Brand: Habitation Velier
Origin: Worthy Park, Lluidas Vale, Saint Catherine Parish, Jamaica
For a milestone like hitting review #100, I wanted to take a look at one of my favorite rums of all time, and one that sent me down the rabbit hole after making me think "if rum can be like this, what other wild bottles could be out there?". I found this bottle– well, the same release, as the original is long-gone– at Joe's Wines & Liquor here in Memphis; I really didn't know what I was getting into or what to expect, and at the time this was my most expensive rum purchase at ~$50.
We return to a release from Habitation Velier (HV), the collaborative project between La Maison du Whisky and Velier. Habitation Velier Forsyths WP 502 is an molasses-based, unaged product of the double retort copper pot still built by Forsyths and installed at Worthy Park in 2016; like other HV bottles, the still is illustrated on the front label.
The distillate started from a longer fermentation period than normal, and yielded a congener (organic substances other than ethanol that are produced during fermentation) count of 502 g/hLAA. Note that despite the similarity in measuring using "g/hLAA" with esters– and despite common conflation of the two concepts by rum community members– congeners and esters are not the same. As far as the ester count in this rum, I am not sure of its relationship to the congener measurement, or if that number can exceed that measure, or is a subset of the congener yield.
Distillation produced 20 barrels of juice (although the rum itself is unaged, I'm assuming this is just an easy reference measurement), which in turn yielded a count of 5,124 bottles. This was released in 2016 at a strength of 57% ABV.
Clear, high clarity, low viscosity
Underripe pineapple, banana pudding, heavy cream, kiwi, lime zest, white grapefruit, white wine vinegar, yeast, permanent marker
Underripe pineapple, blood orange, banana, blueberries, kiwi, citrus zest, hint of Castelvetrano olive brine, Shishito peppers
Medium-long, fruity, funky, warm, slightly spicy; pineapple rind, banana, orange zest, Shishito peppers, caramel praline blondie
Simply incredible, all around one of my favorite rums. The nose is so expressive and simply one of my favorite bouquets of any spirit I've had, while the palate is complex and features as perfectly-manageable but expressive funk element as you can find. The finish is expertly constructed and shows the proof well, without overpowering the flavors that trail throughout the end of the experience.
There is so much fruit like pineapple, banana, kiwi, and citrus zest, while some slightly spicy and savory notes like Shishito peppers, Castelvetrano olives, and white wine vinegar. Although this is not the craziest funky Jamaican rum that I've had, Forsyths WP 502 masterfully features the wide range of aromas and flavors that Worthy Park is capable of bringing out in their rums.
One of the reasons I wanted to start posting rum reviews was to share some of my fun finds and notes from my favorite rums, and I finally get around to one of the bottles that really propelled me on my journey.