Our buddy Matthias has prepared a Depaz blind tasting for us, which sounded quite cool. Let’s just do it in the order in which we have tasted the rhums this time.
Depaz Vieux (45%): So what do we have here? Nose: Quite spicy with a slightly ‘dusty’ note. Wood, peaches, nectarine, apricot and very floral scents are my main associations here. It’s rather dry with quite some cask aromas. After a long time (>90 minutes) I also get more herbal impressions such as dill or lovage. Palate: Very lady-like at first, then exceedingly powerful and intense. The first impression is rather sweet (peaches, sugar raspberries, vanilla ice cream), but already within the first second it becomes drier with notes of wood, wood glue, hazelnuts and fir cone. With the second and third sip I also get pineapple, coconut and more and more vanilla. Finish: Medium long, slightly sweet and fruity with vanilla, raspberries and peaches. Not that was an excellent start. (85/100)
Depaz 2002 (45%): The initial scents are quite sweet and slightly perfumed. I get marshmallows (Mäusespeck, essentially), sugar, sweet lemon and peaches. The nose is very candy-like and a bit over the top if you ask me. In a sense it reminds me a bit of the J.M 1998, which also had these perfumed notes. The palate is still really sweet with caramel. toffee, vanilla, Mäusespeck, lots of wood and slightly liquer-esque notes. Definitely a very unusual one but for me it doesn’t really work all that well. Going back and forth between the rhums I notice some improvement over time as the exposure to air helps to tune down the sweet and perfumed notes a bit. Make sure to give it a lot of time, it benefits tremendously from it. Finish: Medium long, rather dry with wood, sweet fruits and marshmallows. At first I wanted to rate this in the high 70s, no I am inclined to give it a low 80s mark instead. (81/100)
Depaz XO (45%): Nose: This one is kinda the median rhum of the session in terms of sweetness and cask aromas. Sweet raspberries, vanilla, caramel, carrot cake, chocolate muffin and hints of leather is what I’d name first but once again some of these notes only reveal themselves after over an hour. Now also glue, pineapple and vaguely even acetone. Palate: Rather spicy with ginger, nutmeg and also allspice. Then rasp- and brambleberries, cinnamon, vanilla-pudding and apple tart. Quite nice! The finish is relatively long with lots of spices, some wood and grenadine. The best one so far and one that I’d definitely buy if the price is right. (86/100)
Depaz Single Cask 2003 (45%): The nose starts very earthy and I find dill (!), salt & pepper, dry oak, a continental fruit basket and mud. All in all it is way more herbal than the other rhums. Interestingly, while I didn’t find it too sweet at first, its nose turns out to be one of the sweeter ones after about two hours. It now smells quite syrupy with candyfloss, grenadine, PX Sherry and also coconut. Palate: Sweet and fruity and it tastes like it might have been finished in a fortified wine cask. I wonder where it is coming from but all of these Depaz seem to be really distillate driven, which is awesome. The choice of the sugar cane and terroir matter a lot! Next I get peaches, apricot, nectarine, candied fruits & ginger as well as syrupy raspberries. The finish is medium long with sweetened fruits, oak and sugar. Very nice! (86/100)
Depaz VSOP (45%): Perhaps the least aromatic of the bunch initially (relatively speaking, that is of course). It might be the most balanced one though. In the nose I find peaches and nectarine, perhaps also apricot. The floral notes are also there, as is a decent influence from the cask. It just could be a bit more edgy for me, otherwise there isn’t much to complain. Really soft and mellow all in all. The palate leaves a similar impression with me and comes with peaches, Pfirsichringe, nectarine, candyfloss, candied apples and eventually “dries out” with apple chips and oak. With the second sip I also get apple tart, raisins, vanilla and cinnamon. At the danger of repeating myself, it’s really nice but it could be more edgy for my liking. The finish is rather short in comparison and comes with (candied) apples, oak and a vanilla/ cinnamon mix. Very, very solid for sure. Even though this one gets the same grade as the Vieux, I think I like the Vieux just a tad better than this one. (85/100)