Veritas White Blended Pot & Coffey Still Rum

The only way that you won’t have heard about Veritas (Probitas when released in the States) would be if you had absolutely no interest in the Rum world.

A teaming up of two amazing and honest distilleries to produce a pot and column blended ‘White’ Rum. These two powerhouses are of course Foursquare Rum Distillery in Barbados and Hampden Estate in Jamaica.

The front label, resplendent with a “Guardians of Rum” crest, states that it is a blend of Coffey Still and Pot Still Rums…..it also states the Master Blender (Richard Seale) and the inspiration (Luca Gargano). As you would expect, the rear label confirms that the Coffey Still component is from Foursquare and the Pot Still component is from Hampden…..the rear label also confirms that the Rum is aimed at the cocktail market…..but its so much more than that simple. There is also a ‘tongue in cheek’ mention of dosage on the label….I’ll say no more about that….but the jibe would fall flat if the Rum did not stand up to closer inspection. I have written extensively about Foursquare Distillery products and you can read more here, with a bit of information on Hampden Distillery here.

Veritas White Blended Rum – 47%

I mention above that this Rum is more than it appears on the surface….and here is why. The make up of Veritas is more interesting than stated as it is actually a blend of three Rums. The first component is a 2 year Tropically aged Foursquare Pot still Rum (the Rum has colour for a reason). The second component is an unaged Coffey Column still Rum from Foursquare. The third component is an unaged Pot still Rum from Hampden Estate. There is no charcoal filtration of the Rum. The biggest component of the blend is the unaged Coffey Column Rum which when tasted really does show that a little pot still can go a long way. Digging deeper, the Hampden marque used is OWH (Owen W Hussey). Numbers wise, this is the lowest count marque that Hampden produce….but as has been pointed out to me, purely elevating ethyl acetate isn’t improving the Rum. The OWH marque, whilst ‘low ester’ in relation to Rum, is actually high by spirit standards. The marque itself was put forward by Vivian Wisdom, Master Distiller at Hampden (and all round lovely chap) for use in the blend and its inclusion was agreed by Richard Seale.

 

Tasting Notes

Nose: Beautifully creamy. The abv excerpts itself robustly on the nose with a little sting. Portuguese custard tarts. Vanilla pods. Present but light and very well-integrated pot still element. It possesses the creaminess and fresh vegetal cane like quality of the Habitation Velier Foursquare 2013 and 2015 releases. Light acetone bite dragging citrus oils and a basket of fresh tropical fruit on the table at breakfast in summer.

Mouth: There it is. The pot still is way more present in the mouth feel which is a lot more oily than I expected. Real proper weight in this rum on the palate. It is the pot still that leads the early exchanges. Chewy Molasses. A touch of Kola Nut. Give it time and the lighter, fruitier elements come to the fore. Sugarcane. Light and so so typical marshmallow from the Coffey column. Banana. Guava jam on a buttery crumpet. Croissant like buttery pastry sweetness. Molasses in the finish. So much body to it.

Really really impressive. Prepare to have your preconceptions of young, cocktail oriented rum changed for good. It’s not just good for a young Rum, it’s good full stop. Yes…..I’d be perfectly happy drinking this neat….but it mixes so well. Daiquiris…good….provided you keep them on the sour side this Rum sings a wonderful tune. Banana daiquiris…..good. It even mixes well with coke.

4.5 / 5

A previous favourite of mine at home for daiquiris was Plantation 3 Stars…I enjoyed the fact that it had a bit of pot still in there and that it was reasonably cheap …..I have no need for it now. Tried side by side, the 3 Stars lacks palate weight, lacks character. Night and Day difference

Veritas is around £25 a bottle….you’ll have to buy from a France or Italy at the moment which is annoying…but it’s worth the effort.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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WeiRon – Super Premium Aged Caribbean Rum

PrintHere we go then…..The claim is a big one…SUPER PREMIUM AGED CARIBBEAN RUM! A very brave claim and one that people will be wanting to disprove…..but they may have a hard job doing so…especially given the principles adopted by Peter and Tommy of Svenska Eldvatten (Swedish Firewaters). Svenska Eldvatten are independent bottlers from Sweden who specialise in Whisky, but also release Rum and Tequila. One of their most noteworthy Rum releases (among an excellent Jamaican and beautiful Demerara) has been the frankly phenomenal Barbados 2000 ‘Rockley Style’…..but that is for another article. The following is my assessment of Wei Ron…..their Caribbean Rum blend….one of many out there at the moment….but one that just could be blazing a trail and showing the others how it should be done.

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Wei Ron – 50% abv

Presentation wise the overall appearance is pretty stark and devoid of any information apart from the name, producer, volume and abv. The bottle is what I have come to know as the ‘Velier’ bottle……..opaque black and unbelievably cool whilst giving no hint of the liquid within…..no box means that this bottle on your shelf shouldn’t see any problems with light affecting the contents. A cork closure completes the look. I was given early sight of this bottling a while back when a package arrived for me. Inside was a branded t-shirt, press release, an empty full-sized labelled bottle and a small 20 ml sample……that sample bottle has seen me pick up three full size bottles so far.

So, the whole premise behind this Rum was to create a Rum that ‘whisky geeks’ would like to drink…..and for Svenska Eldvatten to able to sell it at an affordable price. The key points on the notepad were as follows:

  • It should be naturally coloured with no added caramel
  • It should be released at a powerful yet approachable abv
  • It should be non-chill filtered

Lastly and perhaps most admirable and important

  • It should be free of ANY additions

Both Tommy and Peter sourced the suppliers of the Rums, performed admirably as Master Blenders for the Rum and sourced the bottles and corks etc. After numerous trial blends and trials at whisky fairs the final blend was agreed upon. I sent a quick message to Tommy Andersen to ascertain the composition of the blend and I have uncovered that the main constituent parts are a blend of heavy pot still and light column still Rums from Barbados and Jamaica although there is more in the blend that Tommy is not willing to share…..he was also reluctant to share specific distilleries too. What I do know is that all Rums in the blend were aged solely at the distilleries that produced them and have seen only Caribbean age. Bottle priced is around £45 and Master of Malt is the only place that you’ll find it in the UK. But does it live up to its bold claim I hear you cry…..

WeiRon Bottle and GlassTasting Notes

In the glass: It is a vibrant gold in the glass with lighter bright flashes and a swirl of the glass shows thick and reluctant legs….it looks like a very oily prospect. The Rum has a very obvious Jamaican nose, but not in an overbearing way. A lot of ripe banana is in there along with the light rubbery aromas that come with the Jamaican component. There is something resembling lightly spiced Portuguese custard tarts and warming syrupy porridge. There is also quite a grainy spirit attack from the Rum too. The pot still component is certainly doing all of the heavy lifting with the column spirit providing the little accents. Swirling the glass quite aggressively reveals a light oily citrus facet to the Rum along with light smoke like aromas.

In the mouth: Initially the sweetness is very apparent (no added sugar remember), and this carries with it salted caramel and oily savoury lemon rind…similar to preserved lemons (not sweet sugary rinds). This then dries very quickly and leaves you with a menthol or mint like chilly feeling in your mouth…kind of like the vapours have been sucked out of your mouth via other worldly means. Subsequent sips (and there have been many, my notes are 1.5 bottles old) reveal obvious banana and a real spine of pot still Rum. There is a real depth to the Rum that screams of the liquorice component that I’ve found in decent Demerara Rums. The mouthfeel is all-encompassing and big but not overly oily. No corner of your mouth remains unaffected by the Rum. The long (ish) finish starts with a peppery tingle as the Rum lingers and this develops drying oaken notes with a welcome return of those bananas and spiced custard tarts. As the Rum fades the liquorice starts to develop and brings with it the return of that salted caramel and a touch of musty oak.

If you’ve not deduced so from my gushing complimentary ramblings above, in plain English, you absolutely need to grab yourself a bottle of this Rum…..maybe several. It is as honest as the day is long, it is well thought out, it is well constructed, it is brimming with flavours and aromas, it is devoid of caramel, it is non-chill filtered, it is punchy, it is not flavoured by any other means and it makes an absolute killer Old Fashioned! It could probably make you attractive to others if you dab a bit behind your ears. The price point is right on the button (around £45) and this Rum genuinely is a new benchmark for a multi island blended Rum. Rum has once again been treated sensitively and with the greatest of respect by Svenska Eldvatten and long may it continue.

I wholeheartedly endorse this product.

4-0-star

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Duppy Share

Duppy Side 2By now you will have all heard about the new kid on the block, The Duppy Share. I first heard about the Rum back in May 2014 at the Boutique Bar Show which was being held in Manchester Town Hall. I spoke to George who hinted at something new to watch out for….I then found myself in the ACR mini-seminar sitting next to Jessica who also mentioned a new Rum that would soon be coming to market. Fast forward to July and The Duppy Share finally saw it’s launch! The Duppy share is the brainchild of The Westbourne Drinks Co which was founded by George Frost and Jessica Swinfen. The inspiration behind The Duppy Share was George’s love of the Caribbean where he used to holiday as a child with regular trips to Barbados and Anguilla. He wanted a Rum that best reflected the spirit of the Caribbean. Initially thoughts turned towards starting a Rum distillery in London but that idea was quickly eschewed in favour of sourcing Rums from the skilled producers, blenders and custodians of generations worth of family owned businesses. After numerous distillery visits and numerous Rum tastings, a blend of Rums from Barbados and Jamaica were chosen. These components are then shipped to the Netherlands for blending before being bottled in the UK to produce the Rum that you see before you.

Duppy Side 1The inspiration behind the name and also the presentation also require a little explanation. Duppies are the dark spirits of Caribbean folklore that are said to journey between islands in the dead of night to steal a share of the Rum from the barrels. Naughty little Duppies! The bottle too is a work of art, as are the labels. Reminiscent of 1930’s travel posters the labels pull together an element of nostalgia and sophistication which when coupled with the stunning bottle shape really allows The Duppy Share to deliver an experience a million miles away from what could have been given the obvious pirate links. Premiumisation is obviously a key word within the marketing of this brand but I’ll deal with that later.

The Jamaican component is a three-year old 100% pot still Rum sourced from Worthy Park. This will add the punch and funk to the Rum along with a boat load of tropical fruit. The Barbadian component is a five-year old Rum sourced from (yes, you guessed it) Foursquare Distillery which will impart the oak elements, colour and flavour and will help round out the Rum, balancing the heat of the pot still element……………..having already tasted it, my mouth is watering just writing this!

The Duppy Share – 40% abv

Duppy Front

Tasting Notes

In the glass: The Rum is a bright gold in the glass with darker flashes. Oak is apparent from the off, as is a dose of vanilla and brown sugar. A little whiff of banana and some astringent pot still notes are also in there. There is a light honeyed sweetness along with the aroma of a bag of dried tropical fruit pieces. There is also a buttery and creamy edge to the Rum with a little light spice. On the whole, whilst there is a lot going on, it’s all quite light with nothing too forceful.

In the mouth: Wow. The thing that immediately strikes you is the weight of this Rum…….it has a really heavy body when judging against the nose. The Rum has a really big mouthfeel and enters with a little sweetness and apparent pot still Rum. It is creamy and has a little warming tropical fruit wrapped in a nutty, buttery and vanilla character. Brown sugar follows on before the Rum starts to dry out a little. Further sips once your mouth has acclimatised to the initial punch of the Rum reveal a little peppery bite and a little mango and banana. There is a little peach flavour too as an aftertaste / aroma and the back of my mouth. The finish is long with the spice edge of nutmeg and pepper. There is vanilla, dark brown sugar and peanut brittle before dry oak rounds things out.

It is very rare in this day and age that clever marketing, excellent presentation, a well woven back story and a new, unheard of brand can actually deliver on its promises of ‘premiumisation’ with most attempts being a lot of bark but no bite…..be under no illusion though that this product is perhaps one of the few exceptions that cuts through the groans and grunts of those tired with style over substance. This Rum is a beautiful blend of components that have been carefully sourced from credible producers by George and Jessica, a pairing that clearly enjoy Rum and that clearly have an understanding of what it is about Rum that others like too. It’s all so easy, and perhaps tempting with a new product to blindy colour and sweeten up the Rum to open the appeal up to the mass audience but they have been respectful to the component Rums with each element allowed to shine. I’ve read some mediocre articles about the Rum and have read stories of disappointment with The Duppy Share but I myself share none of that negativity. It has a little bite, is full of flavour, is presented beautifully and is priced keenly at £27 a bottle. I got the opportunity to try the Rum at the Boutique RumFest and also at RumFest itself in varying forms, both neat and in a punch. I’ve since been out and purchased more of the Rum and I wholeheartedly recommend that you do too.

© Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, both written and photographic without the express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Steven James and Rum Diaries Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.