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1980 Damoiseau Rhum Vieux 18 Year Old Cask Strength Agricole Rum (700ml)
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- ABV 60.3%
The Bellevue au Moule estate and distillery was established at the end of the 19th Century by a Mr Rimbaud from Martinique. Roger Damoiseau senior acquired the site in April 1942 and since then it has remained within the Damoiseau family. It is presently the only distillery on the eastern side of Guadeloupe's Butterfly islands.
Some of the cane processed here is still cut by hand from the surrounding fields, just as it has been for centuries. The rest of the raw sugar cane is trucked in from all over the island. Once pressed, the cane juice is fermented for thirty-six hours prior to being distilled to about 72° in the single, copper-and-stainless steel distillation column. Stainless steel is used in the lower sections of the column to help reduce the maintenance associated with a copper column. While, as in the process of whisky distillation, the top of the column is made of copper to reduce the presence of sulphur compounds formed during fermentation. These can contribute 'off' flavours to the taste of the final distillate, including rubbery, struck match-like characteristics.
The Damoiseau rums are the market leader in Guadeloupe, with a 50% market share. They also have a presence on the market in mainland France and are exported to more than forty countries. The Damoiseau distillery also remains a popular tourist destination. Current proprietors, Jean Luc and Evre Damoiseau endeavour to make a memorable experience for everyone who takes the time to visit.
Tasting note: Matured for 18 years in oak barrels at the Bellevue distillery. Deep copper / brass colour with some minor sediment evident. Enticing first passes offer scents of brown sugar, mollasses and subtle sweet spices. A good 15 minutes aeration skews the aromatics more towards vanilla and banana cake. Light, dry entry is followed by an intense spicy surge leading to an off dry profile that includes mollasses, anise and sweet spices. Finishes keenly dry. Exceptionally long aftertaste of mollasses, cocoa and liquorice strap. Beautifully poised full proof rum. 60.3% Alc./Vol
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