Longing for Longueteau

After having Karukera a week or two ago, it is time for more from the distillery’s other brand, Longueteau.

longambre (2)Longueteau Ambré (~ early 2000s, 40%): The ‘old’ Longueteau Ambré. Nose: A bit thin but quite aromatic. I get peppers, junipers, a spice mix (mostly more peppers, nutmeg and cloves), some vegetal notes which seem to be typical for these young, dirty (characteristicly, not in a bad way!) agricoles. Palate: Not too thin and not too bad. The rhum is still strong on the spices with pretty much the same combination from the nose. Then single wooden sticks, hay, some of the juniper berries, more notes from the cask than we might think and something that reminds me of grain. The texture is adequate, the mouthfeel is fine, the profile is decent – there’s not a lot to complain here. Nevertheless, I just cannot become this rhum’s friend for some reason and I don’t know why. Probably because I’d prefer both, a more but also a less mature version of this. Finish: Short, unspectacular but rather nice with plenty of spices such as different peppers, nutmeg, hints of lemongrass and some wood. This is something that you can drink, but the newer Longueteaus are better than this in my opinion. (75/100)

longvieuxvs (2)Longueteau Vieux VS (42%): The nose is relatively simple with notes of old apples, cranberries, wood and a few spices such as cinnamon or cloves. At least in the nose the 42% seem sufficient and while the rum smells quite nice, I would have hoped for some higher intensity. With rums like this, the palate can typically tell us more. The flavours we get are again very similar to the nose and the texture is way better than you’d imagine at 42%. It seems incredibly full and barely diluted at all. The initial abv must not have been very high. The old apples (almost starting to rot) and cranberries are still there but now I also get fresh grain, extremely dry raisins, some spices (cloves, vanilla) and some oak in the background. The finish relativey short with grain, barley, rotting apples and cranberries. It’s a nice rhum, not extremely complex or interesting but easy and fun to sip. The kind of rhum of which I always want to have exactly one bottle at home. It’s a little more expansive than I would have liked but it is better and more mature than you’d expect when reading about its basic information. (80/100)

longu7351 (2)Longueteau Genesis Blanc 2015 (73,51%): This is a “Brût de Colonne”, meaning that it comes straight from the still. We know that Agricole and Agricole style rhums often times enter the barrel at a lower proof than molasses-based rums but we seldom get information on the rum as it comes out of the still. This one is made from red sugar cane juice, has been distilled in 2015 and got to rest for 24 months in a steel tank. Nose: Now this is what I call aromatic. I was prepared for the worst, especially at this strength but this smells incredibly nice. Notes of sugar, vanillin, cinnamon, fresh cookie dough, buiscuits, hints of citrus and cereals à la Kellog’s Frosties can be found. If the palate sticks to the nose’s promises we are about to have one of the best Agricole Blancs ever. Palate: Now there’s the alcohol of course but it is incredible how much flavour this rhum delivers. Sugar and cookie dough are still my main associations but I also get notes of vanilla/ tonka, powdered sugar, caramel, kiwi, slightly leathery notes, plums, macaroons and something that reminds me of whipped cream. Oh dear, this is great! Finish: Quite long but not really lasting if that makes any sense. I get plenty of the dough and cookie related notes, as well as fresh sugar and caramel. Ladies and gentlemen, this is an excellent demonstration of the quality of Agricole Blancs. Given that I think that this is much better than most of Longueteau’s aged expressions, I wonder what’s going on here as it is usually the other way around for me. Perhaps it is simply the sugar cane… we will have to find out! (86/100)

longugenesis2016 (2)Longueteau Genesis 2016 2YO (72,3%): Another “Brût de Colonne” made from red sugar cane juice, but unlike the previous one, which stayed in a steel tank for two years, this one matured in new oak casks for the same amount of time. I wonder what those two years did but note that we are talking about a different distillation batch here. Nose: The similarities with the steel tank broter are apparent as we get the same cookie dough-like notes and while this one is also decidedly sweet, the sweetness kind of articulates itself in a slightly different form. What is more, the oak really makes its presence felt, but the rhum still screams “Hey, I am still young!”. Now more fruits in the form of apple, kiwi and grapefruits but also plenty of vanilla, sugar and cider. Palate: Apples and cider are my first impressions here and additional notes of vanilla, powdered sugar and cookie dough cannot alter that. Then banana, a whiff of herbs and some of the typical cask aromas. Finish: Quite long and rich with applesauce, oak, kiwi and cookie dough. The rhum is good but for me, it doesn’t really manage to capture the magic of the Blanc. (82/100)