Confrerie du Rhum Cuvée No.2

Confrerie du Rhum Cuvée No2-3-RG Candidate

Product of:  Guadeloupe, FWI
Aged:  16.75 years 
Price: €65 / 50cl 
Alcohol: 42% ABV 
Context:  Rhum Vieux Traditionnel
RG Rating: 9.5

Tasting Notes 
Tasting Confrerie du Rhum Cuvée No.2 is analogous to experiencing a symphony; aromas and flavors are highlighted like so many orchestral instruments.  A rich color of gold color shine in my tasting glass.  Swirling produces a full range of legs, a large band of beaded droplets start the show, then a few form into long thin legs before a number of thicker gams stream downward.  This rhum rewards the patient taster with a full-range of visual and olfactory displays.  Take your time, rhums aged this long don’t come our way very often.

A beautiful bouquet emanates from the bottle immediately upon opening, heavily laden with old wood barrel notes and signaling a robust journey into rhum.  The veil lifts quickly, revealing denser aromas of old toasted wood saturated by mature molasses rhum and a lilt of sea salt air, then butterscotch, croissant, nutmeg, bright clove notes and the mild star anise that characterizes many of the finest rhums.

The first tiny sip reveals surprisingly accentuated bright spice notes at the tip of the tongue; supported on a medium weight body that quickly spreads the deep woody tannins and aged rhum flavors across the palate, adds a tough of butter and white pepper, then pauses for a long moment before ending in a very smooth, dry finish.  It’s quite brilliant.

Anecdotes 
Confrerie du Rhum Cuvée No.2 was distilled at the Damoiseau distillery (better known as Bellevue) on Grand Terre, the eastern wing of the butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe, on March 1998.  It is a rhum traditionnel, meaning made from molasses, as opposed to fresh crushed sugarcane juice. The rhum was aged for over 15 1/2 years in oak barrels in Guadeloupe, then cask # 86 was shipped to Germany where it arrived during September 2013.  The mature traveler was extracted from the barrel in November 2014 and bottled two months later in January 2015.  That’s quite a journey for a single barrel of rhum.

Confrerie Du Rhum Logo-RG1

Bless Damoiseau’s Bellevue distillery for producing this beautiful aged expression of the distiller and cellar master’s art.  And Kudos to Benoit Bail for having the palate and wisdom to secure this magnificent creature for the eclectic few who can appreciate it’s value.  The rhum aficionados known as the Confrerie du Rhum will surely be first in line, and supplies are extremely limited.  Confrerie du Rhum Cuvée No.2 is sold only at the Christian de Montaguére shop in Paris and online at La Confrérie Du Rhum's store.

Opinion
Personally, I'm happy that some distilleries in the Guadeloupe archipelago continue toproduce rhum in the traditionnel manner (from molasses), and to the highest standard.  That other French West Indies capital of rhum – Martinique – trumpets its rhums agricole (made from fresh sugarcane juice) while quietly ignoring its owne high-prouction-volume molasses-based rhum.  Confrérie du Rhun Cuvée No.2 is one of the best rhums you might never taste.  Even the brotherhood covets this rhum like monks revering a rare sacrificial wine.  
A mes fréres: Santé!

Reviewed: Bottle number 004/156 during March 2015 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

Bottle Photo: MsOdD

© Dave Russell 2017