Some time ago Longueteau started releasing a triplet of full proof rhums under the Harmonie theme. We have a Rhum Ambré with the “Prélude”, a Rhum Vieux with the “Symphonie” and a Rhum Très Vieux with the “Concerto”. They typically utilse a mix of 65% red cane (canne rouge) and 35% blue cane (canne bleue) and I don’t think they’ve changed their mixture for these releases. But the ultimate question is: are they as harmonious as the names suggest?
Longueteau Prélude (50,3%): Of course we start with the youngest one, even though the nose is not typically young. As it is typical for Longueteau, we are heavy on the spices here with. I get a ground mix of cloves, cumin, fennel seeds, nutmeg and other spices. Then sulphatic sultans, vanilla, some wood and a field of grain as well as some slightly vegetal notes. I must say that I find the latter quite often in relatively young Agricoles and after about an hour in the glass they are actually quite pronounced. Palate: No reduction = love. Compared to many other Ambrés this is very creamy. Toffee, ground spices, more vanilla than in the nose, rich greek yoghurt with honey, milk coffee and some oak. The rhum is not exactly bitter but has this nuanced bitterness which you typically don’t get with Ambrés as well. Finish: A wee bit more alcoholic than the palate (where there was basically none!), fresh, creamy and medium long with spiced toffee and milk coffee. This is not bad actually and a bit more promising than the previous set of Longueteaus I’ve tasted. (80/100)
Longueteau Symphonie (49,2%): The nose is a bit ‘fuller’ than the Prelude’s and the higher age makes its presence felt. We get more wood, coarser ground spices (pepper!), freshly baked, multi-grain bread, a whiff of papaya and tar, some mineral elements and tobacco perhaps. While I’ve found some vegetal notes in the nose of the Prélude, I can now find them at the palate of the Symphonie. There’s something remotely close to cauliflower/ asparagus but that’s not exactly it. Then back to the spices: cloves, pepper and nutmeg, most notably. Then wood and at the end of a sip also chilli flakes as well as some of the mineral notes that I’ve also found in the nose. It’s a bit of a weirdo that’s rather hard to pin down. The finish features the chili flakes again, lasts for quite some time but isn’t really memorable. At first I wanted to give this one more point than the Prélude but I’d say both rums are on a very similar level, albeit their profiles are a bit different. (80/100)
Longueateau Concerto (47,2%): At first the nose of the Concerto was quite close to the Symphonie but with some time in the glass the Prélude and the Symphonie seem to match much more. Anyway, it’s quite heavy on vanilla. In direct comparison it smells almost perfumed. Then the spice mix, different floral notes, honey and ripe fruits such as persimmon. It’s definitely the most balanced of the bunch but I wouldn’t say it is the most complex. Palate: You really can notice the difference in abv here, even though it is actually not a lot when you look at the numbers. It’s softer, mostly by the “perfumed” notes of vanilla, oranges and ginger. I really wonder how they are doing it or at least what they changed up in their production method. Next we have the ‘typical’ set of spices (as coarse as with the Symphonie), wood, an idea of the vegetal notes, and, interestingly, more of the “perfumed” notes albeit in a non-perfumed way. The finish is medium long with wood, ginger and dried orange peel. The rum has its ups and downs and again, I can place it neither below, nor above the other two. (80/100)
I really love the distillery and the people behind it but somehow I just cannot quite feel the same for their products (Karukera might be a different story though). Anyway, we got three different rums but I really cannot say that any one of them is better than the others. Each has its strength and weaknesses and it depends on your personal preferences which one you’d prefer.