Barbancourt 25 YO Reserve Veronelli

86,60

Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Barbancourt
Origin Haiti
Bottler Undefined
Type Pure Single Agricole Rhum (100% pot still)
Alcohol By Volume 43%
Sugar Measured 4-8 g/L
Description selected and dedicated to the Italian gastronome Luigi Veronelli. bottles produced : 1 196
Review 5

Rieviews

Review by "Cyril" Score: 86

Nose: La robe de ce Barbancourt est cuivrée, bronze et assez soutenue. Des larmes à profusion, un torrent de tristesse comme si l’ouverture de la bouteille avait déclenché un drame. Les vaisseaux ensanglantés sont épais et immédiats, et retombent plutôt rapidement dans un océan trouble. Ce rhum a tout de même subi 25 années de vieillissement (et même plus à en croire l’étiquette), et semble bien vite oublier ses 25 piges de prisons, là où les rhums du même pedigree prennent habituellement le temps de pleurer, sûrement en ressassant un lointain passé dans une lente danse accablante. Le nez est profond et chaleureux, sur le fruit confit (abricot, banane), la marmelade d’orange, des fruits secs grillés et caramélisés (raisin noir, date, figues), vanillés, comme si le rhum durant toutes ces longues années n’avait rien perdu de sa splendeur. On retrouve aussi de la noix, pour une odeur plutôt exquise et même gourmande (massepain). Un nez voluptueux, avec une légère astringence (tanins/boisé un peu âpre) et encore un peu plus orienté sur les fruits secs à l’aération.

Palate: L’attaque est douce et légèrement huileuse, toujours sur ce fruité (marmelade, raisins) mélangé aux tanins classieux et au zan . La bouche se fait plus sèche et le boisé se fait encore plus réglissé et tout juste caramélisé, un peu de tabac aussi, et du café. L’ensemble en bouche laisse apparaître une certaine amertume (thé) qui assèche la bouche.

Finish: La finale est moyennement longue et sur les mêmes notes de boisé, plutôt astringente, avec toujours ce caramel épicé, et du zan en quantité un peu plus importante. Il était coutume d’ajouter du caramel avant le vieillissement pour donner une sorte de caractère au rhum, ou en tout cas de la personnalité (et non comme aujourd’hui pour cacher des défauts systématiques et ‘non vendeurs’). Le verre vide est fruité, épicé, alors que la dernière goutte semble proposer une concentration de tanin, résultat de longues années passées dans le fût, ainsi qu’un léger fumé.

Thoughts: Un rhum à des années lumières de ce qui se fait aujourd’hui chez Barbancourt, tout en finesse ; Et un alcool de bouche subtil qui ne manquera pas de faire son petit effet à qui aura la chance d’y goûter. On pourra être étonné de ne pas trouver un rhum plus riche et complexe pour un 25 ans, mais rappelons que la marque haïtienne avait l’habitude de diluer son rhum à 50% avant mise en vieillissement, ce qui peut expliquer ce résultat tout en finesse.

Review by "Serge" Score: 87

Barbancourt 25 yo 'Réserve Veronelli' (43%, OB, Haiti, for Italy, 1,196 bottles, 1977) Veronelli is a name that rings a bell in the world of whisky, since that Italian gentleman also used to select great old whiskies, such as a Bruichladdich 1966 via Moon Import (WF 91). This was distilled in the early 1950s, or maybe even before. Colour: red mahogany.

Nose: This one’s rich, fruity, jammy, and full of… black cherries. At times, you would think this is oak-aged Burgundian guignolet (cherry liqueur) but sugarcane, candy sugar, bananas flambéed, molasses, almond oils, marzipan and, yes, Fernet-Branca are soon to come to the rescue. And roasted chestnuts! Lovely ‘dark’ nose, full of depth.

Palate: Sweet, extremely raisiny, some would call it ‘a little armagnacqy’. In a good way, of course, despite an obvious tannicity. It may have been a style that early lovers of dark spirits used to favour, but to me it does feel a notch ‘out of fashion’. In short, a lot of candy sugar, quite a lot of burnt oak, and a good dose of coffee. Or better yet, coffee liqueur ala Kahlua or Tia Maria. But it’s very good, just a little ‘antique’.

Finish: Medium, molassy, rich, sherried (-like), burnt in a good way. Drops of lapsang souchong in the aftertaste, as well as orange marmalade and perhaps mango jam.

Thoughts: We know some recent brands that are trying to fake this rich style, don’t we.

Review by "Marco" Score: 81

This bottling to date from the 1970, specifically 1977. It was bottled by Barbancourt especially for the Italian Luigi Veronelli and is said to have consisted of supposedly only 1,196 bottles. At that time Barbancourt still possessed pot stills. Colour: Dark amber.

Nose: First I smell mangoes and other unknown exotic fruits. Then light butter flavours, intertwined with floral aromas. The rum reminds of the old "Caronis", but he lacks their "dirty" taste. It is a very compact nose for 43%. Also tar and grassy sugarcane flavours are in the nose. The rum has a very weak adhesive nose.

Palate: A mild but subtle sweetness floods the mouth. I taste tar and floral aromas, interwoven with sugarcane. Again, these weak adhesive note. No bitterness. The barrel flavors are rather hidden in the background of the flavour-profile. This includes savory flavors and oak. The fruit comes a bit too short and is to taste only at the beginning. Mangoes and some other fruits.

Finish: Light butter flavors, intertwined with bitter overtones and not sweet sugarcane form the beginning. Again, there are briefly floral aromas. The rum is slightly dry towards the end.

Thoughts: This version is not as good as the younger one with 15 YO from Rumaniac sharing. It is not bad, but it is not awesome.

Review by "Lance" Score: 89

A craft bottling from 1977, made by Luigi Veronelli of Milan, who had visited Haiti and was so impressed with the Big B, he was granted permission to take a few barrels. Outturn 1196 bottles, 43%. Note the age statement...greater than 25 years. One can only sigh with envy. Nowadays, fresh pressed cane juice is no longer used to make Barbancourt rums, but reduced syrup; and the old Charentaise still is gone, replaced by more modern apparatus. This allows greater volume, but perhaps some of the older taste profile has been sacrificed, as this rum implies.

Nose: Rich, very warm, not quite spicy. Nuts, caramel, coconut shavings, black grapes. Faint mint and hot tea. Excellent stuff. Invites further nosing almost as of right.

Palate: Medium to light body. Remarkably smooth, wish it had been a bit less thin. Fruity, of the just ripening, sharp kind - grapes, apples just sliced...wtf? Let me check that again. Mmm...yes, it was as I said. Also: the watery clarity of peeled cucumbers (no, really); more tea, some smoke, faint vanilla, toffee, nougat and caramel, but also well melded with more "standard" agricole flavours of grass, green tea. Really goes down well. Perhaps I was wrong, though...let's try another sip. Nope, still good.

Finish: Not too long. Some last smoky, aromatic tobacco notes, a bit of dried fruit. You can help it along with another taste. Perhaps three. A rum this old and this rare deserves to be generously sampled. All in the name of science, of course.

Thoughts: There's a subterranean voluptuousness, a complex richness coiling inside this rum that I cannot recall from the current stable of Barbancourt's products, even the 15 year old. Maybe it was the 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of Barbancourt's old stock; maybe it's the still; maybe it's just the history. Whatever the case, I understand why so many Europeans on a grail quest for it.

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