Dillon XO 7 Ans

Dillon XO 7-RG1-USE

Product of: Martinique 
Aged:  7
 years (approximate) 
€35 / $40  (Purchased on Martinique) 
Alcohol: 45% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context:  Rhum Vieux Agricole  RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes
A sublime bouquet of sweet oak and spice are first to greet your nose.  Then observe how Dillon XO 7 Ans shines a beautiful red-gold hue in a tasting glass, with a great number of thin legs running sporadically down the sides, delivering subtle floral and spicy aromas of well balanced light vanillins extracted from the oak, some char and star anise undertones.

The initial taste is dry, delicate but not shy; the medium-lightweight body supports well-balanced flavors that are fully consistent with the fine bouquet and aromas.  The finish is extremely smooth and creamy, fading dryly with a memory of oak and the subtle anise characteristic of rhum agricole vieux.

Dillon XO 7 Glass-RG3-USEnora Carrion Martinez, Master Blender, Depaz & Dillon

Dillon’s presents their seven year old XO with finesse.  The tall bottle is a classic, and the clear glass shows you exactly what’s inside.  It’s a unpretentious invitation that’s aimed be accepted.  Pull the natural cork stopper, then one sniff plus one sip will tell you the rhum is a lady both harmonious and discrete.  Aged in a combination of used American oak barrels that once contained Bourbon, and French Limousin oak barrels.

While spending a few delightful hours on Martinique sampling exquisite rhums with Master Blender Nora Carrion Martinez and being coached on the finer points of her olfactory evaluation techniques, I swear I sensed bit of this rhum was mixed with her perfume.  It’s certainly appealing enough to be put on the body as well as taken into the body.  In the Martinique AOC rhum agricole vieux age designation scheme, “XO” is the oldest, and requires the rhum the be aged at least six years in oak.    Some rhum aficionados argue that 7-8 years is the sweet spot of aging, rounding off the sharp edges of the spirt yet preserving it’s earthy sugarcane essence while extracting sufficient vanilla flavor and tempering harshness by interacting with the toasted wood barrel staves.  Dillon’s XO 7 Ans is evidence they are know of what they speak.

Reviewed:  while sharing a few sips with Master Blender Nora Martinez in December 2014 at the Dillon/Depaz distillery on Martinique and again in February 2015 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017