Bellevue 19 Years Old Guadeloupe The Duchess Cask:22 54.9% 1998
|Bottled for||The Duchess Spirits|
Aged at Bellevue from December 1998 to August 2005 in Guadeloupe then shipped to Europe for further maturation until botteling in 2017.
Serge Valentin (90)
Colour: dark amber.
Nose: not the first time we’re trying some ’98 Bellevue, and not the first time we’re much pleased. This is a perfect slightly mentholated chocolaty profile, with superb whiffs of fresh cane juice, then prunes and raisins, then camphor and small berries. Impeccable. With water: wonderful! These whiffs of fresh peppermint just work a treat.
Mouth (neat): luminous, zesty, cane-y, complex, citrusy, earthy… With water: amazing, a tad earthier, herbal, tense yet rich… This is one of the best rums in the world.
Finish: very long, perfectly herbal, grassy, cane-y, slightly phenolic and smoky…
Comments: exceptional agricole rum. I mean, rhum, from the Islay of the French Caribbean. I know, pushing it a wee bit…
Apart from the Rum bottle share I don’t really drink a lot of rum. If anything, that bottle share sort of killed my apetite to sink some money into trying more. I know there’s good stuff out there, and I do find it an appealing concept. However, there’s so much randomness out there, that I don’t think I know enough about it to make an educated guess to what I like and dislike.
Luckily, sometimes you get a sample and get to try something new nonetheless.
On the nose, this Bellevue rum from Guadeloupe shows a lot of sweet alcohol, very different to the whisky described above. It’s rather sugary with lots of dark oak. Oak in the tropical way. Sugarwater, with a hint of glue (in a good way), but showing lots of spices. Clove is the one I am getting mostly. The palate is sharp and dry, with fresh hard wood, very different to the whisky again. Sawdust, dryness, sweet with clove, pepper and a lot of complexity. A slight chemical hint that is restraint enough to make it more interesting. The finish is very warming with charcoal and bonfire notes, hardwood, sweet barbecue and spices.
Well, luckily I got to try this indeed. This is a better rum than any in that bottle share and really shows how interesting it can be, as a category. A highly recommended drink if you’re looking to diversify and still have a very complex, cask strength drink at hand. Unless you don’t like spices that is. There’s a lot of that going on.