Years ago at Singapore’s Whisky Live I was both introduced to Luca Gargano and the exceptional range of rich unique rums he has brought to the world. Luca is a man on a mission to put Single Rum on the same stage as the most sophisticated single malt. He also has introduced a rum categorization approach which is now know as the Gargano Classification, based on how the rum is produced – both the distillation method be it pot still or columns and type of sugar used – sugar cane juice, syrup or molasses.
Back in 2016, I was particularly entranced by Hampden’s Habitation Velier – blown away by its rich range of flavours. So much so that a bottle returned home with me to Mumbai where I happily introduced it to others.
As I was clearing through old ‘half posts’, I came across this one from 2018 and a flood of memories poured back!
Habitation Velier Last Ward 9 year (2009/2018) 59%
- Nose – Gorgeous! Rich sweet fruits, vanilla, mint and fresh
- Palate – Round, rich, tart, spice, fabulous sour cherry
- Finish – After all the sweetness, a surprisingly dry bitter finish
From Barbados, a pot still with white yeast to produce a pure single rum which was then aged for 9 years with an angels share of approximately 64%.
What was most enjoyable about this one was the way as our animated conversation continued, the rum shifted and changed. Remarkable and so rewarding!
We shifted gears to explore another rum….
Foursquare Destino 12 year (2003) 61%
- Nose – Wow! Sharp yet coquettish, distinctive
- Palate – Can really taste the Madeira, dry spice – particularly clove
This was also from a pot still, known as a single blended rum as it was a blend of rum matured in an ex-Madeira cask and for two years in an ex-Bourbon cask. Distilled 2003, blended Dec 2017… bottled in 2018.
Talk turned to rum making traditions in Cape Verde, Port au Prince, Haiti, Barbados… it was highly educative, entertaining and enlightening.
From there we moved on to Caroni… Luca shared Caroni Employees special editions feature key people who help make the rum magic happen.
Caroni Dennis “X” Gopaul 20 year (1998/2018) 69.5%
- Nose – Sour perfurme
- Palate – Smooth and sweet, rich, surprisingly spicy too
- Finish – Yes! Yet has a bit of bitter than sweet
Dennis X Gopaul is a very rich, warm and concentrated spirit, distilled in Trinidad in 1998 and aged for 20 years in the tropical climate of Trinidad before bottling, with an angel share of 78%. It is the content of only 5 oak barrels.
Caroni John “D” Eversley 22 year (1996/2018) 66.5%
- Nose – Strong classic Caroni
- Palate – Oily almost like petroleum!
- Finish – Bitter, dry to the point of prompting a wee “pucker”
What a rum!!! Unmistakable power and punch! Those two extra years did an extra something to ramp up everything in this unique rum.
Pity the balance of my scribbles went astray and I didn’t pull impressions, notes and photographs together earlier. However it was still fun to half-revisit… with these four accompanied by further rums:
- Hampden LFCH 7 year (2011/2018) 60.5%
- Long Pond TECC 11 year (2007/2018) 62.5%
- Long Pond TECA 15 year (2003/2018) 63%
Curious to know more? One of the best bloggers on such rums I’ve come across so far is The Lone Caner.
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