Depaz XO

Depaz XO-RG1

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  
Blend of rhums aged 8-10 years 
Price:  €45 (approximate on Martinique)
Alcohol: 45% ABV
Sugar: 0 g/L
Context:  Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Pulling the cork stopper releases a Genie who’s anxious to show what it offers; a bouquet that’s simultaneously sweet and heavy of oak, caramel and licorice.  In a suitable tasting glass or the squat bottle, Depaz XO shows the color of polished dark copper developed by spending 8-10 years in oak.  Beyond color and bouquet, the Genie reveals little. Swirling slowly awakens legs that prefer to slumber, developing slowly into many long, thin slowly dripping aromatic trails.

On the nose, Depaz XO presents the perfume-like aromas so characteristic of the aged rhum produced at the distillery. Lesser aromas of  tightly integrated smoke, aged soft cheese, mild phenols, anise and herbal scents appear when gently inhaling.

On the palate, a small sip provides finer definition to the flavors, with licorice, and musky herbal and spice notes being more pronounced, while oaken vanillin provides a modicum of viscosity to the body. The medium-length finish is exquisite, full of the spicy grassiness we love about rhums agricole, finally introducing a trace of white pepper that lingers with vanilla to the finale. 

Anecdotes
The Depaz distillery employs at least two copper creole column stills for the rhum produced under their brand.  The distillery operates other stills on the same premises, notably for Dillon.  To my untrained eye, Depaz’ columns are of similar height and overall appearance, though I suspect each outputs spirits of unique personalities.  To make this XO, raw spirit from the stills is aged for eight to 10 years before blendeding.  The constituent rhums contribute individual profiles that add to the final product’s overall complexity and achieve sublime harmony in a tasting glass. See photos of of the Depaz distillery here. 

Opinion
Under the direction of Master Blender Nora Martinez’ artful palate, the rhum of Depaz (and Dillon) are showing greater complexity and balance of flavor, while maintaining both distilleries’ individual personalities.  The rhum show expanded depth, greater maturity – simply put: Her most recent expressions are more interesting.   Depaz XO is a beautiful blend.

Reviewed:  August 2015 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017