Pére Labat 8 Year Old Tres Vieux

Pere Labat 8-RG1

Product of:  Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe, FWI
Aged:
  8 years 
Price: €135 in Guadloupe 
Alcohol: 42%  ABV 
Sugar: 
0-5 g/L (estimate) 
Context:
 Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 9.5

Tasting Notes
The bouquet opens with smells of old oak barrel rustic vanilla, and caramel/milk chocolate – a great beginning.  In a tasting glass, the rhum  dhows the color of light brown walnut in the bottle and honey gold in a proper tasting glass.  After swirling, a rather viscous smear remains inside the glass, topped by a few beads of rhum.  Soon, legs appear, dripping at a slow and random pace.  

Patiently watching them legs drip rewards you with more volatilized aromatics, which deliver all of the promises of the big woody bouquet, and adding mild scents of dried pink grapefruit, green mango and very ripe banana, dried tobacco and clever spice notes (nutmeg, ginger, star anise and some clove to wake up your nose).  Sip, and notice how the medium/heavyweight body makes a perfect vehicle for transporting the heavily wooded rhum agricole flavors are perfectly balanced between the sour of the old oak, the sweetness of the vanilla and vesou, and the excitement of the spices.  

Brilliant - as all that complexity and spice is softened by an aged gouda cheese texture.  Pére Labat’s 8 Ans is fully integrated on the palate, and lingers without deconstructing into its constituent flavor parts through the long supple finish.

Father Labat

Anecdotes 
Father (Pére) Jean-Baptiste Labat was born in Paris in 1663 and passed awy in the same city during 1738.  In 1693He voluntarily left European France to visit the French Antilles as a dominican missionary, and lived on Martinique for 10 years, taking an active part in the development of the sugarcane economy.  The engineer in him strove to rethink the processes of sugar and rhum production, including human labor through the distillation in Charentais alembic stills.

Today, le rhum Pére Labat is produced at the Poisson distillery on the island of Marie-Galante, part of the department Guadeloupe.

Opinion
Pére Labat 8 Year Old is a nearly perfect representation of Guadeloupe’s artful rhum production.  It’s worthy of its namesake, Father Labat and all he contributed to the production of great tasting rhum.  No doubt he would be proud of what the Poisson distillery has masterfully given to us true rhum believers in the name of Pére Labat.

Reviewed: May 2016 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017