Her Highness, VSG (from the ’90s)

This session was supposed to feature two new, old Versailles, namely the Rum Artesanal Enmore (Versailles) 1994 25YO and the Flensburg Rum Company Enmore (Versailles) 1992 27YO. For the latter, we do have a proper sparring partner, for the former, we seem to have finished the amazing Cadenhead’s Enmore (Versailles) “REV” 1994 11YO some time ago and already reviewed the Samaroli Dark 1994. Alas, it made sense to include another one that’s a “one-off” as it seems.

bavsg (2)Blackadder Enmore Still (Versailles) “VSG” 1996 14YO (47%): The only 1996 Versailles I am aware of and I do wonder why that is. Given that Enmore closed for good in 1995, this one has been distilled at Uitvlugt, which might explain potential differences with the other rums of the session. Nose: I am inclined to say that the nose is a bit atypical but that may also be the result of the reduction. I get yellow plums, wild herbs, wood, chestnut, oranges and orange jam as well as raisins perhaps. After about 20 minutes also the typical pencil sharpenings. I must say that I didn’t like it at first but given enough time it really grew on me. Palate: I wonder what the cask strength was since this doesn’t feel to thin; the texture is quite nice in fact. Flavourwise, we are somewhere between the yellow plums, prunes, pencil sharpenings and bitter oranges, a combination that works really well for me. Given the low abv, the alcohol could be integrated a tad better but let’s not these tiny faults too hard. Instead, the lack of complexity might be the bigger issue if you want. Now also more Armagnac-like notes. Finish: Long and with more layers than I thought. We progress through different sorts of woods, dry fruits and herbs. Nice! The rum is somewhat of an odd-ball but sure, why not!? thumb-60x60 (87/100)

rae94 (2)Rum Artesanal Enmore (Versailles) “REV” 1994 25YO (51,4%): You just know that this one is going to be great. After all, all of the 1994s were. Fyi, it has been bottled just shy of its 26th birthday even. Nose: Holy Guacamoly! This one is the nuts. Plums, prunes, a mix of dried fruits, raisins, wood, grenadine, leather, amarena cherries, both, milk and 90% chocolate, notes that remind me of old Port wine and so much more make this one of the most complex and complete noses I’ve had in a long time. Heck, this must be one of the best noses I’ve ever had, the only downside is that the pecil sharpenings only play a very, very minor role here. It really is love in a bottle. Palate: We pick up where we’ve left. The nose was outstanding, but the texture of this rum might be even better. It’s incredibly smooth and well balanced, it just doesn’t leave much to be desired. It has this certain sweetness, just the right amount of bitterness, an excellent maturity but not too much influence from the cask and a flavour-profile that is just short of perfection. I get chocolate, prunes, plums, a mix of dried fruits, herbs, fortified wine, dark amarena cherries, whipped cream, light English breakfast tea, raw licorice and something close to cold brew coffee. Actually, these are just some of the notes that you’ll be able to find but it should give you a good idea. Finish: Medium long and constantly changing between sweet and syrupy as well as bitter. That’s not bad, but the weak spot of the rum if you want. Let’s keep it short and simple: This is the best Demerara rum that has been bottled in a looong time. thumb-60x60 (94/100)

kde92 (2)Kill Devil Enmore (Versailles) 1992 24YO (46%): One of the first 1992s I think, definitely the first one I’ve had. That said, I am quite familiar with this rum already. Nose: Very rich and heavy, despite the dilution. I get notes of chocolate, prunes, dark caramel, molasses, salty notes, licorice perhaps, beet syrup, apricot, burnt wood, chestnut and much, much more. I think we might be having another very great one. Palate: Just like the Blackadder, it isn’t very thin and here the texture is even smoother all in all, probably because of the higher age. Plums, pencil sharpenings, herbs, wood, cocoa, chocolate, non-bitter espresso and salty ship planks are just some of my impressions. Especially the contrast between nose and palate is really interesting here but both surely add up. Finish: Medium long and given what we’ve had not too special but this slightly bitter, salty and woody combination works incredibly well. An amazing rum and I wonder what this would taste like at cask strength, but thanks to the next one we will be able to find out. thumb-60x60 (91/100)

frce (2)Flensburg Rum Company Enmore (Versailles) 1992 27YO (59,8%): This is the new rum series by Rum & Co, a German online shop. Their other releases so far can be disregarded with ease but this one definitely caught our attention! Nose: This is indeed a slightly more mature and intense version of the Kill Devil. Most importantly, it comes with even more chocolate and cocoa and at least the nose is shaped to a larger extent by pencil sharpenings and prunes. On top of that I get chocolate-croissants, hints of strawberries, now also a mix of other, mostly red berries and earthy coffee. Lovely! Palate: The alcohol provides the power that the Kill Devil was lacking but it also comes at the expanse of some of the amazing aromas. Prunes, pencil sharpenings and chocolate form the basis but additional notes such as a mix of herbs, branchwood, burnt caramel, vanilla and again this whiff of berries can be found as well. It is definitely not as complex as the Kill Devil but the plus in intensity kinda makes up for that. Finish: Medium long to long with chocolate, cocoa, herbs and prunes. Dilution has shown that the Kill Devil was clearly the better cask, but also that it probably would have been even better at cask strength as well. Nevertheless, this one doesn’t have to hide behind the former, even though it is a bit too pricey. thumb-60x60 (91/100)