Is it time for another full proof Velier Demerara? Yes. It. Is.
Presenting: The Velier Enmore 1995.
Bottled at 61,2% in 2011, this 16 year old is supposedly the last distillation at the Enmore plantation.
Some sources claim that the Enmore distillery was closed in late 1994, making it impossible for the Enmore 1995 to have been made at the Enmore distillery.
Whether it really is the last distillation at the Enmore distillery or not, will be an answer blowing in the wind.
Being an Enmore it should originate from the wooden coffey still trademark to the Enmore distillery.
The box states that a single wooden pot still was used. If that is the case, then it can’t be from the classic Enmore coffey still. It can however be a Versailles instead, since the Versailles still is – wait for it – a single wooden pot still.
Coincidently the Versailles still was brought to the Enmore distillery after the Versailles distillery was closed, which would mean that the Versailles still was available during the final days of the Enmore distillery.
Both the Versailles and the Enmore stills were then moved to Uitvlugt, before ultimately going to Diamond in 2000 when DDL was formed.
The barrels was marked with an ELCR to describe the rum inside. I have no idea what to interpret from this mark. It does however indicate, that the rum is indeed from the Enmore still and not the Versailles, since Versailles marks often includes a ”V” somewhere.
But I have had no luck getting any confirmation if this is an Enmore or a Versailles rum.
So, since it seems futile to try getting much clarification, I will be moving on before we drown in further semantics.
The presentation is typical Velier. The understated, simple look, which harbours awesome rum.
This time the colours are bordeaux on the box and info fields in black.
The bottle is the usual black monolith topped with a natural cork and a faux wood stopper.
Label wise we follow the routine from other Velier bottlings: Repetition of the info fields on the box. And on the back, we find an Italian limerick and barrel numbers.
The rum itself displays a nice copper hue.
When twirled it forms a thick ring, which transforms into a lot of small droplets, and later some nice, thick legs.
At first you are blasted with heavy glue stick scents, and massive fruityness from pineapple and peaches.
There is a clear bite from the alcohol, which makes you frown a little bit.
After a while the fruityness lifts and notes of oak, cinnamon and black pepper takes over.
A nice and interesting nose despite the biting.
When hitting the palate you have to paddle through wave after wave of heavy oak with a touch of maple syrup.
The alcohol brings along a lot of searing heat, which takes a while getting used to.
The tropical fruits are thankfully there to mellow out and sweeten things a bit, before we are treated with even more oaks and spices.
Cinnamon, cloves and pepper are most protruding.
In the end, a surprising burst of black grapes and red wine finishes the palate off.
Not the most balanced Velier I have tried, but the combination of flavours is very interesting and quite complex. I do feel that the oaks was way too heavy and dominating. It felt like the other flavours never got a chance to shine properly.
Very long finish with a massive drying effect.
It goes down way less gently than your typical Velier full proofs and it does scratch your throat a bit.
Again the oak is very dominating and brings a lot of the aftertaste to the table.
When everything starts to fade, you are left with a spicy tingling on the tongue, which seems to last forever.
One of the longest finishes I have ever tried, but also a very rough one.
Rating and final thoughts
When tasting a Velier I have become accustomed to near flawless experiences of great wonder. So when a rum suddenly feel a bit over-oaked, a little rough on the tonsils and a little less complex, it feels like a disappointment. Even though it really is a great rum in its own right.
Simply because ”near perfect” seems to be the standard with Mr. Gargano, and flaws are not usually found in his artisanal rums.
Make no mistake: This is also a great rum and when comparing it to non-Veliers, it will stand out very clearly. But comparing it to the other Velier rums I have tried so far, I found it to be one of the weaker ones. Perhaps even the least awesome full proof yet.
The fact that it is (perhaps) the last distillation at the Enmore Plantation makes a historic twist hard to find in other rums, but it doesn’t add to the quality of the rum.
I am glad to have it in my collection, but the value for money might be better with either other Veliers or perhaps even rums outside the Velier sphere.
Minor flaws aside I would still choose this over many commercially produced rums, and it hauls home a solid…