The Duchess Guyana Rum Aged 20 Years Armagnac Finish

The Duchess Guyana Rum Aged 20 Years Armagnac FinishThe Duchess Guyana Rum Aged 20 Years Armagnac Finish. This is the final rum in the “Flower” series featuring the artwork of Hans Dillesse, a Dutch artist. The Duchess are an independent bottler from the Netherlands, who began bottling rums in 2018.

The brand are gaining quite a following and this is their latest Single Cask release. If you are in the UK then their rums can be found here. The Duchess Guyana Rum Aged 20 Years Armagnac Finish is a rum from Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL). This particular rum was distilled on the Wooden Coffey Enmore Still. It was distilled in 1998 and bottled in 2019. It has spent 8 years in an ex-Armagnac cask in Europe. I am unsure how much of the its prior 12 years were spent in the Tropics/Europe.

It has been bottled at Cask Strength of 50.8% ABV. It came from cask number 27 (whatever use that is to us) and yielded 243 bottles. In the UK, this retails at just under £90 it is slightly cheaper in Europe.

The presentation once again is excellent with a wonderful flower design. The choice of colour for the cap (Baby Blue) is a little odd but I like the stubby 3/4 bottle and the overall presentation is good. It’s sleek and modern. A little over busy but the label does have a lot of valuable information on it. Which is what we want to see.

I’ve given you all the information I can find on this rum so we may as well move onto the fun part and see what this Armagnac finish is all about.

In the glass we have a medium/golden brown coloured spirit. The nose is quite sharp – slightly menthol in some ways. There’s some oak there but it’s a little flat and the sweeter notes form the Armagnac cask are trying to make themselves felt but it’s all very subtle.

Further nosing and more time in the glass sees more of the wine influence shine through. More sweetness – a slightly acidic white wine note mingles alongside some hazelnut and pencil shavings. There’s a slightly sour, musty note in there which is a little off putting to be honest.

I get the feeling that this Enmore may have been a little too oaky and was put in the Armagnac cask to try and send it in another direction and give it a new lease of life. Further nosing reveals some Peach and Apricot – which give the rum a softer easier approach.

So lets see how this one goes when we sip as the nose is a pretty mixed bag.

It’s quite sweet. I would have guessed there was some kind of wine finish involved or some kind of fancy spirit. I’m not very knowledgable on Armagnac so I would never have guessed that.

I also might have struggled to have identified this as a Demerara rum. The Enmore Wooden Coffey Still can produce a lot of different rum marques. This would seem to be one of the lighter ones as it doesn’t have a very big Demerara feel about it.

The Duchess Guyana Rum Armagnac Finish has quite an orange(y) feel to it – marmalade and some spicy oak come in. The initial burst of sweetness and the lighter notes of Peach and Apricot move into bitter notes of Orange Peel and slightly bitter Jaffa oranges. Wood and spice carry through the mid palate into the finish. The finish is a medium length and is fairly unremarkable to be honest.The Duchess Guyana Rum Aged 20 Years Armagnac Finish rum review by the fat rum pirate

There is a little trace of the traditional Demerara raisin and sultana notes but probably not enough to satisfy a lot of Demerara nuts. The tropically aged Demerara rums are poles apart from their European aged brothers.

I’m not going to say one is better than the other but this is definitely a woodier, drier and less fruit heavy rum than you would get from a Tropically Aged Enmore.

This is better than some of the long aged Enmore rums I have had, say for example the Bristol 1988, but not by much. I’d score them similarly.

That’s not to say this is a bad rum. It’s pretty good. Yes it’s a bit on the light side but it delivers quite a nice reasonably well balanced sipper. It’s also a lot different to other rums – the Armagnac cask has brought something different to the table.

You would probably buy a bottle and enjoy it but you might not rush out to get another.

Good but not great.

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