I’ve written this review a few weeks ago and just had this rum in a blind-tasting. For the laughters: I couldn’t say with certainty what I was tasting. But then again, neither did my pals whom I have shared this bottle with. Once again, this showed how difficult blind-tastings really are.
After the Velier St. Lucia 2010 7YO this is the next rum from Velier‘s “Khong series”, a range of rums which are united by having their labels designed by the Singaporian artist Warren Khong. Concerning Mount Gilboa, we’ve already encountered the Habitation Velier Last Ward 2007 10YO which was a blend of the oldest barrels distilled for the Mount Gilboa brand. At this point I think I should clarify a few things. Just because these rums have been distilled at the Rum Refinery of Mount Gay doesn’t mean that they have anything in common with other rums that you may know from the Mount Gay Distillery, irrespective of whether these are official or independent bottlings. The Mount Gilboa profile was designed to be completely different from that of Mount Gay rums and hence shouldn’t be compared to them. I’ve made that mistake with the Last Ward, which might explain why I was a bit disappointed back then, even though it is actually a good rum.
In case you were wondering why you only get to see the back-label in the featured image this time: Velier didn’t think it is necessary to put a front label on my bottle. After inquiring with my vendor the only response was “yes, that happens sometimes”. For those of you who are buying rums only for the collection or as an investment that’s a great pity but then you also don’t belong to the types of people who are welcome on this blog anyway. For me it’s the content that matters, despite of “le culte de la bouteille noire” ;).
Dégustation “Velier Mount Gilboa 2008 9YO”
Key Facts: This rum has been distilled for the Mount Gilboa brand at the Rum Refinery of Mount Gay in 2008. It is a blend of three rums that have been maturing on Barbados in ex-Brandy casks for 9 years. In 2017, it has been bottled for Velier’s 70th anniversary at 66%.
Colour and viscosity: Tawny/ auburn. A thin crown. The rums slowly crawls back in thin streaks.
Nose: At first a vapour of alcohol sprawls out of the glass after lifting the aroma lid. No wonder at 66%! After that the alcohol seems to be gone completely however. I get papayas, cardamom and plenty of other spices such as vanilla and cloves. Then roasting flavours, cocoa and pastry (sponge mixture), perhaps slightly bitter oranges as well. After a while we can also find a few herbs here an there but the rum is definitely shaped by its spices. Even though there are plenty of notes to be found in here, I don’t think it is very special. That said, I’ve liked the nose of the Last Ward way more!
Palate: After the initial burst of alcohol we get a profile which I didn’t expect in this form. There are sweet almonds, papayas, ripe bananas, roasted coffee beans and also some of the spices which I have found in the nose. Generally, the taste is a bit fruitier than the aromas in the nose, similarly to the impressions I’ve had with the Last Ward. The big difference is that this is not boozy at all, despite (or perhaps exactly because) having 66%. Then again the herbs, which now seem to alternate with the spices. The taste is rather interesting, not exactly pleasant but from time to time this is a rum which I can enjoy quite a bit. You need to give it some time though, this is not the kind of rum you drink alongside your favorite TV show.
Finish: Relatively dry and of medium length. A mix and herbs of spices.
This is Mount Gilboa (or rather the Last Ward) upside-down. While I criticised the sharp profile of the Last Ward and adored its lovely nose, the opposite is the case with the Velier Mount Gilboa 2008 9YO, even though it comes in at a way higher abv. The nose is quite boring but the taste is not. Again, it is quite different from the Mount Gay 2000s but that’s not what we should compare it to! It is an above average rum, that’s for sure. But with me it didn’t really “click”. I don’t mind getting back to this bottle every now and then but it lacks this certain something which would really make it special. A great nose first and foremost.