Longueteau VSOP

Longueteau VSOP-RG3-USE

Product of:  Guadeloupe, FWI
Aged:  6 or more years
Price:  €46 (approx US$63) on Guadeloupe   
Alcohol: 42% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context: Rhum Vieux Agricole 
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Very Smooth.  In the bottle, Longueteau VSOP shows a dark brown color, and in a tasting glass it doesn’t turn much lighter, it still looks like deeply patina’ed copper, even down to the subtle base coat of green.  Legs run runs thick and long, leaving behind slender traces and a crown of beads at the upper reaches of the swirl trace.

Breathe gently and Longueteau’s VSOP reveals a sweet floral bouquet tempered with mild caramel.  Sniff more deeply and immediately discover the rhum’s oak barrel-aged transformation from a raw cane spirit to a boldly elegant rhum vieux.  There is charred wood, woody star anise and fennel at the fore, followed by clove and oaken vanilla – earthy yet refined. 

Longueteau VSOP Snifter-RG1

The first taste is full of white pepper on a medium weight body, then come more anise and clove, caramelized banana, overripe tropical stone fruit, dark chocolate, and a copper-tannin bite that reawakens the tongue with every sip.  The finish is moderate in duration, with pepper and a wonderful harmony of anise and caramel flavors.  

Longueteau Video

Anecdotes 
Longueteau distillery was founded in 1895 by Henri Longueteau on the island of Basse-Terre, and continues to produce several expressions of agricole rhum from fresh cut sugarcane.  It is the oldest distillery in Guadeloupe still active in producing rhum.  The founder was entrusted with the property by Marquis de Sainte Marie.  Like many of Guadeloupe’s distilleries, Longueteau is family run, now by fourth generation descendant François Longueteau. Click on the image above to be guided by Monsieur Francois Langueteau on a video tour of the estate and ditillery he manages.  The distillery is located in Capesterre Belle Eau on Basse-Terre, which makes up the west side of butterfly shaped island of Guadeloupe.  Their sugarcane is sourced only from the plantations of the Domain du Marquisat de Sainte-Marie. 

Their excellent VSOP rhum is produced from the juice of estate-grown fresh pressed Red and Blue sugarcane harvested between February and May.  The vesou is fermented in open top tanks then distilled in a stainless steel column.  Aging is conducted in barrels that were previously used to mature brandy.   

Longueteau Label2-RG1

Opinion 
The flavors in Longueteau VSOP are intense.  Complex, powerful, and delivered without compromise, like meeting an opinionated personality with whom you don’t dare to disagree.  The sooner you acknowledge their point, the more you’ll enjoy the dialogue.  I’ll seek this Guadeloupe rhum’s company anytime I want a no-nonsense spirit.

Reviewed: August 2014 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017