Dillon XO Hors D’Age

Dillon XO-RG1

Product of: Martinique 
Aged:  6+
€35 (approximate on Martinique) 
Alcohol: 43% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context: Rhum Vieux Agricole  RG Rating: 8.5

Tasting Notes
From it’s prefect copper colored hue of wood age, to its in-the-glass presentation, Dillon XO’s appearance is impeccable.  Legs take their own sweet time to appear after swirling, beginning as many droplets, then randomly forming into longer legs that remain for a sufficiently long time to produce potent aromas.

Dillon XO 7 Glass-RG3-USE

Dillon XO is as much fragrance as it is rhum.  Everything we love about fine rhum agricole vieux come alive once Dillon XO’s cork is pulled.  A perfume of sweet oak, anise, coriander and nutmeg spices, vegetal grassy cane, they’re all immediately present in the ether of the bouquet.  It’s highly aromatic too, with well-rounded scents that build upon the fragrant bouquet.  Breathe more deeply and you’ll discern a greater presence of toasted barrel wood, star anise, mild phenols with a hint of citrus fruit and pecan.  Sipping gives physical expression to the aromas, allowing each to express it’s individual flavor on a medium-weight body that’s carried consistently from tongue tip to mid-palate to throat in a slightly white pepper-spicy finish.  From uncork to finish, Dillon XO iHors D’Age is a seductive, sensual experience.

Dillon’s creole column still and rhum production was moved to the Depaz distillery.  Literally rising from the ashes of Mt. Pelee’s volcanic eruption in 1902, the distillery was rebuilt on the estate grounds, and transitioned to AOC Martinique rhum production methods in the mid-1990’s. Today, Dillon’s copper column still is proudly labeled and shares equal space in the distillery with Depaz’ own column stills.  See the distillery photos here.

Nora Martinez tasting-RG1

Dillion XO Hors D’Age is the perfume of rhum.  Master Blender Nora Martinez (pictured at right) is deftly crafting a new personality at one of Martinique’s most courageously storied distilleries.  Out of the same distillery - but different columns - she has crafted two XO’s: one labeled Dillon and the other wears the Depaz nom.  Compared with it’s cousin, the Dillon XO reviewed here is more brash, with a personality slightly more forward in aromas and flavors than the Depaz XO.  Both are excellent agricole rhums vieux.  My choice between them would be at the whim of the moment. 

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

© Dave Russell 2017