Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum - 57.18% abv.
Updated: Dec 27, 2018
Rum-Review-A-Day: Day 16 - Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum - 57.18% abv.
Firstly, sorry for the lack of the promised Day 15 review - my son was born, so I think that was a pretty acceptable excuse 😉. Also a very good reason to celebrate today with one of my personal favourites - Velier's Royal Navy Very Old Rum!
Back in the day of Navy rums, these were blends consisting of rums that were acquired from journeys from island to island in the Caribbean. Often bottled at gunpowder-proof (high enough abv. as to ensure that if it were to spill on the ship’s gunpowder reserves, that they would still easily ignite). The rums in the blend were typically from the British islands, and nowadays navy style rums often are often heavy on the Demerara-rum. This specific bottling from Velier is a blend of three powerful expressions of well-known producers and/or regions. First up in the blend is a 20 year old tropically aged rum from the Caroni distillery in Trinidad. Although this distillery ceased operation in 2002, their rums are still being released on the market, the majority of which come from the warehouses of Velier and Luca Gargano. The second rum in the blend is a 15-year continentally aged Demerera rum. Finally, a third funky pure single pot, 12-year tropically aged Jamaican rum is added to the mix.
On the nose this rum just sends joyous shivers through my body. You can instantly pick up the character of each of the rum components in the blend. Up front there is petrol, diesel, rubber, and tar. Thank you Mr. Caroni! Dig a little deeper and you find bananas, fermenting mango as well as some sour green apple and passionfruit notes that liven up the whole experience - I think we can attribute this to the land of high-ester funk; Jamaica! Underlying all of these notes, you get a rich burnt sugar, blackened butter, tobacco and leather; hailing from the Guyanese Demerara River region. Its beautiful how well these notes melt into and compliment one another. The woodiness is also strong (unsurprisingly, considering the average age of the blend being 17.42 years), with heavy baking spices; cinnamon, cloves and pepper. Also a nice amount of sweet-smelling vanilla to round off the quite robust character of this rum. This nose is inviting! Dank, dirty, sour, fruity goodness going on here!
On the palate, again Caroni diesel and petrol for the win! A lovely burn that is a mix between chain oil, gasoline and freshly cracked black pepper. There is also a quite evident bitterness that reminds me of the ash of something burnt - sugar syrup that you forgot on the burner a little too long mixed with the charred skins of potatoes grilled over an open fire. Next comes the wood. Nice amount of oakiness going on. Dark chocolate. Coffee. Vanilla. LOTS of nutty almonds. Perhaps these notes are also contributing to the bitterness. The fruits on the palate are a little bit drowned-out by all the dark and rich notes that explode in your mouth. Hints of mango, cooked apples and grilled pineapple taper off into a somewhat creamy coconut-thing that I am thoroughly enjoying.
The mouth feel is very dry and warm - borderline hot. Not overly oily, but it works well here. The finish is exceptionally long and leaves you with a mouthful of pineapple dipped in kerosene. This will likely still be on my palate tomorrow (Caroni tends to have that effect).
Personally, one of my favourite rums of the last couple of years.
Somehow still available and I find it a great value at around the €140 price point.
A rum I happily pour myself when I’ve got something to celebrate.