Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995

Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateDamoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995. My Agricole Rhum journey is no where near as advanced as my forays into Molasses based rums. That is re-inforced yet again by the fact I have never reviewed an Agriocle Rhum, from one of Guadeloupe most respected producers Damoiseau. Certainly not under their “official” name anyway.

Damoiseau’s rhum is produced at the Bellevue au Moule Distillery in Grande-Terre on the eastern side of the island. It is the only remaining rhum distillery in this part of Guadeloupe.

It began life as a Rhum Distillery in 1942 when Roger Damoiseau bought the Sugar Plantation from the Rimbaud family from nearby Martinique. The plantation was then transformed into a distillery to produce rhum from fresh sugar cane juice (and on occasion Molasses).

Damoiseau are extremely popular on Guadeloupe and 50% of rhum sales on the island are attributed to Damoiseau. Until recently distribution and availability of Damoiseau rum in the UK has been a little sketchy. However, over the past couple of years the wonderful lads behind RumCask have began importing the Damoiseau range (amongst others) under their Skylark Spirits brand. They’ve sold out stock of this particular rhum but they do have the rest of the range. Should you require a bottle of this exact vintage then the The Whisky Exchange  still have stock.

So lets see exactly what the juice in this Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995 bottle is. As mentioned already Damoiseau produce Rhum Agricole. So this is rhum produced in the traditonal manner on column stills from fresh estate sugar cane juice. The fermentation period is between 24-36 hours and it is distilled to between 86% and 88% ABV.

Damoiseau Rhum

Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995 Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Vieux Millesime 1995 has been bottled at full Cask Strength of 66.9% ABV. It is the result of an out-turn of 42 casks. It was distilled in January 1995 and was finally bottled in January 2010. The rhum has been bottled in a smaller 50cl bottle and retails at around the £80 mark. As you can see from the photos the slightly smaller rounded stubby style bottle is housed in a grey hinged box.

No I dug around to find a couple of reviews of this rhum but generally drew a blank. I did find a review of the 1989 iteration from Lance over at The Lone Caner.  Which in turn led to a trio of Damoiseau’s, which included this one reviewed by Single Cask Rum.

Further reading also led me to an article over at Rumporter which interestingly noted this as being a blend of 50% Agricole Rhum and 50% Molasses based distillate. Interesting. To be honest there isn’t a great deal of information on the bottle of this rum to go by!

So I think we have covered everything that is required and exhausted all my resources. So lets move on to the fun part.

In the glass we have a dark intense looking rum (not sure what I should be calling this now?) It has a slightly reddish/orange hue to it as well.

Nosed this is a big meaty almost “gravy” like rum. Lots of tar and smoke and heavy notes very similar to a long aged Caroni rum. It perhaps replaces the more petrol notes with a more salty briny note but it’s still pretty fierce. Which to be fair is to be expected. This has been bottled at pretty much the maximum of what any normal person would consider reasonable.

The nose is very complex. There’s a really big hit of sherry and sulphur Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateand lots of tannic red wine like notes. There’s a fairly big dose of slightly bitter plums and red grape. Zesty Kumquat and a touch of marmalade bitterness. Orange Peel. A hint of sourness. Lychees in syrup and some wonderful complex oak spices

which add another layer to the spirit.

Whilst it could be argued that as a sipper this benefits from a drop or two of water, it is still surprisingly approachable even at 66.9% ABV. As long as you are used to Cask Strength spirits you probably won’t find this massively overpowering. The fruitiness on the nose balances wonderfully with the more “aggressive” more powerful notes of tar and sulphur.

The intial entry is sweet with lots of red grape, plum and sticky peaches in syrup. This is followed by a big smack of tar and soot. These contrasting flavours are held together by a wonderful bourbon like tingle of oak ageing and spices. Cinnamon, clove a touch of vanilla alongside a nice hit of woody oak and tannic red wine.

There is so much going on with this rum. The mid palate moves into a lighter sweeter profile with a sherry like note and lots of orange and citrus zest.

In terms of overall complexity and the amount of different flavours coming out of this rum – this is pretty much unmatched really. It’s got so much going on. I would imagine we could see a hundred reviews of this rhum and everyone would say something different.

The finish is very long and at some stage pretty much gives you every flavour you have experienced before. As it fades with woody spices mingle with a sudden note of sweet caramel and toffee sweetness.Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995 Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

This is an absolute sublime rum/rhum, apologies, I have used both in this review. which is very difficult to pigeon hole or compare with anything else. Rhum Rhum Liberation or maybe this Kill Devil (which may or may not be from the same distillery) but no not quite as ludicrously complex.

Damoiseau Rhum Vieux Millesime 1995 is one of those rums/rhums where I just think “Wow!” I’ve found something which I consider to be as good as anything I have had before. Be it molasses or cane juice based. It is also a very distinctive type of rum/rhum which I think will really appeal to people who are seeking something a bit different.

 

 

 

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