We charge on with the third release from Distilia's Floral Rum Series that's bottled for online auction site Catawiki - this time a 1994 Enmore of the REV mark.
Sparknotes: Distilia is an independent bottler and retailer of fine spirits, which has made quite the wave with several of their bottling series including the Golden Age of Piracy and also the Greenheart Collection. More recently, they've embarked on doing the Flora Rum Series that's previously featured a 1998 Caroni named "Chaconia" after the national flower of the lost distillery's home Trinidad and Tobago, and then followed up with a 2006 Foursquare "Dwarf Poinciana", a flower native to the distillery's proud nation of Barbados.
If you're seeing a trend, you'd be right on track - this Enmore is named "Victoria Amazonica" after a flower found in the Amazon rainforest, and is the national flower of home country Guyana.
This 1994 Enmore is aged a grand 28 years old, and bottled at 51.8% ABV.
The Victoria Amazonica lily that is the national flower of Guyana.
Now there's alittle bit we should unpack here, after all Demerara's are amongst the most confusing of rums to decipher, and yet are also amongst the more treasured.
So let's talk about it!
As more rum drinkers might know, the Demerara rums are best known for several things - the first is that Guyana only has one active rum producer today, that is Diamond, which is a distilling complex that houses multiple distillation stills in a single estate that is the result of centuries of consolidation.
This brings us to the second thing that Demerara rums are best known for - their wooden stills. This is unique to Guyana because of its indigenous Greenheart wood, which is amongst the stiffest wood to exist on earth and hence can be heated at incredibly high temperatures to distill rum - the Greenheart wood stills that Diamond continues to operate today have been around for over 250 years!
Now, while the country was once home to numerous distilleries as a result of the many sugarcane estates supplying the country's massive sugar industry, as the sugar industry went down, so did many of these sugar plantations, which led to the closure or consolidation of many distilleries.
Distilleries were once bountiful, lining up along the Demerara River as a result of the massive sugar industry.
One of the last to remain was Enmore, which was a massive estate, and operated a unique wooden Coffey still, the only remaining today, and was inherited from the Versailles Distillery which ceased operations. At the time rums produced were given the VSG mark, which eventually was renamed REV (for Rum Enmore Versailles) by brokers, in particular the famous Cadenhead's.
Eventually as with the other distilleries, Enmore too closed, and its wooden Coffey still went to Uitvlugt, which itself folded and finally Diamond was left.
While Enmore's rums today go by any number of very confusing marks, I've found the REV to be my particular favourite as it tends to sport a herbal honeyed flavour. If you want to see a smorgasbord of Enmore's ranked against one another, you'll love this set of five Enmore reviews.
Let's see if this holds up!
Enmore REV 1994 Victoria Amazonica, Distilia for Catawiki, 28 Year Old, 51.8% ABV - Review
Aroma: Deep, dense dark sweet notes of manuka honey and treacle, coupled with more herbal medicinal notes of aromatic sarsaparilla with a side of old wood, and also more on cola syrup.
It also comes across as lacquered wood, tree sap, leather, cigar boxes, coffee. Over time more on herbal, grassy tortoiseshell jelly and acacia honey.
Taste: Alittle more ascetic here - there’s more woody tannins, slightly bitter and drying. More herbal Pei Pa Koa cough syrup, manuka honey, with some more earthy herbal roots. There’s also notes of cooked figs, raisins and prunes, bits of milk chocolate, and also eucalyptus.
Finish: Very full in texture on the finish, it finishes so well texturally. Lingering notes of herbal honey and caffe latte.
I do so love REV’s - this showcased all these deep, dark notes of herbal honey that is balanced against more earthy medicinal roots, and as it opens up it evolves into a more ephemeral grassy herbal jelly. This expression is in particular more wood biased than previous REV’s, but does a good job of not overwhelming.
Flavourwise it has this incredible power and denseness that is so full and rich, and yet packs all this complexity. Something has to be said about the finish as well which texturally is so satisfying with a very full sensation that then livens up into those herbal honey and caffe latte notes.
This one in particular would be a hit with Sherry whisky fans as it could just as well come across like a very well done Sherry whisky, with just a side of herbal grassiness to remind you it’s after all a rum.
But truly, it is a rum that reminds you how beautiful rums can be and really sets itself apart with few close seconds.
My Rating: 9/10
Score/Rating Scale :
- 9-10 : Exceptional, highly memorable, 10/10 would buy if I could.
- 7-8 : Excellent, well above most whiskies, worth considering buy-zone.
- 4-6 : Good, okay, alright; a few flaws, but acceptable; not bad, but not my personal preference; still worth trying, could be a buy if the price is right.
- 1-3 : Not good; really did not enjoy; wouldn't even recommend trying.
- 0 : Un-scored, might be damaged, new make, or very unusual.