Unaged Rum, one of the spirit’s biggest advantages over Whisky, say (there are many more, mind you!). Also it is always very interesting to compare raw distillates with aged expressions, even if they “only” have the same mark but don’t come from the same batch.
Habitation Velier Hampden “LROK” 2018 (62,5%): They declare 350g/hlaa esters here, which would be closer towards the upper end of the LROK scale (200-400g/hlaa). The nose is very fresh and fruity with ripe pineapple, menthol, sour clementine and other citrus fruits, a whiff of acetone and a fair share of alcohol (which was to be expected with an unaged rum at this abv). We get a similar pattern at the palate. The alcohol is quite strong but we shouldn’t complain of course. The structure is relatively meaty with notes of clementines, lychee, rambutan and even spices (really!?). The finish is actually not very short and comes with a mix of dry and fruity notes. I’d say the rum is quite nice and might rival some of the better Agricole Blancs out there. I don’t think I would want to drink too much of this neat but it is tasty stuff. By the way, it actually reminds me quite a bit of some of Savannas Blancs (see here for example). (85/100)
Habitation Velier Hampden “<>H” 2018 (66%): We up the esters to 960g/hlaa. I am a big fan of high esters rums and you probably know it but I think for me there’s a limit to how high the ester count should be with unaged rums. I did have a few different unaged DOKs which were highly drinkable (and quite nice!) but I am not sure if I would ever drink too much of it neat (see what I wrote above). The nose is incredibly strong with unpleasant (!) acetone, brush cleaner, a mixed fruit basket and fruit schnaps. I am almost afraid to take a sip but we’re brave. Besides the high abv, the palate isn’t even half as pungent. However, it just doesn’t come with too many flavours for some weird reason. At first, again the acetone/ brush cleaner but then the fruit basket is not as intense as you’d expect from such a higher ester rum. Instead, it comes with a few vegetal and metallic elements but I have a hard time pointing out any individual elements. The finish is long and is basically just an extension of the palate. It is increasingly metallic, however. Sometimes less is more. Here for sure and I prefer the LROK by a large margin. (82/100)
Habitation Velier Long Pond “STC<3E” 2018 (62,5%): The STC<3E was my favorite of the aged NRJ releases so I am quite excited for this one. 674g/hlaa are stated here. Nose: Not excessively intense but with some acetone, nail polish remover, freshly cut grass, tangerine, chalk and more mineral notes. The nose isn’t very revelatory so let’s take a sip. Palate: Rather mild. I get a fruit basket consisting mostly of pears and apples as well as selected citrus fruits, the grassy notes from the nose, orange lemonade and something close to ginger perhaps, but not a whole lot besides that. That’s not a huge issue though, the rum is really nice. If only the price would be as well but perhaps some day it will be… Finish: Rather long, especially for an unaged spirit with the orange lemonade, citrus fruits and a few, very sublte spices such as cloves or caraway. Nice, so now just do as I said above and we will be best friends. (84/100)