The Duchess Rum Guadeloupe Aged 19 Years

The Duchess Rum Guadeloupe Aged 19 Years Rum review by the fat rum pirateThe Duchess Rum Guadeloupe Aged 19 Years. Hailing from the Netherlands The Duchess are gaining a bit of a reputation amongst Rum Enthusiasts for their bottlings.

I was recently fortunate enough to interview Nils Van Rijn about The Duchess and the rum world in general. I wanted to interview Nils because I had sampled some of his rums and (without wanting to pre-empt this review) been very impressed.

The Duchess Rum Guadeloupe Aged 19 Years hails from the Bellevue (sometimes noted as Belvedere) Distillery which is on the island of Marie Galante. Bellevue is perhaps most famous for the Daimoiseau brand of rhum agricole.

If you search for Independently bottled Guadeloupe r(h)um you will find a number of bottlings from the likes of Cadenhead’s, Duncan Taylor and Kill Devil a good number of which were distilled around 1998 and are between 15 and 19 years old by the time they are bottled.

Information provided on this The Duchess bottling is as follows. The rum was distilled on a column still and is made from fresh cane juice making it an Agricole. Rum from the Bellevue Distillery has been described as the “Islay of the French Caribbean” by none other than Serge Valentin, so this is Agricole but not as we know it, Jim.

Coming in at Cask Strength it is 54.9% ABV. You can still pick up on Cask #22 303 bottles direct from the following website (it’s the parent company of The Duchess) for just over €80. The Duchess Rum Guadeloupe Aged 19 Years, was aged for 7 years in Guadeloupe before being further aged in Europe until 2017 when it was bottled. There are no additives, no chill filtering and no colouring used.

I’ve really enjoyed rhum from Marie Galante in the past so I’m looking forward to this effort.

In the glass we have a very dark chocolate brown spirit with a slight amber hue. The nose is sweet with notes of red wine, plums, redcurrants and a touch of cranberry. There is a slightly musty aroma of leather and a touch of beeswax.

Sweet wafts of sugar cane are in abudance giving this a very fruity almost confected profile. It smells in a lot of ways like a freshly opened bag of Haribo or Sports Mixture.

From the nose you may even think it might be “dosed” in some way such is the sweet aroma of the rum.

Sipped this is a very complex rhum Agricole. The sweetness of the nose is tempered by a nice hit of spicy oak and a hit of orange marmalade and buttered toast. At 54.9% ABV it needs no dilution it is very and dangerously drinkable.

All of the sweetness of the nose comes through onto the sip coating your tongue with sweet gently grassy cane juice and red berries. A concentrated sweetness which is broken by the slightly smoky and spicy notes from the oak ageing. Which balance the spirit brilliantly.

The Duchess Rum Guadeloupe Aged 19 Years Rum review by the fat rum pirateThe finish is rich and warming. It’s not a tremendously long finish but it leaves a nice woody tingle and just enough sweetness to make you want to take another sip.

This is a very intense, very concentrated flavour profile for a rum. It is with rums like this and some of the older Velier Demerara’s that you notice what Tropical ageing can do to a spirit. Compared to a solely continental aged rum.

This is a thick, almost treacly kind of rhum and not really a typical example of agricole. This will appeal very much to the molasses based rum drinker.

As you can see from the photo you can also pick up samples of this rum. I wouldn’t recommend doing that though.

You’ll want a full bottle. Excellent stuff, a really great rhum.

Just a quick foot note. I am not 100% certain this is rhum Agricole or molasses based rum. Nor am I 100% certain which distillery it hails from. I have had comments from people suggesting it is molasses based and from a completely different distillery, to the one I have identified. Unfortunately, when doing my research I can’t do it first hand and actually visit everywhere and/or contact the producers direct (well sometimes I can do that). So any further information etc please comment and let me know. Unlike some bloggers, I do not claim to be the font of all knowledge and am always happy to be corrected.

It’s still a belting r(h)um though.

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