Enmore (Versailles) 1988 “AWM / MEA”

The light aka uncoloured 1988 Enmore Versailles batch. I still have noch clue what the marque “AWM” stands for but “MEA” just has to be Main Enmore AWM. In case you are wondering, the “dark” 1988 Enmore match will follow eventually, and it will be split into at least two sessions I think! By the way, the bottle in the featured image isn’t mine.

Liquid Gold Caribbean Reserve Enmore (Versailles) 1988 13YO (46%): While this is the youngest Rum of the batch I have tried, it actually wasn’t my first encounter with it. Anyway, I am glad that we are having the chance to do a re-tasting. Nose: Even at 46% this is quite alcoholic – but that’s a mystery that we encounter time and again, i.e. that some diluted Rums exhibit a higher perceived alcholic sharpness than their full proof counterparts. On the aromatic side we get a few herbs (think medical notes perhaps), bitter citrus fruits, some equally bitter vanilla and apples I guess. All in all, that isn’t really enough I must say. Palate: Once agian, you’ll notice the juvenility and subpar integration of the alcohol right away. The flavours have clearly been muted by the water, even though this lovely Enmore dryness featuring dusty antique shelves, licorice, herbs and prunes keeps on shimmering through. But as we’ve said above, it simply isn’t enough. Finish: Not to long and basically the oposite of fancy. Herbs, oak, nutmeg and a whiff of apples can be found but it doesn’t really leave a lasting impression at all. To sum up, since this is a rather young old school Rum at 46%, I am constantly drawing parallels to some of the old Bristols. The main issue is that Bristol was always doing a better job at this. Put differently, they knew how to pick (and resell!) barrels while this cask is just a lesser version of what else is, or has been, out there. (80/100)

Cadenhead’s Enmore (Versailles) “AWM” 1988 16YO (64,9%): My very first encounter with the AWM style. Nose: The almost 65% are definitely present but what do we expect at 16 years!? I get the alcohol, herbal notes and quite a few fruits along the lines of grapefruit, blood oranges and sweetie. The pencil shavings actually play only a very minor role here whereas this somewhat medical touch that we often times get with Versailles is clearly present. So far, so good. Palate: Kinda sweet, yet also super dry in a sense. I get pastry, licorice, old and dusty leather, sweet chestnuts, the herbs from the nose, more dust and rancid, perhaps somewhat mossy notes, Parma ham as well as the hole range of spices from cumin to cloves. It’s a quite complex Rum, yet at the end of the day all of this doesn’t add up entirely, even though that might be complaining about first world problems. Finish: Medium long with those smoky, wood and antique (dust) notes. There’s a glimpse of greatness to be found here, but a lot went wrong as well, which kinda hampers my enjoyment. Nevertheless, it is a good Rum, for what was a good price back then. These days, I wouldn’t hunt this particular one personally. (85/100)

Velier Enmore (Versailles) “MEA” 1988 20YO (51,9%): Nose: Very herbal with the characteristic pencil shavings, which have a slightly charred character here. Then wood, spices (pepper, vanilla, anise) and minimally fruity notes reminiscent of papaya, honey dew melon or dragon fruit. Some glue is also in the mix. I like it! Palate: Right on, this has quite a few points in common with the outstanding 1985 batch. The main difference is that the herbs are playing an even more prominent role here. Slightly sweet smoke, charred oak, the spices from the cask and of course the pencil shavings are my other main associations. It also comes with a slightly medical, iodine-like touch, which fits in very nicely with the herbs. The fruity notes are almost gone entirely, however, and only remain in the form of very bitter and dry blood oranges. Finish: Long and dry with a mix of herbs, wood, spices and bitter notes as we’ve had it at the palate as well. A very good Rum that demonstrates that Velier also knew how to select the continental Demeraras – but since this is Versailles, we might be a bit biased of course. (88/100)

Compagnie des Indes Enmore (Versailles) 1988 23YO (48%): Nose: Slightly more fruity than the other Rums of the session. While it naturally comes with pencil shavings, plums, prunes and woody notes, this one seemingly has more esters. Then papaya (dominant), dragon fruit and physalis – quite exotic indeed. Give me some physalis syrup even. There isn’t much to complain about here. Palate: On the one hand it is slightly thin because of the low abv, on the other hand it is ultra creamy due to the nature of the pencil shavings. My first (other) associations include grapefruit, mascarpone, tonka, cinnamon, basil and thyme as well as cheesecake. A bit odd, addmitedly. Finish: Not very long and kinda not worthy of the rest of the Rum. It doesn’t come with much and the little that we get is gone way too quickly for my liking. At best, we can name wood, grapefruit, physalis and herbs. A very good Rum with a few flaws here and there. The style does speak for itself, however. (86/100)

Nobilis Enmore (Versailles) “AWM” 1988 32YO (50%): This should still be the full cask strength. Nose: Lots of wood and continental fruits such as pears and apples. Perhaps it needs more time. After a while we get ripe white grapes, citrus notes perhaps, vanilla and more wood, cocoa perhaps and caramel vla. A very muted and reserved expression with plenty of substractive maturation I think. Palate: Very light and slightly watery, without being thin. Fortunately, we get quite a few pencil shavings, covered in pear juice. Then caramel, spices such as anise or cardamom, very light licorice, lemon (without any sourness though), honey and cream dessert. This is very simple and straightforward stuff, but very tasty and highly sippable. Finish: Medium long with wood, mint, pencil shavings and vanilla. Nothing fancy going on in this part. There’s definitely no doubt about the quality, even though it sometimes feels like a 43% Rum in comparison at times. (85/100)

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