- Balcones Cask Strength Texas Rum (750ml)Texas, UNITED STATES$160. 00 Bottle$1920.00 DozenABV: 62%First offered in 2013, Balcones traditional double distilled rum is made from the finest molasses available. Combined with their in-house cooperage program, consisting of a variety of oak species and multiple toast profiles, the result is a bold and robust rum with rich deep fruit flavours and warming notes of vanilla and caramel. A rum to excite both the rum purist and committed whisky drinkers alike! 62% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
- Barrell Craft Spirits BCS Rum 14 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (750ml) - Release 02JAMAICA$499. 00 Bottle$5988.00 DozenABV: 64.7%
Jamaican rums can be endlessly rewarding in their complexity but a challenge to blend. BCS have ensured each of the distinct aromas shine with a focus on berry fruits and peppers. Patience and a splash of water reward the drinker with boundless entertainment: innumerable tropical fruits, maritime minerals and heady florals. Extremely limited stocks. 64.7% Alc./Vol.
Notes from the bottlers... Nose: The esters are so concentrated and varied that the aroma presents first with the unmistakable monolithic smell of funky Jamaican rum. Slowly, the Barbados and Demerara rums drive a wedge into the funk and focus the profile first around berries and flowers. There’s a fatty element at times reminiscent of tahini or browned butter. A kiss of wood spice, sauna and nutmeg is present. Palate: The alcohol keeps the sweetness in check, the tannins are modest and sandy. Tthe flavors mirror the nose: Blackberry, rosehip, nutmeg, tahini. The mineral side really shines and gives a maritime feel: crushed oyster shell, kelp, fried clams, dry vermouth. Finish: The tropical fruits pop, with lime zest, lychee, navel orange, and pineapple. Some soft resinous touches of mastic and pine pitch. A hint of savory enoki mushroom and sweet crab meat.
British Navy Pussers Gunpowder Proof Navy Strength Rum (700ml)GUYANA$99. 99 Bottle$1199.88 DozenABV: 54.5%A classic British Navy style, inspired by the recipe used to produce the tot given to sailors as their daily ration until Black Tot Day, 31 July 1970. The reference to Gunpowder Proof is explained by the following history snippet: Prior to the invention of the hydrometer, the Royal Navy ship’s “Pusser” shutdown claims of watering down sailors’ daily tots by dousing a bit of gunpowder in the rum and attempting to light it. If the mixture ignited, the rum was “at proof.” If it didn’t, the Pusser might find himself tossed to sea. Amongst x-seamen, the consensus is that Pusser's is about as close to the authentic British Royal Navy edition as you can get. A true sailor's delight! 54.5% Alc./Vol.
- Nick's Import
- Bundaberg Overproof Rum (700ml)Queensland, AUSTRALIA$64. 99 Bottle$779.88 DozenABV: 57.7%
The polar bear may seem a curious emblem to originate in Bundaberg, the heart of sunny Queenslands sugar cane country. The designer of the distinctive square Bundaberg bottle believed it was the perfect symbol for a drink that would “ward off the wickedest cold.”
The process followed in the production of Bundy O.P. (and indeed, most rum) is an intersesting one. At the factory in Bundaberg, the sugar cane (a tall, stout, perennial grass, Saccharum officinarum) is cut up and crushed between rollers, and the juice therefrom runs off into tanks. The water in the juice is evaporated and the remainder becomes a syrup which is boiled in a vacuum container. From this operation comes sugar and an uncrystallizable mass of a deep brown colour and treacly appearance, which is molasses. This is fermented and when distilled, rum is the result.At 57.7% alc/vol. Bundy O.P. is indeed perhaps best reserved for medicinal purposes. It delivers a deep, powerful spirit hit that warms the heart and rectifies the throat. Our recommendation: Turn the heater up, wrap yourself in blankets, pour an O.P. and sweat it out!
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- 1993 Cadenheads MPM Uitvlugt Distillery Single Cask 25 Year Old Cask Strength Guyana Rum (700ml)GUYANA$499. 00 Bottle$5988.00 DozenABV: 49.9%
'ICBU' was the marque used to identify rums from the Dutch owned Uitvulgt Distillery. While Uitvlugt continues to operate as a sugar refinery and producer of molasses, the equipment used for rum production reportedly ceased operation in 2000 and was moved to the El Dorado Distillery. Not surprisingly, Uitvulgt's have become quite collectible.
In this instance, the “MPM” moniker appears to be a Cadenhead convention, and probably stands for "Main Port Mourant" or some similar variation – conveying that the rum is from an Uitvlugt pot still. Cadenhead's release is from a single barrel, filled in October 1993, matured in Campbeltown, Scotland and emptied in early 2019 with an outturn of 204 bottles. It's a non chill filtered / all natural rum.
Notes from the bottlers... Nose: Grassy; haylofts and very oily. Hints of varnish, raisins, dried orange peel and marzipan. Palate: big rum, some ginger powder, kiwi fruits, brown bread toast with salted butter. Lychee, popping candy and lemon juice. Finish: Faint tropical fruits give way to more grassy, herbal notes. 49.9% Alc./Vol.
- 2007 Compagnie des Indes Belize (Travellers Distillery) 13 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (700ml)BELIZE$250. 00 Bottle$3000.00 DozenABV: 62.1%
Located on the eastern coast of Central America, Rum is the national drink in Belize - no surprise, as the country's sugar cane is of the highest standard, representing a considerable volume of exports.The local rum industry is dominated by 'Travellers Liquor' (est. 1953), a distillery based in Belize City. Specializing in molasses based rums and mainly supplying independent bottlers, the company gained its name from the success it achieved in serving travellers along the main route to and from Belize City. This natural strength release from French independent "Compagnie des Indes was drawn from a single cask at natural strength.Notes from the bottlers... Nose: Sandalwood, cinnamon, and a symphony of sweet spices. A floral touch of elderflower, the prelude of an intense mouth. Mouth: Powerful with still both the spicy and floral notes. It is a very well- balanced rum, its high abv makes for a contained powerfulness. Finish: Long and expressive, roasted subtle notes of 75% cacao. 62.1% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
Diamond Reserve 151 Overproof White Rum (750ml)GUYANA$99. 99 Bottle$1199.88 DozenABV: 75.5%This is the updated label previously referred to as "El Dorado" 151.
Use with caution and keep away from open flames. It may light up your cocktails, literally. Include in Mai Tais, Rum Runners and punches. Tasting note: Crystal clear with a silvery blush. Offers up notes of icing sugar, fairy floss and vanilla bean. A sweet entry is followed by a wild flare of spirit. Repeats the aromas with lip numbing intensity. Prickly mouthfeel, the finish is bittersweet, with more texture than overt flavour. Reserve for the punch bowl or dynamite cocktails. 75.5% Alc./Vol.
Goslings Black Seal 151 Proof Rum (700ml)BERMUDAReduced from $120.00$99. 99 Bottle$1199.88 DozenABV: 75.5%
A family business for over two centuries, Gosling's was founded in 1806 by James Gosling and is Bermuda's oldest business house and largest exporter of locally made product. Originally called 'Old Rum', the company's flagship 'Black Seal Rum' was not sold by the bottle until after World War One, when it was packaged in Champagne bottles (the most widely available bottle at the time) and sealed with black wax, hence the name which has stuck. Over the years, Black Seal Rum has become synonymous with the Bermuda region - it is an essential ingredient in the local fish chowder, adds the island flavour to the 'Bermuda Rum Swizzle', as well as being the tempest in Bermuda's favorite cocktail, the 'Dark 'n Stormy'.
Goslings currently produce rums at three different proofs. Despite the 75.5% of Gosling's Black Seal 151, this is remarkably smooth.
Inner Circle Black Dot 33 Overproof Rum 75.9% ABV (700ml)Queensland, AUSTRALIA$89. 99 Bottle$1079.88 DozenABV: 75.9%The repackaged Inner Circle Black Dot is a new recipe, as well as new label and bottle shape. The key points are that it's now 100% Australian Rum, pot distilled and hand crafted at Beenleigh distillery. The old Black Dot was a blend of Australian and Fijian Rum. Also, it's now a minimum five years old, blended with some ten year old for smoothness and greater mouth feel. Tasting note: Deeper and darker than Green Dot, the high ABV is immediately apparent: prickly wafts carry aromas of cinnamon, vanilla wafer, sticky date and peppercorns. Tastes like more column still than pot still with a supernova of bittersweet flavours that's somehow light on its feet: Vanilla cream and dark chocolate on entry, the mid palate is oily and mouth coating then finally estery through the finish. The aftertaste is fairly brisk for all its strength. 75.9% Alc./Vol.
Inner Circle Green Dot 5 Year Old Navy Strength Rum (700ml)Queensland, AUSTRALIA$74. 99 Bottle$899.88 DozenABV: 57.2%This is the 'new formula' Green Dot, considered a significantly better rum than its predecessor, being a minimum of five years old, blended with a dash of ten year old for added depth of flavour. For a long time reserved exclusively for CSR's Board of Directors, rather than being distilled in Fiji, it's now 100% Australian and produced at the Beenleigh distillery and bottled at high ABV. Tasting note: Flawless amber gold. Attractive aromas hinting at cream sponge cake, honey crackles, vanilla wafer and light molasses. Entry is gently bittersweet with near zero burn. Middle stage offers appealing coffee, raw sugar and vanilla flavours. Ends clean, delicate, warming and medium long. Very accessible at natural strength. 57.2% Alc./Vol.
- Kill Devil Single Cask Guyana 16 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (700ml)GUYANA$260. 00 Bottle$3120.00 DozenABV: 59.9%
If you're looking for 'malternatives', this range is as good as any for single malt fans to leap into. Hunter Laing are whisky bottlers, fortunate enough to acquire stocks of aged rums from places such as Guyana and Jamaica, and the word amongst rum bloggers is that they're really beginning to make a mark in the rum world. A handful of the 230 bottle outturn of this cask strength Guyenese beauty have arrived. Produced at the Diamond Distillery via a pot still in 2003 and bottled at 59.9% without added colorants or chill filtration, expect a a big, bold rum.
Notes from the producers... Colour: Amber. Nose: dark chocolate, cardamom, cinnamon, spices. Taste: Complex notes, dried fruit, dates, raisins, oak. Finish: Long lasting.
- 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.
- Scheer Velier 11 Year Old MMW Wedderburn Continental Aged Cask Strength Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$250. 00 Bottle$3000.00 DozenABV: 63.9%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. Totally aged in Europe, the contintental version was produced from a blend of two casks filled in 2008 and 10 casks filled in 2007. With an end result having an ester content of 243.5 grams per hectolitre of pure alcohol, these are big rums with strong personalities. Give this Wedderburn Monymusk plenty of time to open up. 63.9% Alc./Vol.
- Scheer Velier 14 Year EMB Plummer Continental Aged Cask Strength Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$260. 00 Bottle$3120.00 DozenABV: 64.8%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. Produced from a blend of twelve casks distilled in 2004 aged entirely in a continental climate in Europe, this is part of the Plummer (EMB) category of rums produced by the Monymusk distillery. Weighing in with an ester content of 129.9 grams per hectolitre of pure alcohol. 64.8% Alc./Vol.
- That Boutique-y Rum Company O Reizinho 3 Year Old Batch 1 Cask Strength Rum (500ml)Madeira, PORTUGAL$140. 00 Bottle$1680.00 DozenABV: 52.6%
Another rum oddity: made from sugar cane juice, produced on a single pot still rather than a column at Madeira's 'O Reizinho' distillery (meaning “The Little King”). No surprise then that ex-Madeira wine casks were employed for its maturation. Little known outside of Madeira, reportedly, Portuguese Rhum Agricole or 'Agricola da Madeira' is on the rise. Boutique-y's batch 1 is composed of 1936 bottles at 52.6% Alc./Vol.
Other reviews... From what I’ve been able to find O Reizinho cask their rum at a very low 50% abv and the rum increases in abv with aging due to the water loss over time – this is all to do with climate, where a lot of spirits lose water and alcohol as they mature but some locations cause water loss at a greater rate thereby increasing the abv of the spirit. Also, such a low abv will give an increase in the water soluble components in the cask such as sugars and any residual wine that’s imparted into the cask so a 3 year maturation may seem short but the result could be interesting....This is hilarious stuff, I’ve never had a rum with this profile before and it really took some getting used to indeed. Once you’re in the zone with it though then things are really enjoyable. Sure, I certainly wouldn’t give a glass of this to someone and be all “This is what rum is like”, but I’d give them a glass of it and be all “Hey, look what rum can be like”. - rumtastic.com
- That Boutique-y Rum Company Engenhos Do Norte 7 Year Old Batch 1 Cask Strength Rum (500ml)Madeira, PORTUGAL$120. 00 Bottle$1440.00 DozenABV: 48.8%
That Boutique-y Company is showing a flair for sourcing rums from places you wouldn't expect - like Portugal - this one distilled at Engenhos do Norte on the island of Madeira who otherwise produce brands like 'Rum North', 'Branca' and 'Zarco'. Incidentally, Madeira is one of the few places outside the French islands that can use the term agricole legally. Produced from sugar cane juice, milled by steam engines (hence the label), and distilled through column stills, Batch 1 is an outturn of 1395 bottles at 48.8%. Expect a fruity rum with lots of freshness on the nose and more vanilla on the palate, finishing with a hint of salinity and mixed spices (pepper).
Other reviews... It’s initially dry and peppery, but also crisp, tasting of marshmallows, and tart white fruits like guavas, Thai mangoes, unripe pears, soursop, papaya, watermelon and pineapple. There’s a nice thread of lemon underneath it all, cumin, vanilla, and a nice touch of brine and olives. This all leads to a conclusion that is short and easy, redolent mostly of sweet watery fruit with a last musky brine taste, and some more lemon zest.
In a peculiar way, it reminds me less of a French Island agricole than of a grogue from Cabo Verde. There’s a sort of easy crispness to the experience, with the herbal notes evident but not as strong and clear and focused as a Martinique rhum is. For centuries Madeirans drank their rhums unaged and white — of late they have begun to try and develop an aged rum industry and expand beyond the local market which thus far has consumed everything the small distilleries produce. The development of real blending and ageing skill is still some years in the future, and thus far it’s only the small IBs like Boutique-y that have brought their rums to our attention. But I think that we should keep an eye out for the rhums from Madeira, all of them. Based on the few I’ve tried, these guys know what they’re doing, know how to make a good rhum, and will be going places in the years to come. - thelonecaner.com
- That Boutique-y Rum Company Diamond Distillery (Port Mourant) 9 Year Old Batch 1 Cask Strength Rum (500ml)GUYANA$160. 00 Bottle$1920.00 DozenABV: 55.9%
A molasses based rum with a great big personality: fiery, full and flavoursome. The Port Mourant still, was (unsurprisingly) at the Port Mourant estate which was established in 1732. The process of nationalisation of the sugar industry lead to a centralisation of the various stills located around the country. First it was transferred to Uitvlugt, then in 2000 to its current home at Diamond Distillery along with all the other heritage stills and a modern multi-column set up (hence the transport-themed label). Single cask examples are generally the reserve of independents. In this very limited Boutique-y bottling, those sweet tarmac and burnt rubber notes have been nicely balanced against time in oak. 55.9% Alc./Vol.
Notes from the bottlers... Nose: Soft vanilla and ripe banana lead among plenty of winter spice and salinity. Charred oak adds a defined and muscular backdrop, which a little milk chocolate rises through. Palate: A buttery mouthfeel sparkles with complex molasses spice and sweet red chilli heat. An earthy oak core reveals roasted fruit, more sea salt and sticky toffee. Finish: A little engine oil adds an interesting touch to a long finish.
- That Boutique-y Rum Company Secret Distillery #3 (Monymusk) 14 Year Old Batch 2 Cask Strength Jamaica Rum (500ml)JAMAICA$180. 00 Bottle$2160.00 DozenABV: 55.5%
This Boutique-y edition is sourced from Jamaica's Clarendon Distillery (est.1949 and initially owned by the Monymusk Sugar Factory). It's a large plant, home to about 5-6 column still marques and about 20 pot still marques. Amongst these is Monymusk, named after one of the oldest sugar cane plantations in Jamaica, located in Lionel Town, Clarendon. To confuse matters, there's also a brand called 'Monymusk', but that has only been around since 2012. The historical connection remains, as Clarendon is located on six acres in the Monymusk Estate. About 90% of the total output goes to Diageo's Captain Morgan and Myers brands, which in total accounts for about 60% of all Jamaican bulk rum exports. Monymusk is thus only a tiny fraction of what the distillery is producing.
A style described as "very elegant" by the bottlers, in fact, on a level with dogs riding the London Underground in suits and bowler hats reading broadsheets... Perhaps. At least, that's what the label implies. Is it delicious and rare? Hailing from the distillery after 14 years of continental maturation, this batch defies a convention: that the darker the rum the better the taste. Expect sweet, savoury notes and a hint of spice plus punchy orange zest, a toastiness from the cask and a pineapple-led finish. 374 bottles. 55.5% 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.
Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum (700ml)Kingston, JAMAICA$89. 99 Bottle$1079.88 DozenABV: 63%
- Nick's Import
Ask a native where you could sample J.Wray & Nephew over-proof rum, and they will tell you knock on the door of any household. Such is the legendary status of this spirit that it accounts for 90% of rum sales in Jamaica. Other brands produced under the J.Wray & Nephew name are Captain Morgan, Coruba and the highly renowned Appleton Estate range. Use this product in classic rum punches with tropical juices. Alternate with flavoured rums and liqueurs for something new. Also great in the traditional Mai Tai and Daiquiri.
Other reviews... Pungent, fruity, estery... Although very potent, when used correctly Wray & Nephew's complex bouquet and unique flavour characteristics make it an excellent base for cocktails and punches. 5 Stars - disffordsguide.com
Recipe: Jamaican Rum Punch
1 cup J.Wray and Nephew Over-proof rum
1/2 cup Myer's dark rum
2 1/2 cups pineapple juice
2 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tbsp grenadine syrup
- 2017 Habitation Velier MHOBA South Africa Pure Single Cask Strength Rum (700ml)SOUTH AFRICA$230. 00 Bottle$2760.00 DozenABV: 64.6%
Something very unusual for rum lovers here. For those new to the series, the Habitation Velier selections represent the world’s only range of Pure Single Rums (think of them as the rum equivalent of single malt whiskies) - in other words, rums from a single distillery, distilled exclusively in pot stills. Every one is a reference point for each distillery’s unique pot still. The rums are entirely aged in the tropics, ensuring a natural, accelerated maturation compared to European or 'continental' ageing. The downside is a higher angel's share.
Continueing Velier's vision is this expression from Mhoba in South Africa, the result of a partnership between Luca Gargano and Robert Greaves, the founder of Mhoba. Nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Onderberg district of Mpumalanga, 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 particularly aromatic distillates.
Aged for four years in ex-bourbon casks at the distillery in the tropical environment, the share the angels take is over 22%. As usual, Velier have bottled this without reduction, at 64.6% with 246.1 gr/HLPA of esters.
- Barrell Craft Spirits BCS Private Release J657 'Joe's Playlist Track #6 Whoosier Tiki' Cask Strength Jamaica Rum (750ml)JAMAICA$250. 00 Bottle$3000.00 DozenABV: 65.82%The base rum for this blend is from Jamaica and makes up 65%. The marrying and finishing were done in an Indiana Rye Cask. Comes bottled at an atomic strength of 65.82% Alc./Vol.
- Barrell Craft Spirits BCS Rum 13 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (750ml) - Release 01Caribbean,$499. 00 Bottle$5988.00 DozenABV: 62.1%
The casks used for BCS release #1 rum were on an Atlantic voyage that spanned almost a year before they reached Kentucky. Rather than issuing them as single barrels, experiments with countless combinations came up with this outstanding blend of vintage rums from Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana. It looks to be a real gem from BCS. The bad news is, we have next to nothing from an outturn of 483 bottles. 62.1% Alc./Vol.
Notes from the bottlers... Nose: Strong notes reminiscent of tepache, a Mexican fermented beverage made from pineapple rinds. Others emerge - fruity notes of green grapes and lime hull, earthy notes of oyster shell and potting soil, and very Jamaican vegetal notes of Kalamata olive, caper, pine needle tea, scallion, and pollen. Palate: Comparatively gentle, the Guyanese lending demerara syrup, purple plum, and crème de cassis, the Barbados bringing characteristic florals and spice: rosehip tea, cinnamon, and star anise. These notes are held together by a fresh maritime character -- seaweed, sea salt, and a little glycerine richness. Finish: The Jamaican hogo is back, as is the tepache, but it’s also spicy, with notes of ginger, turmeric, and catnip. Lychee makes an unexpected appearance.
- Black Gate Single Cask Overproof Rum (700ml)New South Wales, AUSTRALIA$120. 00 Bottle$1440.00 DozenABV: 51%A new high strength Black Gate, double distilled in a traditional all copper, direct fired pot still and matured for two years in a 100 litre re-coopered cask that previously held Australian Tawny Port. Expect an all-natural, big and bold molasses based rum with toffee and caramel flavours. 51% Alc./Vol.
Black Tot 50th Anniversary Cask Strength Rum (700ml)Caribbean,$240. 00 Bottle$2880.00 DozenABV: 54.5%
Stepping away from whisky for a moment - possibly the only other wood-aged spirit capable of arousing the same passions comes from ‘the reed which brings forth honey’ (without the help of bees)– mainly because it’s capable of a similar dizzying complexity and diversity that whisky achieves.
Here's one that comes with a strong "buy now", and for more than one reason.
This is the fourth instalment from Elixir Distillers under the Black Tot label and marks the 50th Anniversary of the abolition of the Royal Navy's daily rum ration. To commemorate “Black Tot Day”, Head Blender, Oliver Chilton together with co-founder Sukhinder Singhhas created a limited edition Caribbean rum and bottled it at navy strength. It includes some incredibly old and genuinely rare stocks, noted marques for the (majority) Guyanese rums, including distillates from a wooden pot still to a multi-column still with age statements from 9 to 42 years. A splash of the original Royal Navy rum, continuously blended in wooden vats from the early 1800s through to 1970 has been thrown in for good measure.
Here's the full breakdown:
28% 12 year Guyana – Demerara Distillers – Savalle still
27% 9 year Guyana – Demerara Distillers – Savalle still
15% 11 year Barbados – Foursquare – pot/column still
11% 10 year Trinidad – Trinidad Distillers – column still
8% 9 year Jamaica – Hampden – pot still
6% 10 year Guyana – Demerara Distillers – Port Mourant still
4% 23 year Trinidad – Caroni – column still. CLOSED DISTILLERY.
0.5% 42 year Guyana – Uitvlugt – Port Mourant still. CLOSED DISTILLERY.
0.5% Original Royal Navy Rum – world blend
The vision wasn't to make a replica of the original navy rum or copy new Caribbean expressions, but to create something that sat in between. Also, Sukhinder prefers older and richer old-school navy style rums while Chilton likes fresher and funkier modern rum. They started with the four pillars of Royal Naval rum – the islands of Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad. Samples were then pulled from casks and rums were blended.
Tasting note: Mahogany colour. Brooding depths to the layered nose: Molasses cake and liquorice strap. Plantain and drier vanillas. Fruit cake, cinnamon, nutmeg and bitter cocoa. The sugars are evenly matched against the funk and freshness. Unravels with stunning length as the alcohol pulsates the taste buds. Sweet and dry, old and new, wrangle together; liquorice strap meets grassier / fruitier notes. Raisin cake meets bitter dark chocolate. Rancio and resiny oak give an hors d'age Armagnac feel to the finish, followed by walnut slice, dried banana, cinnamon and ginger bread. Rebounds with mocha, dried fruits (raisin / date) and brandy cream sauce and lasts for minutes. A contemporary rum with an old soul that demonstrates Chilton and his blending team are at the top of their game. 54.5% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered. Zero sugar added. 5000 bottles.
Other reviews... I’ll be entirely honest and say this has ticked every box for me. Whether is it a faithful recreation of the rum drank pre-1970, I’m really not that bothered to be honest. It’s a fantastic blended rum. 5 Stars - thefatrumpirate.com
Official tasting notes... Nose : We are greeted with cinnamon sticks, sprinkled with nutmeg, toasting in the oven. Then a deep richness, akin to caramel-glazed apple tart, with some citrus elements rolling in. There is also barbecued pineapple and grapefruit zest, balanced by notes of melting chocolate raisins and freshly ground Jamaican blue mountain coffee. With more time, a hint of well-aged spirit emerges, reminiscent of dusty books in a historic library. Palate : From the first sip, the palate is almost overrun with the combination of liquorice sticks and vanilla bean paste. As the flavours coat the mouth, lime juice married with 80% cocoa dark chocolate appears, which slowly deepens to brandy-poached pears. A backbone of dried mint and tarragon is married with natural sweetness and a touch of nuttiness, in the form of bananas and walnuts. Finish : Long and lingering, with flavours of mint chocolate chip ice cream and soft liquorice, dipped in sherbet. The rich flavours of a whole-milk latte topped with cream dissipate to leave a pleasant dryness, leading to another sip.
- 1990 Cadenhead's MEV Enmore Distillery 26 Year Old Cask Strength Guyanese Rum (700ml)GUYANA$370. 00 Bottle$4440.00 DozenABV: 57.2%An indie release that rum purists will be pleased to get their hands on is this exceptionally old Enmore. Distilled in 1990 and bottled in 2017 as part of Cadenhead’s 175th Anniversary celebrations, it was limited to one bottle per customer at Cadenhead's stores in the UK, so as you'd expect, there's very little to go around for Australian rum lovers. As an original distillery bottling it's quite collectable. The 'MEV' marque stands for 'Main Enmore Versailles'. According to one source, "Many of the 1990 Enmores wear this mark, which suggests that the Main Rum Company probably imported or bought a lot of rum at that time." As the marque suggests, this was distilled using the Versailles Single Wooden Pot Still, located at the Enmore Distillery at the time of distillation in 1990 (the still was moved to the Uitvlugt Distillery in 1995 and subsequently to the Diamond Distillery in 1999). The rum was shipped to Europe for maturation by Cadenheads. Very limited stocks. 57.2% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
- 2009 Cadenheads Alcoholes Finos Dominicanos 11 Year Old Cask Strength Dominican Republic Rum (700ml)DOMINICAN REPUBLIC$150. 00 Bottle$1800.00 DozenABV: 55%A high strength column distilled Dominican Rum from indie bottlers, Cadenheads.
Notes from Cadenheads... Nose: Coconut oil, banana chips, vanilla pods. Flavour: Honey and pineapple juice. Finish: Treacle scones, brown sugar and liquorice. 55% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
- 2001 Cadenheads Trinidad Distillers 19 Year Old Cask Strength Trinidad Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD$240. 00 Bottle$2880.00 DozenABV: 55%Another brightly presented, all-natural column distilled rum from Cadenhead's Single Cask collection.
- Cadenheads Green Label Overproof Jamaican White Rum (700ml)JAMAICA$140. 00 Bottle$1680.00 DozenABV: 63%Great to see high proof white rums making there way to our shores. Those from the island of Jamaica are considered the "Queens of funk", a title earned for their high ester count that can yield aromas and flavours of pineapple, overripe banana and stone fruits. Just 102 bottles of this non chill filtered Cadenhead's beauty have been released. Its plush green and canary yellow packaging evokes tropical rum punches and Tiki cocktails. Because it's so powerful, mixologists liken its use to salt in cooking. Says one: "Sometimes you need a little salt; it makes everything better. I’ll often add a quarter-ounce or a few dashes of overproof white rum to cocktails that need a little oomph.” Very limited stocks. Notes from Cadenheads... Nose: Sweet, honey roasted peanuts, melon, candied ginger, fennel, rosemary and faint cherry cough medicine. Flavour: More ginger spice with caramel, apple struddle. Pistachio nuts, clotted cream and soft spearmint with warming spice. Finish: Very herbal with lingering soft spice, black pepper, star anise, corriander and fennel before becoming more fruit - satsumas and grapeskins.
- 2005 Cadenheads TMAH Trinidad Distillers 12 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD$180. 00 Bottle$2160.00 DozenABV: 67.4%Another collectable celebrating Cadenhead's 175th Anniversary - as noted on the box and medallion hang tag. This one from Trinidad Distillers was column distilled and weighs in at a whopping ABV. Established by Angostura back in the 1940s, the venture was mostly producing rums from imported molasses. As to what 'TMAH' stands for on the label remains a mystery. What is certain is that at 67.4% Alc./Vol., this is going to be an absolute beast. Kudos to Cadenheads for continuing to seek out and bottle these completely unadulterated Caribbean gems. Comes non chill filtered.
- 2006 Cadenheads MBFS Foursquare Distillery Single Cask 12 Year Old Cask Strength Barbados Rum (700ml)BARBADOS$199. 00 Bottle$2388.00 DozenABV: 63.2%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 mix of column and pot still rums was finished for two years in an x port cask that previously contained Kilkerran single malt. Released in 2019 at natural strength as a limited single barrel run of 246 bottles, Australia has received a small allocation. Notes from Cadenheads... Nose: Fresh pine, chestnuts, autumnal forest floors and a hint of strawberry yoghurt. Flavour: Pecan pie, maple syrup, soft dark fruits, brambles, raspberries and blueberries. Finish: Kilkerran port cask influence comes through, soft smoke, fresh cut wood, dark cherries and raspberry syrup. 63.2% Alc./Vol.
- 1991 Cadenheads TMAH Trinidad Distillers 25 Year Old Cask Strength Trinidad Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD$350. 00 Bottle$4200.00 DozenABV: 64.3%Craft-indie bottler, Cadenheads offer another atomic-strength rum packaged as part of their 175th Anniversary Collection (each bottle also has a little commemorative metal hang tag). The rum was sourced from Trinidad Distillers, a large operation established in the 1940s. When Angostura's founders arrived in Trinidad they initially out-sourced rums to make their world famous bitters. However the son of the founder, Don Carlos, always intended to create his own rum. It wasn't until 1947 that the great grandson of the founder, Robert Siegert (with Mr Gomez and Thomas Gatcliffe) built the first distillery in Port of Spain. Boasting seven column stills, TD today produces over 18 million litres annually, mostly for export. The Lone Caner rum blog reports "...most of the molasses they work with originates outside of Trinidad – in Guyana, Panama and the Dominican Republic. In any event, Angostura as a company has little to do with it." Laid into cask in 1991 this exceptionally old expression arrives at a remarkable natural strength of 64.3% Alc./Vol. (The meaning behind the designation "TMAH" on the label is not stated). Non chill filtered. Very limited stocks. Other reviews... A rum like Cadenhead’s 21 year old is a curious beast. Dissecting its profile and coming up with tasting notes is not like having the elements line up and present themselves one after another, like some kind of surreal audition or a debutante’s ball... I had been softened by several forty percenters, sampled prior to cracking this one, and was consequently somewhat unprepared for the force with which the TMAH assaulted my beak (it was sharp and deep, and should absolutely be left to stand for a while before nosing). I could barely discern any molasses background at all, in between furiously swirling notes of rye bread, salt biscuits and salt butter. Not much caramel here. But patience, patience – it did get better. After opening up, it smoothened out a good bit and simply became an intense drink rather than a skewering one – and one could gradually tease out thin threads of honey and nougat, and sweeter notes of vanilla, cherries…and a little spicy note of marzipan. That didn’t soften the arrival, of course. It was a little less than medium bodied, this rum – even thin, which I didn’t care for – and it detonated with a hurricane force level of taste, scattering shrapnel of sweet and salt in all directions. Dates and figs came to mind, more crackers, a sharp aged cheddar (but not as creamy). Adding water helped here: almonds, nutmeg and slivers of dried fruit emerged, but slowly, thinly, as if terrified of being bludgeoned to death by the alcohol. “Chewy” would not describe the experience exactly, but it comes close. Appropriately enough for such a full proof glass of high-test, the finish was enormously long, a sarissa of lingering flavours of nutmeg and vanilla and light sharp red fruit (pomegranates?). Cask strength, overproof, full proof or whatever – it was certainly a rum that demanded attention... the encounter as a whole is quite something. And, it must be conceded, occasionally painful. - thelonecaner.com
- 1996 Caroni 23 Year Old 'Tasting Gang' Full Proof Blended Trinidad Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD$599. 00 Bottle$7188.00 DozenABV: 63.5%Carribbean rum doesn't come much rarer or more collectable than Caroni. Various bottlers have secured casks over the years and the last remaining stocks are slowly being released. This edition was composed by a team of twenty three European Caroni enthusiasts who met in Cognac - hence the sub title: "Tasting Gang". After sampling 173 barrels, they settled on a blend of 22 casks. All the rums selected were distilled in 1996 and matured on Trinidad before being moved to Guyana where they remained in situ until 2019 losing 85% of the liquid to evaporation. This extraordinary collaborative effort was incrementally released by Luca Gargano of Velier. Based in Genoa, Gargano has a reputation for uncovering the world’s finest (and most obscure) rums. This represents the 38th and second last edition. 5083 bottles are on offer world wide. Australia has received a tiny allocation. Once these are gone, they're gone forever. The Caroni Estate Distillery (est. 1918), closed in 2003 and is now sadly, demolished. It was built on the site of an old sugar factory and for a period supplied rums to the British Navy. At the time, there were some eight to ten other sugar factories operating, each producing different types (and qualities) of rums, bought up by merchants and sold to rum shops all over the island. Caroni gradually increased the quality of its distilling process, moving on from its original cast iron still to a wooden coffey still, until 1945 when they acquired a copper still which was followed by a single column in 1957 and then a four column Gerb Herman still in 1980. Rums from the estate gained a reputation for being particularly flavoursome.
- 1996 Caroni 23 Year Old 'The Last' Full Proof Heavy Trinidad Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD$650. 00 Bottle$7800.00 DozenABV: 61.9%In 2004, professional rum chaser Luca Gargano discovered a warehouse filled with barrels of Caroni's legendary heavy-ester rum. Since then, the last remaining stocks have been slowly released to global markets. This 39th bottling marks the culmination of Gargano's series, and the final Caroni from Velier. Distilled in 1996 and aged in Trinidad until 2008, then at Demerara Distillers Ltd in Guyana until 2019, the end compostion was made up from 24 barrels. 5522 bottles are on offer world wide. Australia has received a tiny allocation. Once these are gone, they're gone forever. Established on the site of the sugar factory for which it was named, Caroni was famously a key ingredient of British Navy rations. Its famous 'Heavy' rums help to make up the signature flavour. Sadly, with the decline of the local sugar industry, distillers became more dependent upon imported molasses, making distilling less economical. In 2001 the Trinidadian government sold a 49% share in the holding company to Angostura, then in 2003 Caroni was finally closed forever. 61.9% Alc./Vol.
1996 Caroni Extra Strong 21 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD$350. 00 Bottle$4200.00 DozenABV: 57.18%While the Caribbean has a long history of rum, a significant part of this history has been irretrievably lost. Trinidad once boasted more than 50 distilleries. The number dwindled to eight by the 1950s and now only Angostura remains. The decline was mostly due to the demise of the local sugar industry (Trinidad now imports molasses for rum production).
This increasingly rare bottling represents a small part of that era. The Caroni Estate Distillery (est. 1918), closed in 2003 and is now sadly, demolished. It was built on the site of an old sugar factory and for a period supplied rums to the British Navy. At the time, there were some eight to ten other sugar factories operating, each producing different types (and qualities) of rums, bought up by merchants and sold to rum shops all over the island. Caroni gradually increased the quality of its distilling process, moving on from its original cast iron still to a wooden coffey still, until 1945 when they acquired a copper still which was followed by a single column in 1957 and then a four column Gerb Herman still in 1980. Rums from the estate gained a reputation for being particularly flavoursome. After the 2003 closure, some Caroni casks made their way back to the U.K. We're pleased to be able to offer an allocation of what is unquestionably a true collector's and connoisseur's delight. Once these are gone, they're gone forever. It's also one of the oldest Caroni's to hit our shelves, bottled at natural strength. Tasting note: Polished copper. Wafts of alcohol give way to profound aromas of vanilla bean, raw sugar, molasses and sticky date. The massive attack manages to balance all of the above in a slow-motion cascade, the sugars weaving in and out of the encroaching oak in a sustained, bittersweet sensation. Another side of Caroni, demonstrating just how well its rums can age. 57.18% Alc./Vol.
- 1998 Compagnie des Indes Trinidad (Caroni) 22 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (700ml)TRINIDAD$699. 00 Bottle$8388.00 DozenABV: 57.5%Carribbean rum doesn't come much rarer or more collectable than Caroni. Various companies have secured casks over the years and the last remaining stocks are slowly being released. This very old expression from French bottler, 'Compagnie des Indes' is a single barrel that yielded 287 bottles at natural strength. 57.5% Alc./Vol. Non chill filtered.
The Caroni Estate Distillery (est. 1918), closed in 2003 and is now sadly, demolished. It was built on the site of an old sugar factory and for a period supplied rums to the British Navy. At the time, there were some eight to ten other sugar factories operating, each producing different types (and qualities) of rums, bought up by merchants and sold to rum shops all over the island. Caroni gradually increased the quality of its distilling process, moving on from its original cast iron still to a wooden coffey still, until 1945 when they acquired a copper still which was followed by a single column in 1957 and then a four column Gerb Herman still in 1980. Rums from the estate gained a reputation for being particularly flavoursome.
Compagnie des Indes Trinidad 16 Year Old Cask Strength Rum (700ml)$299. 00 Bottle$3588.00 DozenABV: 63.5%Tasting note: Sourced from Trinidad Distillers Limited. Here's an arresting rum bouquet; reticent at first, but builds in an astonishing, eye-watering development of feijoa, peach, elderflower and papaya-like aromas. Air time adds hints of plantain, crushed pine buds and rock’n’rye liqueur. Fabulous bitter-sweet attack is intense, resiny and piney with a crisp alcohol bite. Mid palate showcases a Trinidadian bomb: fresh-yet-fruity with peach and feijoa tart, elderflower and estery green grassy notes. Plantain and bitter dark chocolate round off a raw and punchy combination of unadulterated fruit, heat and tropical intensity. Wow! Non chill filtered. 63.5% Alc./Vol.
East London Liquor Co. Ltd Navy Strength Demerara Rum (700ml)London, UNITED KINGDOM$135. 00 Bottle$1620.00 DozenABV: 57%ELLC haven't actually distilled this rum, instead they sourced it from Guyana and bottled it. Produced from 100% Demerara sugar using the world's only surviving wooden column still (which should give away its provenance), it spent over 3 years in x Bourbon casks. Tasting note: Deep polished copper / gold with pale straw edges. Exudes superb aromas of brown sugar, vanilla bean and creamy soda in the initial pass, developing hints of milk chocolate, custard and dates. Medium sweet, then delicately bittersweet, sappy through the middle stage. Finish showcases a sensational burst of sugars in the form of molasses, dark chocolate, caramel and pipe tobacco. Fades nutty, buttery, oily and drying with good staying power. 57% Alc./Vol.
2002 El Dorado Rare Collection Versailles Cask Strength Demerara Rum (700ml)GUYANA$350. 00 Bottle$4200.00 DozenABV: 63%Rum purists will be pleased to get their hands on a trio of limited edition rums from El Dorado's Rare Collection. Launched in 2016, each one features a rum from one of three renowned Guyanese stills. Demerara distillers actually operate nine different stills, capable of producing a range of rum styles. Of significance are the three heritage Wooden stills in the operation, relocated from their original estates: Enmore, with its wooden continuous Coffey Still. Port Mourant, with its wooden Double Pot Still and Versailles with its wooden single pot still. On the surface, the Rare Collection mirrors El Dorado’s 12, 15 and 21 year old rums, though the packaging is more conservative with low key colours and an embossed ship on the shoulder of the bottle. The big difference is that these are all-natural, single still, cask strength, unblended and non-chill filtered rums. They're also limited to 3,000 bottles worldwide. The Versailles wooden pot still is the only one of its kind operational in the world. This edition was distilled in 2002 and matured in x Bourbon barrels. Bottled in 2015 at 63% Alc./Vol.
- Nick's Import
Extremely limited stocks. Other reviews... The newish OB! Entirely aged in Guyana, where they have very greedy angels. The volumes go down fast, while the strengths remain high or even go up. Colour: gold. Nose: it seems that it’s a little simpler than the Mezan, but that’s probably the super-high strength. What I seem to find in the background is a bag of vegetables and herbs, such as capers (which is a flower, isn’t it?), and plenty of wood varnish, with an acetone-y side. Let’s dig deeper… With water: as expected, this is more wood-driven than the Ultra-clean Mezan, with a BTAC side (yup) and plenty of tarmac, tarry wood (restored old boat, teak oil), and just ideas of ‘brand new sneakers’. Mouth (neat): huge. Distilled vin jaune, mint essence, artichoke, concentrated walnut oil… All that is spectacular and, I have to say, wonderful. Huge distillate. With water: very extremely good. Please call the anti-rumporn brigade! Finish: very long, big and yet elegant and ‘well-chiselled’, always with a lot of tar (and other tar-like elements, pitch and such). Droplets of lemon in the aftertaste. Comments: like, I mean love it much more than the Port Mourant in the same series. Ça c’est un alcool, monseigneur, as they would have said at Versailles (the castle).
90 points. -Serge Valentin, www.whisky-fum.com
1993 El Dorado Rare Collection Enmore Cask Strength Demerara Rum (700ml)GUYANA$399. 00 Bottle$4788.00 DozenABV: 56.5%Rum purists will be pleased to get their hands on a trio of limited edition rums from El Dorado's Rare Collection. Launched in 2016, each one features a rum from one of three renowned Guyanese stills. Demerara distillers actually operate nine different stills, capable of producing a range of rum styles. Of significance are the three heritage Wooden stills in the operation, relocated from their original estates: Enmore, with its wooden continuous Coffey Still. Port Mourant, with its wooden Double Pot Still and Versailles with its wooden single pot still. On the surface, the Rare Collection mirrors El Dorado’s 12, 15 and 21 year old rums, though the packaging is more conservative with low key colours and an embossed ship on the shoulder of the bottle. The big difference is that these are all-natural, single still, cask strength, unblended and non-chill filtered rums. They're also limited to 3,000 bottles worldwide. Originally owned by Edward Henry Potter, "EHP" was the mark used to identify rums from a distillery near the Enmore Sugar Factory. When the operation closed in 1993, the production equipment was moved to the Diamond Distillery. This edition was distilled in the original two column wooden continuous Coffey still and aged in x-Bourbon barrels. Bottled 2015. 56.5% Alc./Vol. Extremely limited stocks. Other reviews... The problem is that DDL have been too optimistic with their prices, as it seems. I had thought these new OBs would sell like Mars bars in Scotland, but the hefty prices (a disease called scotchitus severis) seem to have discouraged most rum lovers, and the bottles remain available from just everywhere on this planet. After all, they’re afraid of nothing, them who just launched a $500,000 50 yo rum. Now that's Guyanan dollars, and that's a 50 yo look-alike - you know, nasty 'anniversary' bottlings that suggest a 'faked' age and all that, some Scots do it as well. Colour: deep gold. Nose: much gentler, easier, without the phenolic base, and with more ‘average’ rum aromas, such as tropical fruits, papayas, pineapples… It’s really lovely, and at times you’re thinking about rhum agricole from Martinique, but there’s also a little too much sweet oak, in the modern Scotch style. Let’s see… With water: wood spices, unsweetened tea, vanilla… Mouth (neat): a bourbon of rum, clearly. Or a light spirit in some very active American oak. Vanilla, maple syrup, orange liqueur, a touch of ginger liqueur… With water: once again we’re between rum and bourbon. It’s fine, and I do enjoy these notes of artisan maple syrup, it’s just that the Versailles kills it. Finish: medium, sweet, bourbony. Vanilla and pineapples. Comments: don’t get me wrong, it’s excellent rum, but the traditional Demeraraness (excuse me?) is a little absent. A strong light rum. 81 points
- Nick's Import
Serge Valentin, www.whisky-fun.com
El Dorado 151 Superior Overproof Rum (750ml)GUYANA$99. 99 Bottle$1199.88 DozenABV: 75.5%
The El Dorado distillery has assured supplies of its basic raw material, molasses, from locally-grown sugar-cane. The company makes the full gamut of styles, including this 151 proof rum. Use with caution and keep away from open flames. It may light up your cocktails, literally. Include in Mai Tais, Rum Runners and punches.Tasting note: Crystal clear with a silvery blush. Offers up notes of icing sugar, fairy floss and vanilla bean. A sweet entry belies the spiritous explosion, repeating the aromas with lip numbing intensity. At this ultra high ABV there’s a prickly, hot mouthfeel, the finish is bittersweet, more texture than flavour, and fairly short. Add to the punch bowl. 75.5% Alc./Vol.
- 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.