St. Nicholas Abbey white rum  Ob. 40% SNA
Made from sugar cane syrup/juice, this rum is [pot/column] distilled & aged in Barbados, close to the Foursquare distillery.
- N: Clean nose. A rum equivalent of a ‘GlenSpey-whatever-malt’.
- T: Textural cereals – so Weetabix & Shreddies sprinkled with white granulated sugar.
- F: The sweet cereal notes are maintained, joined by sour touches.
- C: Expensive neutrality [£40 June ’17].
Scores 77 points
St. Nicholas Abbey 5yo  Ob. 40% SNA
- N: Same base cereal notes as the St Nicholas white rum, also with breads, rice, fruits limes & papaya and a paper-waxiness – wax paper.
- T: So very similar to the white rum so i assume its spent its time in very inactive casks, given its tropical location.
- F: Stays big in the mouth. After a minute there i detect a grassy-waxy-sour.
- C: A very similar neutral profile as the white rum. Priced as premium, but for me this is far more suitable as a decent mixer, not a connoisseurs sipper – again I’m thinking Daiquiri.
Scores 79 points
Plantation ‘20th’ XO Barbados rum 40% WF50
- N: Another ambiguously ‘numbered’ rum that isn’t 20 years old, but of course there will be those that will fall for it much like customers & retails have done with Ron Zacapa ’23’. Surely if we all make a noise, this practise will disappear soon enough – in the main.
- T: Sweet with some lime.
- F: ….more sweet,… and sweet vanilla
- C: This is close to pure sugar cane. Great for sugar addicts.
Plantation O.F.T.D. Blended rum Chateau de Bonbonnet 69% [1ltr]
This was at the time of trying, due for release in March 2017 [which happened already] – so much for a scoop! O.F.T.D. stands for ‘Old Fashioned Dark Rum’ apparently, but there is an alternative, less corporate version if you ask nicely.
- N: The rum equivalent of a rich, complex sherry bomb whisky. Comes with big molasses & Demerara fruits, tomato & tamari with a pot still>agricole vibe.
- T: A touch of compost/dunder in the beginning before an avalanche of molasses notes. With the inclusion of wood spice, this is definitely one for the spiced rum brigade.
- F: Earth/soil, black molasses and Oxo chocolate [if they were to make it – maybe they did?]
- C: Big & flashy rum with true substance behind the bells & whistles. Recommended.
Scores 86 points
Time to get back to the Velier stand [a festival in its own right]
Caroni 15yo 1998/2013 ‘Extra Strong’ Velier 52%/104 proof WF85
Caroni – the Karuizawa of rum?
- N: Such lovely ageing with a desirable wood fustiness.
- T: Rough & ready, dusty-dry liquid – full of flavour, colour and vibrancy.
- F: I’m already heading to the shop to buy a bottle.
- C: Nuff said. A full bottle review will appear,.. one day.
Scores 87 points
Caroni 17yo 1998/2015 ‘Extra Strong’ Velier 55%/110 proof WF90
- N: Far more balanced than the 15yo & far more elegant. Heathery notes – my malt radar is beginning to twitch.
- T: Same as the nose. The rough & ready nature of the 15yo has been ironed out with two more years of maturation. It’s now concentrated and intense.
- F: Long and lingering with a faint chlorine note at the death.
- C: The 15yo is great but this feels like the complete article, near perfect rum in relation to my tiny rum experience so far.
Scores 90 points
Caroni 1975/1996 20yo Velier [btl# 711/3800] 57.18%/100 proof
- N: Firm fruity & vanilla notes with a Strathisla, maybe more Glendronach-esque [sherried] style.
- T: Amazing arrival of old sherry, moving then onto old/vintage armagnac.
- F: Then wood, molasses,… and finally vanilla – pretty much the constituent parts laying themselves bare.
- C: I love the heavy wood tannins mixed with that rich [sherry-like] molasses.
Scores 88 points
Much more rum to come, and yet even more from Velier.