Damoiseau X.O

Damoiseau XO-RG3-USE

Product of:  Guadeloupe, FWI 
Aged: 6 years minimum
Price: $69.99 (SRP in USA)
Alcohol: 42% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L
Context: Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Appearance:  this is a pretty rhum, shining a color of burnt orange mahogany from within its clear bottle, then shimmering like bright copper in a stemmed tasting glass.  Robust legs form quickly after swirling, relatively few in number but contributing to the aromatic enjoyment by their width.

The bouquet presents roasted, caramelized pecans, followed by beautifully soft spice aromas reminiscent of nutmeg, anise, cinnamon and cardamom.  Then the more vegetal grassy notes and fruit (prune) appear, balanced with the spicy wood, buttery vanilla and oak aging completeness that characterize Guadeloupe’s finer rhums vieux, 

The initial taste caused me a muted Wow! from the soft deerskin-like body texture, followed by complex spice, charred wood and fruit flavors that stimulate my palate. 

The finish is deliciously long, the caramelize pecan sensation is carried throughout the entire tasting experience, ending with sweet tobacco and spice.

Damoiseau XO Cap-RG2

Anecdotes 
Damoiseau XO is distilled at the Bellevue Distillery on Grand Terre, the eastern wing of the butterfly-shaped island of Guadeloupe.  After cutting, the sugarcane is pressed within 24 hours to yield a juice of 14% sugar content, which is fermented with baker’s yeast in open-top stainless steel tanks for 24-36 hours.  Distilled to 80-88% ABV in a two-column still, the rhum is aged a minimum of six years (per XO definition) in re-charred 180 liter oak casks previously used to age Bourbon.  Damoiseau maintains over 3,000 barrels for aging their rhum.  The large majority of it is consumed in the Caribbean Guadeloupe, or sent to Europe for French mainlanders to enjoy.  Finally in 2015 Damoiseau come to the shores of USA.  Rejoice.

Opinion 
Damoiseau XO is no beginner’s rhum, but it is one of the first I would  choose when initiating a curious rum aficionado to the pleasure that is rhum vieux agricole. 
Damoiseau XO is close to a fine aged cognac in its charm and sophistication. But it is a rhum – balanced, flavorful, smooth and easy to sip, with a perfectly proportioned aged sugarcane juice personality all its own.

Reviewed: October 2015 while sailing around Guadeloupe, and at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017