Oh how I’ve waited to put this post out there. It’s has been way too long, but now it seems that the hiatus has finally come to an end.
It has been exactly 528 days since the hiatus went into effect, and the rum world has changed more than I could have imagined in the meanwhile. So instead of starting with a review, I thought I’ld take a look at what has actually happened since I was last here.
To get a grasp of the massive evolution that has taken place, I’ll try using some of my previous focal points as reference as to how the universe has evolved. Luckily the other online writers has not been taking time off.
It would be too much of a data mine to track all their progress, but my good buddy, the tireless Lone Caner went from 347 to 540 regular reviews and posted a number of huge articles along the way. I wonder how he manages work, family and other “extracuriculars” as well.
He is truly an inspiration. One of the latest is a piece detailing the end of the Velier Demerara era, which tells a lot of what has being going on in the rum world for the last 10 years from the perspective of the Velier release cycle. Go check it out if you want an interesting look into Velier history, their historic releases and the road ahead.
Speaking of Velier, their Demerara era was already over before my hiatus, and with the rise of the Habitation single still rums, ongoing releases of Caronis and first efforts collaborating with Richard Seal of Foursquare, they were well on the way to new, differently green pastures.
Since then the Habitation range has expanded with more releases from previously know distilleries and the addition Last Ward from Mount Gilboa. More whites, more esters, less esters, higher proof, full throttle. This range is perhaps one of the most bonkers out there. If you want your tonsils punched within an inch of their natural life, Habitation Velier still seems to be the way to go.
But that’s not all. Mr. Velier, Luca Gargano, has continued his work with Foursquares Richard Seale to create more of the monolithic, taste explosions following the line of the Velier Demeraras. We have seem both the Triptych and the Principia come to life, and the Destino may be on the way. These may very well take over where the Demeraras let go, if they are anything like the 2006 that I managed to review before my unusually long blogging slumber.
And then there’s the Veritas, which is something entirely differently. The components are well known. Foursquare, Barbados and Hampden, Jamaica. But the outcome, a blonde, unaged blend of the two has not been seen before.
One of the lastest thing is a collaboration between Velier and Hampden Estate to release aged pure single rums, which has so far given us both an overproof and a more calm 46% bottling of 7 year old goodness. The package reminds me of the Velier Demerars, so I suspect these are something to follow closely.
And that is only part of what they have going on. One of the more exciting things seem to be the prospect of aged Clairins surfacing sometime within reasonable future. I for one am looking forward to that.
One of the other “Godfathers” in the rum world, Mr. Richard Seal of Foursquare, has also been quite industrious. Several new “Exceptional Cask Selection” bottlings has surfaced with usual awe as a result if the collective interwebs is to be believed. I have still to try most of them, so that’s one thing I’m looking forward to.
Then there is his incredibly respectable but sometimes futile looking mission to educate the masses. Regularly he posts in depth material which should be mandatory before even considering opening a bottle of rum.
Thankfully he is still as active online as he has ever been and is still dishing out the occational sucker punch when somebody gets too far out of line. Thank you Richard for still policing the crowds and making awesome rum at the same time.
What else has happened?
Somehow it seems that the mad cash grab mentality of new limited releases has somehow cooled down a lot (mostly due to a combination of larger releases and/or higher prices). New anticipated releases seem to stick around longer and the profit flipping on eBay doesn’t seem quite as frantic as it once was. So all in all a move towards a better, more healthy rum world if you ask me. With the often much higher outturn of the most anticipated bottlings, more and more people get to try them. And at the end of the day, that’s what we all really want.
On a more personal level the Corner has been moved to a new location.
From the city to nature. Open fields, beaches and the sea. All within a short walk. It doesn’t really matter much in relation to rum and you probably don’t give a shit as long as new reviews show up, but given my long period of absense, I thought some would want to know that we moved to a different terroir.
That pretty much sums up what has been going on from my perspective during my more than 500 days of creative naptime.
Oh yeah, one final thing, even though I really don’t want to, I have to admit that during this time, the most unexpected thing happened: Don Papa released something that didn’t taste all shitty. (Damn you, Claus, for luring me into trying it!). And no, I haven’t been sick or mentally unstable. For the sugar laced monster it most probably was (I didn’t had it analysed), it tasted much like many other sugared rums. Only real difference was a little strength muscle. Hopefully I can get my hands on a new sample and put it through the review machine at some point.
Speaking of the review machine, as I start getting some more opinions out there, the format may change a little. I have a few ideas, but I still have a few things to consider before they may materialise.
Time to sign off for now. Catch you later rum freaks.