Sunday 19 August 2018

Review 103 - Velier Blairmont 1991 15 year old

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
Yet another priceless and unobtainable gem from Velier

Being back from “the dead” I thought I’ld start out with something familiar and someting old. So without further ado, from the vaults of everything that is rare and almost forgotten, today I have found the Velier Blairmont 1991.

I have only heard of two bottlings from the french savalle still of Blairmont. This one, and the even more rare and illusive Velier Blairmont 1982.

No other Blairmont has been bottled in recent memory, so we are dealing with something very unique.

With the 1991 Velier managed to bottle 7 barrels resulting in 1.913 bottles of precious 56% nectar marked with <B>.

I don’t think I’ll be going into more detail with this one. If you need more information on Velier or the stills and heritage of the Demerara stills, please refer to the usual sources of lore. Links at the bottom.

By now there isn’t much reason to describe the Velier expression in detail. We all know how they look.

This time the black monolith of a bottle, is flanked by an off white box with navy blue details. The blue boxes contain the usual details about origin, ABV and such trivial details needed to identify the treasure inside.

When finally released into your glass, you are treated with a warm copper coloured liquid, which begs to be twirled.

When you do, a thick ring materialises, and transforms into many, many droplets, which slowly edge towards the surface of the pool of rum inside the glass.

It starts out strong with full and rich notes of oak and apricot jam.

The next level consists of caramel with a dash of nail polish remover.

After the acetone leaves, a cloud of nuttiness ascends with hazelnuts and almonds.

Just as you think you are done, the final swan song is made by soft, wet pipe tobacco.

Despite the somewhat high ABV, your snout isn’t getting pummeled too badly, but it is very clear, that this is not your average 40%’er.

A lot of the nose notes are back for an encore. Especially on the front, where you find lots of soft oaks and caramel.

But digging below that, you find a lovely fruityness, with lots of apricots, sweet oranges, black grapes and ripe bananas.

Following in the tracks of the fruit, is that familiar peppery prickle on the tongue.

In the background the old, wet pipe tobacco lingers, along with some old car tires.

Although it is quite good, it is not a very smooth rum. It does have a hard, rough side to it, which I haven’t incountered in many other Velier rums before. Actually the only one I can think of is the Enmore 1995.

Being used to these full proofs going on forever, I was quite disappointed about the rather shortish finish dominated by warmth, oak spice and smoke.

As the warmth subsides, the fruityness evident on the palate is in for a reprise, sweetening things up a bit. But way too soon it is over and only a slight peppery sting and distant vapors of caramel is left.

Rating and final thoughts
Another very good rum from Velier. No doubt about it.

However it is not quite as stellar as others I have previously reviewed.

It is a bit too heavy on the oak and a little too rough and short on the finish.

This 56% Blairmont 1991 actually feels more aggressive than the 63,4% Diamond 1996 and a 73% Cadenheads I tried recently. For me that indicates that the proof is nowhere near as well integrated as it could have been. Perhaps the original distillate just wasn’t good enough to defend an ABV this high.

Yet again it doesn’t make sense to talk value of this rum. You won’t be able to find it easily, and if a bottle should emerge on eBay or other similar sites, it won’t be cheap, that’s for sure.

I have no idea what a bottle of Blairmont will cost you today, but if you find it for less than €400 you are allowed to consider yourself a lucky bastard.

Once again a several hundred euro price tag, will give you a whole lot of other options. I'm not going to advice you to get this at all costs. There is plenty of other fish in the sea.

If you already got all of those, then I would advice you to try other things. Don’t hold your breath for this one. Because before you find a bottle, your rum journey may have progressed beyond these types of rum anyway.

There is no denying the quality of this product, but I feel that perhaps I have grown accustomed to the usually impeccable character of other Velier products.

Compared to other Velier rums, the Blairmont 1991 may be a smidgen less great, but we are talking nosehairs. The score reveals, that this is still a good bottle of rum.

Lo and behold a…

Rating: 85/100


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