Velier Diamond 1999 -S- 15 Year Old Rum

Diamond Velier 1999 rum review by the fat rum pirateWhen “Premium” Rum is spoken about Velier really should be seen as the pinnacle if any such category really, truly exists.  Especially when it comes to Demerara Rum from the Diamond Distillery.

With the luxury of being able to hand pick and barter for his own individual casks from the distillery Luca Gargano has his own unique foothold into Demerara Distillers huge stock of aged rums.  Or he did………

Unfortunately, it seems Luca will no longer have access to casks from DDL, which could be a great loss to the rum world if DDL and other independent bottlers don’t spring a few surprises in the future.

One of Veliers 2014 releases was this 15 Year Old Diamond rum.  Diamond was/is the distillery which is now DDL.  With stills from other former distilleries on Guyana it can be quite confusing and difficult to determine which still produces each “Demerara” rum you come across – with many being blends.

Housed in the usual opaque “red wine” style bottle  Velier Diamond rums are identified by a black font on a yellow/orange background.  The sparse and clinical style on the bottle and the box gives only information in relation to the way the rum was distilled and aged.  No fancy marketing nonsense here!

The rum was distlled on a Metal Coffey Still in 1999 and matured in Guyana till July 2014.  It is actually a vatting of 4 barrels which yielded 1137 bottles. 72% Angel’s Share is also noted on the bottle. It’s also noted that the barrels which housed this rum were newly charred.  Bottled at 53.1% ABV.  Quite what the  relates to is unclear and was likely a marque on the casks.

When poured the Diamond 1999 is a rich, deep dark brown liquid with a reddish hue running through it.  It is slightly hazy with it being un-chill filtered.  Rich and slightly viscous clinging a little to the sides of the glass.

The nose as I am finding with these tropically aged Demerara’s from Velier is very intense.  There is a huge hit of rich deep dried fruits and Christmas Cake.  It is similar to the 1999 Enmore/Port Morant.  There is a slightly burnt almost aniseed like note and a serious amount of char evident.  It reminds me of very sweet red licorice sweets.

With each nosing the complexity seems to build giving more definition to the fruitier notes in the rum.  Pineapple, plums along with the familiar Demerara rum-raisin twang.Velier Diamond 1999 rum review by the fat rum pirate

At 53.1% ABV it is pretty much at my limit when it comes to sipping – taking as is from the bottle its quite a spicy affair.  It is very intense and makes the mouth water – it has a very strong oak char to it.  Slightly bourbon like in terms of mouth feel – sweet/sour.

After a couple of sips it calms a little giving way to some very strong licorice and notes of stoned fruits such as cherries and plums.  The oak runs all the way through the rum giving it a nice long lasting finish.  There are some slightly tannic red wine like notes maybe a touch of port.

A couple of drops of water are certainly recommended with this rum as without it the oak notes can be a little overpowering – a little water really brings this rum to life and gives an extra layer of flavour to the spirit.

As far as recommending this rum – it really is a no-brainer if you are fortunate enough to find a bottle available at a reasonable price.  It originally retailed at around £120 if I remember correctly.  It was released in 2014 and even with over 1000 bottles available sold out pretty quickly!

The difference between tropically aged Demerara and bottlings from the likes of Mezan, Bristol Classic Rum and even Samaroli and Silver Seal can be night and day.  The tropical ageing adds so much depth and intensity to the rum.  That is not to say there is anything wrong with non tropically aged rum – it can be excellent.  It’s just that its very different.

Of the three Velier Demerara rums from 2014 I have been lucky enough to try, I think the Uitvluigt 1996 was my favourite, with this and the Diamond/PM 1999 coming in just slightly behind.

Another great bottling from the genius of Demerara!

4.5 stars

 

 

 

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