Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum

Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum Review by the fat rum pirateVelier Royal Navy Very Old Rum. I would suggest that it is unlikely the Italian Navy will be getting a daily tot of this particular rum.

Released in late 2017 this is a very interesting release from Velier. A blend of rums from three different islands. Rum Categorisation is a funny old thing Navy Rum in particular is a strange rum to try and “categorise”. In the UK we have a number of brands that occupy the lower tier in terms of price that call themselves “Navy Rum”. This Navy Rum is a blend of rum from the old style British Caribbean – so we have rum from Trinidad, Guyana and Jamaica.

A premium Navy Rum has only really been done before with the “Black Tot” which purports to be the actual rum used prior to Black Tot day. Pusser’s which is based on the original recipe for the rum used by the British Royal Navy is more expensive (particularly the 54.5% ABV version) than most “Navy” rum on the UK market. Brands such as Lambs and Woods are typically around £25-25 per bottle. Finally we have the monstrosity which is A.H Riise “Navy” Rum which is just a disgrace to both the Danish Navy and rum.

Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum retails at around the €145 mark which is approximately the same in £ nowadays. As mentioned previously it is a blend of rums and it has a “weighted” average age of 17.42 years. As this is a Velier release you get a lot of useful information on the bottle and the cardboard sleeve. The blend contains Tropically aged Jamaican and Trini rum. Over 12 years ageing for the Jamaican and over 20 for the Trini. It is rounded off by a 15 year old European aged Demerara from Guyana.

Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum is housed in a clear Velier bottle (much the same as the 12 Year Old Caroni release). The cardboard sleeve is sturdy and the presentation is tasteful and nicely done. Very clean and a really classic colour scheme – red, white and blue. It comes in at old style 100 proof whicVelier Royal Navy Very Old Rum Review by the fat rum pirateh is 57.18% ABV.

I don’t have any other information to share on this bottling so it is perhaps time to see if it can live up to its “A blend of the best British Caribbean distilleries” claim.

In the glass the rum is a wonderfully vivid golden brown with a striking orange glow. Nosing the rum initially reveals the distinctive Caroni elements. Petrol and tar. It reminds me very much of a 1960’s sample of Navy rum I reviewed a while back. Further nosing reveals more of the Demerara rum – a sweetness of raisins and plums. The Jamaican influence comes in with some nice banana and coconut notes.

It’s a very nice, warming and involving nose. One you will sit and savour particularly in cold weather. Its rich and deep with just enough “menace” to make you feel a bit like a sailor or if you wish a pirate.

Enveloping the nose is a really nice vanilla and oak with some really nicely balanced spice and just a touch of lemon zest. It all rubs along very nicely.

Sipped Velier Royal Navy is quite spicy upon entry and is a lot less sweet than the nose suggested. It’s a pretty dry rum with little sweetness. It’s very oaky and maybe a touch to woody for my tastes. The initial sweetness on the tongue quickly becomes oaky and bitter.

I think the Caroni rum and the oak leave the Demerara and Jamaican elements behind. I’m not getting a lot of either to be honest. What I am getting is the more traditional slightly “dirty” petrol like elements of the Caroni.

The finish is also quite short. It dries out very quickly this rum. You get a spiciness but the finish really doesn’t reach any heights and quickly just becomes a not so fiery burn.

Although I found this perfectly drinkable at the full ABV – its actually quite mellow overall I did decide to add some water. Just a few drops.Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

To say this was a good move would be an understatement. I’ve very rarely noticed such a difference in a rum. The Jamaican rum is now competing with the Trinidad Caroni at the forefront of the mix with some very nice “funky” elements – black banana and ginger. The Demerara now reveals itself with some nice notes of anise and stoned fruits. Finish wise it doesn’t get any longer or more exciting but sip wise its a much better option with the ABV knocked down a little.

Depending on your palate you may find a different sweet spot with this rum. I found it to bitter and over oaked at the 57.18% ABV but knocked down to 50% ABV (I checked with my Hydrometer) this rum really comes out to play.

This is a very complex and rewarding blend. There is a lot going on – I could re-write this review over and over. But I must get it published! It’s good – it might not be Navy rum as you expect (or rather are used to) but its an interesting blend nonetheless.




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8 comments on “Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum

  1. I love this rum. It’s not really a Navy rum but it’s a delicious blend of rums that has been used in Navy rums. I’m not sure any Navy rums have stuff as old as this in the mix though. The average age is over 17 years. It’s not cheap. I think I forked out £150 for this but sitting here today I regret not having bought another. However, here’s a top alternative at almost a third of the price – Kill Devil Blended Caribbean Rum ‘Navy Style’. There’s no mention of what’s gone into it but it’s good and older than our more familiar Navy styles.

  2. […] reviews you might like to read are The Fat Rum Pirate (4 out of 5 stars) and The Rum Shop Boy […]

  3. […] Der Fat Rum Pirate widmet sich R.L. Seale’s Finest Barbados Rum, Kill Devil Jamaica Hampden Distillery Aged 9 Years und dem großartigen Blend Velier Royal Navy Very Old Rum. […]

  4. Well we here in the RCN didn’t have tots issued. None the less we sure enjoyed our rum, now that we are no longer allowed to have a tot thanks to some Reservists making asses of themselves in Seatle prior to RIMPAC. Tell me how to we get this holy grail of drinks to your cousins across the pond.
    LCdre Crawford

    • No tot, but then you did have Moose Milk!

  5. I’ve tweeted you this video:
    (Watch from 4 mins 30)

    I was in the RN well after the tot was stopped. The old timers always told me that Pussers (as nice as it is) wasn’t actually like the “real thing” and that Woods was closest. I’ve had a tot from Royal Navy Association sources of allegedly genuine Navy Blend and I can confirm it is very close to Woods.

    I’d love to have a taste of the Velier version….but it’s a bit pricey for me…..interesting review as ever

    • Iain I’m sure I could sort you a tot.

      • Well you’ve got me interested now!

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