicated rum importer snuck a small allocation into Australia. As a first release it should also be on collector's radars. Very limited stocks.