Review #9: Veritas/Probitas Rum

Veritas: latin noun: Truth

Probitas: latin noun: Honesty or Goodness

Veritas or Probitas rum (depending on where you live) was made with the intention of truth and honesty. Something that has lacked in the rum world for years and something that many people in the world of rum have been advocating. Think of Luca Gargano and his pure single rums, Richard Seale and his expansive facebook-teachings about pure rum making in accordance with rum heritage. There are also some bloggers and general enthusiasts that are deeply passionate about this honesty in the product (one of the most outspoken has to be Ivar).

Truly, these people are fighting the good fight for this wonderful spirit. (Pure Single) Rum is a beautiful spirit that in no way has to bow down to the well-established Single Malt Whisky. I’d even say that some rums far outdo some whiskies… Then again, I’m quite biased.

Veritas rum is a blend of an unaged double retort pot still from the Hampden distillery, an unaged Coffey column still from the Foursquare distillery and a 2-year aged pot still from that same Foursquare distillery. The 2 years of aging explains the slight yellow colour of the liquid. as opposed to other “white” rums, which are completely clear.

As the back label clearly and with an unabashed jab at a certain company states: “unsullied by sophistic dosage”. This shows once more that Mr. Seale is an absolute purist regarding rum and a man who’s not afraid to take the piss out of, well… a certain someone (on a back label nonetheless). What a legend.

Apart from Richard Seale, this is a three-way collaboration with Luca Gargano and Vivian Wisdom, about as holy a trinity you can have in rum. These three gents have put forward a rum that should represent what “unaged” or “white” rum looked like in the distant past, before the massive industrialization of immense column still installations which basically produce glorified vodka.

For most people, the first contact with rum is the white Bacardi or Havana club or something likewise. The clear liquid that comes out of those bottles and fuels the nights of many a wild college party is widely recognized as (to say it politely) not really that great in quality. People start to think that white rum, and rum in general doesn’t really have a particularly pleasant flavour and therefore tell people who like and promote the spirit “oh I’m not really a rum person, I just don’t like the way it smells or tastes”.

This is a shame because, once again, rum is an amazing spirit. Even “White” rum is astonishingly delicious (if not distilled up to the point that it would be more at home in a hospital than on a backbar). One only has to know where to look. To give people an easier time looking, the trifecta of aforementioned people have brought us Veritas. The truth about what rum really was all along. Just a great f*cking tipple, be it neat or in a cocktail.

The rum should cost about €30, so I urge everyone to do two things; buy a bottle yourself and stalk your local bar to get a bottle. You and your bartender will thank me.

Enough promotion, tasting time


Colour:

Nearly colourless, apart from a golden wheat-y glow. It looks like a watered down white wine (boy would I be disappointed if it actually tastes like that)

Nose:

Nope, no watered down white wine here. A familiar scent of Jamaican pot still welcomes me, although it is mellowed down a bit, due to the “lighter” Foursquare in this blend. It’s like meeting an old friend whom you went drinking with back in the day (let’s call him Tony) and finding out he’s married with children; he’s a better and more complete man, but the beast seems to have died a bit.

That’s my completely out of context nose about this one. But in actual scents the comparison rings true, all the familiar Hampden notes are present, but tamed a bit. Like marriage with Tony, this makes for a more well-rounded result, though not as fun.

Noteworthy is that the scent gives a creamy and citrus-y impression

Flavour:

And again just like with good old Tony, the first sip of alcohol releases the beast… somewhat. Yes, the pot still part is more present. The rum feels quite thick, oily and full. Heavier notes are more prevalent here, some baked banana and pineapple. Also a bit of coconut. This all blends nicely with the Bajan parts, which give the rum a certain natural sweetness of caramel and molasses. Overall a pleasant and balanced blend of these 2 rum powerhouses.

Tasting the rum neat is not really what it’s meant for, it’s actually more positioned towards cocktails and mixing in general. So, let’s make a frickin’ daiquiri!

The recipe I’ve used is this: 60ml Veritas, juice of 1 lime (30ml), 2 barspoons of granulated sugar. I decided not to add too much sugar since the rum has some sweetness to it already. The verdict of the daiquiri test is marvelous, this daiquiri is amazing (if I do say so myself). The rum carries enough power without being overly dominant and the citrus to sugar ratio is just right (for me), which gives a nice fresh cocktail.

Finish:

The finish is medium. The balance continues to the end and a nice mix of fruit, caramel and coconut finish the experience in a satisfying, though not extremely exciting way.


As a neat sipper this is a solid “white” rum and it will present the drinker with a nice blend of two of the great rum distilleries in rum. Not too much or too little of either one. As a “white” sipper I’d give the rum a 8/10

As a cocktail though, this rating is insufficient. A well-made daiquiri on a sunny day can brighten ones week and give the daiquiri cocktail as a concept a ray of hope in a world of massive frozen strawberry daiquiris. As a cocktail rum, this gets a well-deserved 10/10

As an overall rating, this is a 9/10 rum, since it’s more focused on being a mixing rum and well… Tony is more of a cocktail guy anyway.

9/10

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