The Rhumerie de Chamarel lies in a fertile valley 300 meters above sea level in the south-west of Mauritius. They are one of only a handful distilleries in the world that grows its own sugar cane. We weren’t really impressed by their VS 4YO but really liked Velier’s bottling from their Khong series. And as chance would have it, we have two more Velier bottlings today.
Velier Chamarel 2010 Blend 2014 (56,5%): Cuvée might have been more fitting here than blend but anyway, this is an agricole style rum. Now with Chamarel you never now what you’ll get so let’s see. The nose starts with a mix of peaches, nectarine, earthy and vegetal elements as well as oatmeal. Perhaps the peaches aren’t only indicative of New Grove but much rather the island as a whole!? The nose is nice but doesn’t reveal too much. Eventually we get a whiff of spices (cinnamon), liquorice and sandal wood perhaps. All I can say for sure is that it doesn’t really smell like your typical ‘agricole’. The palate continues in a similar fashion and is sweeter than the nose suggested. I get the peach/ nectarine combination (now more of the latter actually), soft liquorice, chilli flakes, cinnamon, vanilla and oak. It’s not complex but quite nice in fact. The finish is medium long with lots of soft liquorice, hints of nectarine and oak. It’s a highly sippable cuvée but as stated above, not the most typical agricole as you would expect to get it from Martinique, say. The only thing we need to fix right now are price and availability. (82/100)
Indian Ocean Stills (Velier) Chamarel 2014 4YO (58%): I am not quite sure how typical of a Chamarel this is either. In the nose we encounter a rather youthful and alcoholic rhum, with some vegetal, slightly earthy but also many of the fruity elements which we’ve also found in the 2010/2014 blend (nectarine most prominently). There’s also a hint of glue, which now really boosts it. It was a slow starter but it is getting better with time, I am just hoping that it won’t be too alcoholic. Palate: Relatively thin and quite sharp indeed. It is very aromatic, more so than I am used to with many OB Chamarels but the boozy character paired with the thin texture really hamper my enjoyment. Aromawise, I get more of the vegetal and earthy notes, paired with a slightly herbal touch here and there. Now pepper, chilli and a very high adstringency. Quite the weirdo! At first I didn’t like it at all, now it is getting better with every sip. Finish: Short and vegetal with oat, grain and herbs. I really had a hard time grading this but it definitely falls into the “above average” category. (78/100)