Damoiseau Rum from the Island of Guadeloupe
By Michael Hepworth
Damoiseau Rum comes from the Island of Guadeloupe and recently I had the chance to try both the Virgin Cane and the VSOP aged Rum. This French island is not normally known for rhum, and the Virgin Cane version is produced from fresh pressed sugarcane juice which is only distilled once to capture the natural flavors and aromas of the region. Those aromas include meringue, toasty nut brittle, cane, pineapple cake and marinated sweet potato.
I enjoyed these spirits in what has been a bit of a rum renaissance for me lately—purely by chance and not design. Currently I believe these rhums are available in the following states-NY, NJ, CT, MA, DC and FL, although by the time you read this possibly in a few more.
Strict discipline is applied to the manufacturing of this rhum concerning the source and extraction of the sugarcane along with the distillation and aging. It follows on the heels of the successful development of Rum Agricole from Martinique. It is also a rum that inspired and influenced by Armagnac Brandy from southwestern France.
The rum spends some time in stainless steel vats for mellowing out purposes and then is slowly reduced to bottle proof with the help of natural spring water to assist the overall profile. The family has been producing rum since 1942 and it benefits from the natural terroir in the region known as Grand Terre and the Bellevue Distillery located in Le Moule which is well known throughout the area.
The VSOP is aged for a minimum of four years in re-charred bourbon casks giving it a rich mahogany color and a nice smooth finish. It is best served neat or in simple cocktails and the flavors of roasted dry fruits and peppery spices make it a treat to have in the liquor cabinet. The tasting notes also mention sweet chocolate, toffee, mocha, buttercream, fig and rubber sap.
2 oz Damoiseau Virgin Cane Rum
¾ oz Grapefruit Juice
½ oz Lime Juice
¼ oz maraschino liqueur
Shake w/ice and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe
Cre Old Fashioned :
2 oz Damoiseau VSOP Rum
¼ oz Clement Creole Shrub
2 dashes Orange or Angostura bitters
Garnish orange wheel and brandied cherry
Pour rum, shrub and bitters into cracked ice-filled glass and stir.