Two different Monymusks from the same year, yet with two different marques. Just by itself, that’s of course always interesting, but here we are also dealing with different production technologies: a pot and a column still distillate. If you know what Monymusk’s column still looks like (if not, just click the link above), you probably know what I am getting at: Can they produce a proper rum with a lot of soul and flavour with that still? At the end of the day, a lot depends on configuration, and fermentations are still the major source of aromas but we all know that these tall columns can be tricky, nicely said. Before we start with the supposedly lighter column still rum, let me refer you once again to the Rum Tasting Notes app, the absolute best database when it comes to rum. When using a device that has the app installed, clicking on the “RTN” link next to a rum’s score will automatically bring you to the respective rum in the app, where you can find plenty of usefull information about the rum, community reviews and much more, with a continously expanding list of features. A web version, as well as options for private bottle splits, sample exchanges and much more are about to come as well so for the love of rum, spread the word!
Velier/ NRJ Monymusk “MBS” 2010 9YO (62%): Let me be honest with you, we are not expecting much but let’s see. Nose: Clearly Jamaican, but also clearly column still. However, I don’t think I would have recognised this one as a Monymusk but given the parameters, that’s no surprise. I get glue, blueberry muffins, dough, coconut, ripe banana, a hint of citrus, the sourness of a freshly squeezed green apple, some sulphur, vanilla and some wood. I must say that I kinda like this! At least the nose is very promising. Palate: A bit sharp at first, but actually, that doesn’t really change. I get vanilla pudding, banana chips and banana puree, the blueberry muffins, a hint of cherry, some wood, a whiff of cinnamon and now clearly also the citrus notes from the nose again. I am positively impressed. The major downside is the sharpness and poor integration of the alcohol but the “funkiness” (gosh, how I hate that expression) paired with the lighter body makes for a very interesting product. Finish: Quite long actually, with coconut, banana and even papaya. Later some wood and cinnamon. It kinda reminds me of good Uitvlugts, just with some more esters. Maybe I have to get this rum after all!? RTN (86/100)
Habitation Velier Monymusk “EMB” 2010 9YO (62%): Now that was a good appetizer. On with the heavyweights then. “EMB” is a marque that is associated with the Bog Estate by the way. Its distillery stoped production in 1948. Nose: Wow! This must be the most intense and heaviest Monymusk to date. I get the full doze of vanilla and fruits. My most notable impressions would be prunes, honeydew melon, rich and sweet amarena cherries and its syrup, whipped cream, quite some oak, and then all sorts of varnishes and solvents. This is clearly not the Monymusk profile we are familiar with, but it is amazing! Then glue, a hint of anise and fennel seeds. This is exactly my type of rum. Palate: Slightly sweet at first but later exceedingly dry. The integration of the alcohol is superb and the mouthfeel extremely creamy. But one step at a time. My first impression is the sweetness of the amarena cherry, but that quickly gives way to more bitter notes (orange peel) and oak, which quickly take over without being too dominant. Later, I get another idea of the blueberry muffins we’ve had with the MBS but that’s only a nuance, at best. Instead, we clearly get more herbal aromas as well as more and more notes from the cask. Simply magnificent and I don’t think that this kind of rum can get much better than this. Finish: Medium long with lots of wood, orange bitters, something between anise and spearmint as well as other notes from the cask. It is an exceptional rum which fulfills many needs we didn’t get often in the past. It is definitely one of the best Habitation Velier releases to date. RTN (90/100)