Port Mourant UPM 1997 Velier 15 Year Old
Velier was founded by Casimir Chaix in Genoa in 1947 as a wine and spirits importer and distributor. By the 1980s they were still a small family-company with less than ten staff. This all changed in 1986 when it was purchased by Luca Gargano, a former brand ambassador for Saint James who was at the time still in his twenties. Under his direction, they selected their first single cask whiskies in 1992, and their first rum in 1996. In the decades that followed, Velier have gone on to become one of the most collectible brands in the industry, and Gargano has positioned them as the one of the foremost authorities and bottlers of rum anywhere in the world.
Velier's earliest Demerara releases were bottled in 1996, laying the groundwork for what would later become affectionately known as the "Age of Velier's Demerara." This began in earnest in 2004, after Gargano was invited to the Demerara Distillers Ltd warehouses in Guyana to select tropically aged barrels to be bottled by Velier for the first time. The "age" only lasted until 2015, but has an enduring legacy of having indelibly raised the profile of the historic rum stills and marque's of Guyana, which have become some of the most sought after in the world, these Velier releases in particular.
This particular 1997 vintage which was produced at the Uitvlugt distillery on the historic Port Mourant still. It is one of 1094 bottles drawn from a stock of 4 barrels marked UPM.
Uitvlugt, pronounced [eye-flut] was located on the west bank of the Demerara river near the Dutch-established town of the same name. The distillery was established at the end of the 18th century and remained Dutch-owned until the government in Guyana began to nationalise and consolidate the country’s rum production in 1974. Thereafter it became part of the portfolio of Demerara Distillers Ltd (DDL), who closed it down at the end of 1999. Uitvlugt originally operated double wooden pot stills, however these were replaced by a four column French Savalle still in the early 1920s. A double wooden pot still was reinstalled in the 1950s however, moved there from the closed Port Mourant distillery. That still produced this rum. It is constructed from Greenheart wood, which is native to Guyana and is mostly used in boat-building due to its ability to remain strong while constantly wet. The wood is also well suited to distilling, stripping spirit of sulphites in the same manner that copper does. The Port Mourant and the Versailles single wooden pot still are the last of their kind still in operation. The Port Mourant still is so-called as it started life at the distillery of the same name, established in 1732. Its configuration produces a typically heavy bodied and oily distillate, generally credited with being one of the key components in the old Royal Navy blend. Port Mourant rums remain high in demand to this day, and the still remains in operation at Diamond, the last remaining distillery in the country.
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Please note: Due to the various ages of bottles and their seals, condition of liquid is at the buyer's discretion and no claim can be lodged against failure/leakage in transit.