Longueteau XO

Longueteau XO Bottle Wht-RG1

Product of:  Guadeloupe, FWI
Aged:  8-19  years
Price:  €85 on Guadeloupe   
Alcohol: 42% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context: Rhum Vieux Agricole 
RG Rating: 9.5

Tasting Notes 
In bottle and glass, Longueteau XO shows a brown-bronze color, and presents faint green halo where the surface rum intersects a tasting glass, a rare visual artifact of prolonged aging in oak.

In appearance, the leg count is genuine (meaning; moderate, as if uninfluenced by adulterations) but they are both sturdy and attractive, leaving behind a few droplets.  Swirl to aromatize the rhum in your glass. 

A substantial bouquet of licorice, cocoa, humid cigar tobacco waft deftly from the flounder-thin bottle as the cork stopper is released.

Longueteau XO Bottle in Box-RG1

Deep aromas of star anise, charred oak and dark chocolate say “Barrel Aged” more concisely than many other rhums. Sniffed in earnest, Longueteau XO reveals the magical sensation of dipping your nose straight into a rhum barrel.  Secondary notes include sweet buttery croissants, old leather, coconut shell fibers, and of course the unmistakeable vegetal barnyard scents elicited by fermented sugarcane distillate and a hint of cognac and clove.  

Sipping reveals a more potent flavor of anise, while the dark cocoa is nicely balanced by cognac nuances derived from the used barrels. Each flavor is fully integrated in the overall taste, yet they express themselves individually, spreading across your palate on a deliciously medium-heavyweight body.  This complex treasure of organic flavors finishes off dry, the licorice/anise taste lingering just long enough.

Longueteau XO Bottle & Box-RG1

Anecdotes 
Longueteau went first cabin for the packaging of their rhum XO, and it’s well deserved.  While the rhum is more woody than sweet, you imagine the slender decanter could double as a perfume bottle.

Gold lettering and logo adorns the slab sided bottle, while a natural cont stopper under a large wooden knob of a cap seals the rhum inside, secured by a gold colored wire.  A black presentation box with soft-feel finish and white-gold adornments features hidden magnetic closure protects your treasure.

Opinion
The more I get acquainted with the style of rhum making  on the islands of Guadeloupe, the more I feel like they capture and deliver some of the truest flavors of rhum.  Often overshadowed by AOC Martinique, Guadeloupe’s rhum exports are a rounding error.  So to succeed, Guadeloupe rhums must try harder, and must completely capture the local market.  Every time I visit these islands stuck between Antigua and St. Lucia, I’m more convinced that the locals simply won’t accept anything but the best rums. Longueteau XO is one of them.

Reviewed: October 2015 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017