Bristol Spirits has been consistently bottling interesting rums since 1993, and we have here today one of their earliest bottles - a single cask demerara rum VSG 8447 distilled in 1984 at the Enmore Distillery using the Versailles single wooden vat still, and bottled in 1995. And as described in the cask reference, it bears the standard Versailles-Schoonord-Goed Fortuin (VSG) marque. This comes as a unique opportunity as its not often you get the opportunity to taste a relatively young rum from the 80s.
(Image Source: @weixiang_liu)
The colour is pale yellow, almost like an off-white. On the nose it comes across perfume-y and light, and as most Versailles rums dominated by those crayon-ish or pencil shaving notes. Its also quite heavy on the black peppers and spice too, despite being at a relatively mild abv of 46%. Finally, there are also nuances of grassiness and mint.
Just like the nose, the palate brings lots of fresh and uplifting notes, with light delicate florals similar to other continentally aged Versailles that I find so appealing. The structure is somewhat reminiscent of a chardonnay, with mild leather in the middle. The finish is short but carries on the theme of freshness, leaving a slight tingling sensation on the palate, sweet yellow sultanas, red dates, jasmine. Much better than some of the more recent versailles that tend to be a bit too heavy and dominated by those leathery notes in the middle.
This bottle is quite the perfect example of why I love exploring some of the rather unknown bottles, full of character and a unique profile that is not shared with many others. It also stands as a testament to the vision Bristol Spirits had, picking and bottling really great casks like this.
Your occasional rum addict!