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.
This is a pair of Monymusk rums, bottled from a vatting of two casks, #434034 and #434039. Due to the age of the rums, there was so little left in cask that Luca Gargano opted to bottle it both at natural cask strength and a slightly reduced proof as well, in order to give drinkers the widest possible experience of this rarity. Entitled Rum Sapiens, these were the first in a series of well-aged rums from the Italian distributor. MMW Wedderurn style rums, these were distilled in a dingle retort pot still and tropically aged in Jamaica.
Monymusk is the flagship brand of Clarendon rum marketed by majority owners, National Rums of Jamaica. The holding company was established in 1985 and is currently a joint venture between the Jamaican government, Demerara Distillers in Guyana, and Maison Ferrand in France. The Monymusk brand is named after the sugar factory and plantation in which the Clarendon distillery is located, and the rum is aged and blended at NRJ’s silent Innswood distillery, which ceased production in 1992. Clarendon distillery is one of the Caribbean’s newer rum factories, built back in 1949. Back then, it was a small operation, running a single pot still produced by legendary Louisville, Kentucky coppersmiths, Vendome. Today it is joined by a second, larger pot still of Indian manufacture, a modern five-column still, both installed in 2009.