Rumaniacs Review # 095 | 0611
As noted in the biography of the Domaine de Séverin, what we’re getting now from the new owners is not what we were getting before. The company’s distillery changed hands in 2014 and such rums as were made back in the day immediately became “old”, and more obsolete with very passing year. From the old style design of the labels, I’d hazard that this one came from the 1990s, or at the very latest, the early 2000s, and I have no background on ageing or lack thereof – I would imagine that if it slept at all, it was a year or less. Over and beyond that, it’s a decent blanc, if not particularly earth shattering.
Colour – White
Strength – 50% ABV
Nose – Starts off with plastic, rubber and acetones, which speak to its (supposed) unaged nature; then it flexes its cane-juice-glutes and coughs up a line of sweet water, bright notes of grass, sugar cane sap, brine and sweetish red olives. It’s oily, smooth and pungent, with delicate background notes of dill and cilantro lurking in the background. And some soda pop.
Palate – The rhum does something of a right turn from expectations. Dry and dusty, briny and sweet. Vegetable soup and maggie cubes mixes up with herbal / fruity notes of cucumber, dill, watermelon juice and sugar water. Somehow this crazy mish-mash sort of works. Even the vague hint of caramel, molasses and lime leaves at the back end add to the pungency, with the dustiness of old cardboard being the only off note that doesn’t belong.
Finish – Warm, smooth, light, oily, a mix of sugar water and 7-up which is the faintest bit dry.
Thoughts – Guadeloupe is free to mess around with molasses or cane juice, not subscribing to the AOC that governs so much of Martinique, and the bottle states it is a rhum agricole, implying cane juice origins. Maybe, though those odd commingling tastes do make me wonder about that. It’s tasty enough and at 50% almost exactly strong enough. But somehow, through some odd alchemy of taste and preference, the odd and uncoordinated way the sweet and salt run apart from each other instead of providing mutual support, it’s not really my glass of juice.