Long Pond TECA 2005 Habitation Velier 14 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.
More than just a bottler of rum, Luca Gargano is considered a visionary in the cane spirits industry, even developing his own classification for different styles of rum in 2015. Many distilleries have since adopted this. Among the classifications is "pure single rum," which denotes a spirit produced on pot stills at a single distillery. This Habitation Velier range is a celebration of these rums "which best expresses the raw material and the know-how of the distiller."
This is the Continental Flavoured Style, one of four classifications used in Jamaica, identifying rums with 700/1600 gr/hlpa. The TECA mark specifically refers to rums with 1200/1300 gr/hlpa. Distilled at Long Pond in 2005 and bottled in 2019.
Founded in 1753, Long Pond distillery is located in the Trelawny parish of Jamaica, which is also home to the Hampden Estate. Its modern history begins in the 1940s, when Seagram chief, Samuel Bronfman, bought the distillery from the Jamaican government and began to produce the Captain Morgan brand there. When Seagram was dissolved in the early 2000s, Diageo bought Captain Morgan and moved production to Clarendon. Long Pond became part of National Rum of Jamaica, a firm established in 1985 and currently part-owned by the Jamaican government, Demerara Distillers in Guyana, and Maison Ferrand in France. Long Pond produces rum using both John Dore pot stills and a Blair column still. Its output is highly regarded, and stock shortages caused by its closure between 2012-2017, and a fire in 2018 mean it is becoming increasingly sought after.