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Damoiseau VSOP Rhum Vieux Agricole

Aged for a minimum of four years, this Rhum earned a score of 91 points from the Beverage Testing Institute (2013).
$49.99
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Sugarcane traces its history back to the Indus Valley where it was originally cultivated nearly 5,000 years ago. In the late fifteenth century, Christopher Columbus introduced sugarcane to the Caribbean, planting it on the island of Hispaniola (presently, the Dominican Republic and Haiti). Sugarcane quickly became the staple crop of the Caribbean islands, where it was harvested and refined before being exported to western Europe and New England. Molasses, the byproduct of refining cane sugar, was used by Caribbean farmers to distill Rum, which was sold to the many ships that sailed through the islands.

During the Napoleonic Wars, the British Navy enforced a blockade against France, resulting in a plunge in the demand for Caribbean sugar. As farmers in the Caribbean began stockpiling the excess sugarcane they had harvested, distilleries throughout the Caribbean began turning to fresh sugarcane rather than molasses in order to produce Rum. These Rums became known as agricultural Rhums or "Rhum agricoles."

Damoiseau VSOP Rhum Agricole is a Rhum agricole crafted on Guadeloupe, a group of Caribbean islands in the Lesser Antilles. The Rhum is crafted exclusively from the first pressing of fresh sugarcane that is harvested in Guadeloupe. "This process is inspired by the enjoyment of great brandies, particularly Armagnac," says Hervé Damoiseau, the grandson of the distillery's founder and its current master distiller.

After the sugar cane is pressed, it is fermented and distilled before the remaining Rhum is matured in American oak casks that were previously used to mature bourbon. During maturation, the intense heat and humidity in Guadeloupe cause a portion of the aging Rum to evaporate. "It is called "la part des anges," says Damoiseau, which translates to "angel's share." "Two liters of white Rhum are required to get one liter of 10 years aged Rhum."

Damoiseau VSOP Rhum Agricole has a warm amber hue, along with an aroma of roasted fruits, spices and citrus. The aroma gives way to notes of charred sugarcane, roasted peppers and tropical fruits (particularly bananas and coconuts) on the palate, and leads to a finish accented by notes of oak spices, black pepper and salted caramel.

Damoiseau VSOP earned a score of 91 points from the Beverage Testing Institute (2013), which called it "superb."

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Warm amber hue, along with an aroma of roasted fruits, spices and citrus. Notes of charred sugarcane, roasted peppers and tropical fruits (particularly bananas and coconuts) on the palate. Finish accented by notes of oak spices, black pepper and salted caramel.

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