Dzama Rhum Vieux Aged 3 Years

Dzama Rhum Vieux Aged 3 Years Rum review by the fat rum pirateDzama Rhum Vieux Aged 3 Years. Dzama are a brand of rums from Madagascar, pronounced “Zama” it was founded in 1980 by Lucien Fohine.  Groupe Vidzar is the controlling company. Domestically it accounts for around 60% of all rum sales and operates out of the countries capital Anatananarivo.  (You learn quite a bit researching rum)

I was quite surprised to learn that the population of Madagascar is around 22 million so its a decent sized island.  Originally Lucien Fohine imported Scotch Whisky and he uses these historical links to source his barrels for ageing rum.

The barrels used by Dzama are ex-bourbon and sherry barrels which have been used by the Chivas Brother to mature scotch whisky.  The company also uses ex-Limousin oak barrels for its older expressions.

The rums in the Dzama line up are all produced on column stills.  There is a lot of talk about “terroir” on their website. Some of it seems a little fanciful.  To be honest the subject of terroir is becoming a bit of a “here we go again” kind of topic to this rum reviewer.

They state on their website on the subject of Additives – no artificial ingredients at all.  Be very careful with statements such as these.  No artificial additives does not discount natural additives………….

Dzama produce a number of rums.  I don’t think they are hugely popular outside of Madagascar. They use Agricole style naming conventions on their rums but their rums are molasses based not cane juice.

I bought this particular bottle online from a retailer in Holland is it was on sale.  I got it for just under £20.  This rum when available in the UK retails at around £30.  Surprisingly it is bottled at a very hefty 52% ABV.  Presentation wise it uses a very similar style of straw covering as used by Cachaca producer Ypioca and similar to what Zacapa used to use.  Its interesting.  The stickers on the bottles look a little antique.  I wouldn’t say the presentation is brilliant but it does stand out.

On Social Media Dzama are fairly prominent.  They use scantily clad women quite a lot and their advertising certainly grabs your attention. I’ve not seen many reviews of Dzama rums.  To be honest before reading this I could only vaguely remember reading one.  I had a good idea who that might have come from, so I quickly logged onto The Lone Caner. Lance had reviewed an older bottling of Dzama. Lance can usually be relied on to have reviewed the more bizarre rums many reviewers over look.  In fact along with Lance and myself I can’t think of many reviewers that will literally review just about anything that they come across.

But we do so here goes nothing……

In the glass Dzama Rhum Vieux Aged 3 Years is a golden brown to straw colour. It doesn’t appear to be coloured it looks quite a natural colour.  On the nose I am immediately left thinking about Madagascar’s most famous export. Noted on numerous bottles of Spiced Rum.  Madagascan vanilla. The nose is sweet with caramel, toffee, brown sugar and wafts of vanilla and just a hint of coconut. It’s very sweet but there is still a fair amount of alcohol on the nose. No surprise at 52% ABV perhaps.

The nose does however smell a bit too sweet. Almost cloying but the sharp hit of the alcohol fumes mean nosing it as length is a real nose twitching experience.  A drop or two of water do help but its still very heavy on the toffee, caramel and vanilla. There is a little bit of spiciness from the oak barrels but not a great deal. Just a touch of oak.

Sipped at full ABV the rum is much less sweet and tastes a lot less “confected”. It doesn’t however have a great deal of complexity. Its mostly just fiery young alcohol and the sweetness that goes with that. It doesn’t do a great deal else.Dzama Rhum Vieux Aged 3 years review by the fat rum pirate

A drop or two of water doesn’t really do a great deal flavourwise.  It’s still pretty one dimensional and just well…young and a touch rough.

I figure for the £18 I paid I may as well mix it.  A simple rum and cola is better than I had expected. The vanilla and toffee notes return and alongside the ABV its a reasonable drink. Alas though its nothing spectacular and nothing I couldn’t get for a similar price in any supermarket. Woods 100 is about £20 in my local supermarket and its loads better (a re-review is long overdue).

I wouldn’t be in a hurry to buy this again and it doesn’t make me want to go out and buy a load of Dzama Rhum. Another so-so product which has something slightly suspicious about it in the mix. It did remind me (particularly on the nose) of a few of the artificially enhanced vanilla heavy Spiced Rums.

Which can never be a good thing. Might be a while before we review another Dzama.








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