That Boutique-y Rum Company Haiti 17 Year Old

That Boutique-y Rum Company Haiti 17 Year OldThat Boutique-y Rum Company Haiti 17 Year Old. This is the third release of Haitian rum from That Boutique-y Rum Company. Over the past few years the Haitian spirit scene has seen a bit growth and it has headed in a direction which few would have perhaps envisaged 10 years ago.

Please note, I have stated the Haitian spirit scene rather than the “R(h)um” scene. This is because unlike some other commentators I won’t try and pigeon hole the (mostly) unaged cane spirit produced by so many small/micro distilleries as “rum”. For the very simple reason that those producing the spirit do not refer to it as rum. They call it “Clairin” (with variations on the spelling) so like “Cachaca” I will stick to calling it as it is. Rather than what might suit me or the western world.

That said for todays review we are straying from “Clairin” and remaining very much in the r(h)um scene. Although this bottling isn’t noted as “Secret Distillery” the distillery is not disclosed. It hails from the largest r(h)um producing distillery on the island – Barbancourt.

R(h)um Barbancourt is often noted as being a Rhum Agricole producer. However, they produce r(h)um from both cane juice and molasses. Barbancourt now produce rum on Column Stills only and no longer operate a Pot Still. There is some debate over how much cane juice and molasses based r(h)um they produce. I’m honestly not sure what the base of this r(h)um is.

I do know however it was produced on a Column Still and aged for 6 years in Haiti before being moved to Europe (Liverpool), for a further 11 years ageing. It has been aged solely in French Oak Barrels. At release there are 385 50cl bottles available priced at £79.95 and bottled at 59.2% ABV.  This is That Boutique-y Rum Company’s third batch of Haitian rum. That is pretty much all I know about this bottling.

Unfortunately Barbancourt’s output has been tricky to obtain over the past few years here in the UK. So I have only reviewed, the pretty excellent 8 Year and tried a (rather expensive) sample of their 15 Year Old in a Hotel Bar in London.

For comparison when the 8 Year Old is available it was retailing at around the £30-35 mark and the 15 Year Old was around £50. If the UK does see a regular flow of these rums again I would expect prices to be near £40 and £60 respectively.

So lets get on with the fun part.

When I first tried Barbancourt I was intrigued by it. I was expecting something much more like a standard Rhum Agricole. I’ve always found it to be a sort of mix of rhum agricole and more regular molasses based rum.

So the nose is quite sweet with some sugar cane notes but they aren’t hugely vegetal or grassy – they are sweet with notes of apricot and green apple. I find the nose quite cognac like. I do recall finding Barbancourt 8 Year to be very reminiscent of cognac.

Comparisons have been made in the past by various commentators.

Further nosing reveals pineapple, mango and some lovely fresh vanilla notes. Some light delicate spices and a kind of eucalyptus like note herbal note. Not dis-similar to Saint Lucian rum.

It’s a really nice vibrant, fruity nose. It’s quite light overall but this type of rum is not here to blow your socks off. At 59.2% ABV its quite punchy but don’t feel you shouldn’t add a drop or two of water if it suits your palate.

On the sip it’s initially quite spicy and the ABV does deliver a certain amount of heat (which I like). There is a touch of varnish/furniture polish which adds a bit of extra omph to preceedings.

Further sips see this subside and we start to get more of the lovely complex fruitiness and baking spices coming through. More vanilla, pineapple and some apricot come through alongside a herbal/grassy note which adds another layer of interest.

This is a very interesting r(h)um. Regardless of the base material we have a really interesting and very tasty spirit.

With the lack of availability of official Barbancourt, this really release really does offer a good insight into the type of r(h)um they produce. There are only a few producers out That Boutique-y Rum Company Haiti 17 Year Old rum review by the fat rum piratethere, that have their own style that no-one else seems to have copied – Saint Lucia Distillers are one that comes immediately to mind. They have a very unique style of r(h)um which straddles the divide between Cane Juice and Molasses based distillate.

The finish is a good length as well and it has a nice frutiness to it. Which works nicely alongside the spicy notes and the rich warming oak. It fades out gently with a herbal note which is very pleasant and a nice ending to an enjoyable tot.

All in all this is a very solid offering – I don’t think I’ve enjoyed it quite as much as Barbancourt 5 Star but that sets the bar very high in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

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