2007 Velier Isautier 15 Year Old Cask Strength Reunion Rum (700ml)
A traditional molasses-based rum from a little-known distillery: Generally categorised among ‘French-Indian rums', Isautier was founded in 1845 by brothers, Charles and Louis, who landed on La Réunion island in 1832. Located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, the island is a department of France. After the Isautier brothers died, Charles’ wife Antoinette took charge of the distillery in 1865. By 1878, they had presented their rum for the first time outside of La Réunion at the third Universal Exhibition in Paris and were awarded a medal. Real success didn’t kick in until Antoinette’s grandson, Alfred Isautier bought up his brother’s shares in 1910. He increased the product range, added a column still and started to distribute Isautier Rums around the world. Through the 1960s and '70s, Alfred diversified, using the sugar industry’s by-products to create goods such as chocolate, jam, vinegar, perfumes, wax polish, candles and more, opening the way for more than sixty new companies on the island. In 2011, the distillery was closed and moved to a new site in Saint-Pierre, where it was rebuilt in a more sustainable fashion, including a solar air conditioning system.
Unlike the French island of Martinique, for example, La Reunion doesn't have its own AOC designation. Regardless, both molasses-based and Agricole / cane-juice distillates are produced via at least one steam-injected column still (more specifics on Isautier's equipment are not available). They occasionally mix and match their blends from both, as well as making a variety of flavoured punches. This 'small batch' edition was barrelled in May 2007 and bottled in March 2022. Three casks make up the composition, namely, ex-Isautier rum casks which held the liquid from 2007-2009, and ex-cognac casks which were employed for the period between 2009-2019. A final 'finishing' took place until 2021 when the rum was returned to the Isautier casks. Reviews are variable, but when Velier chooses to bottle anything to do with rum, it's worth paying attention. 991 bottles are on offer at 57% Alc./Vol.