We’re back with another pair of rums. This time we are having two Damoiseaus from 1980. I don’t know why but these days I am not really in the mood for these larger sessions that I usually do. We do have plenty of intersting duos and trios to bridge the gap to the usual format though. And since I know myself considerably well, that probably won’t last for too long.
Damoiseau 1980 18YO (60,3%): I did have this one before and I think it was excellent! Nose: A super intense, concentrated essence of rum! I think it can best be described as a mix of dark, dried fruits, herbal notes and the typical Damoiseau dirtyness that is so prominet with some of the 1998 Bellevues. Behind plums, sour cherries, dried apricot and old prunes I can thus find some tar and slightly earthy notes as well as moss and forest herbs, Deep in the background lures a very light honey-like note as well. Excellent indeed! Palate: Super fat, heavy and oily with plenty of wood. What a mouthfeel! Behind the wood we get lots of herbs, olives, walnut, prunes, thick molasses, burnt caramel, muscovado sugar and cinnamon sticks. Plantains perhaps. This is very close to column still perfection! As you sip it, more and more layers reveal more and more aromas and I now get Marmite, beet syrup, rich balsamico vinegar, salty licorice and so much more… Finish: Incredibly long and exciting with a potpourri of the aromas we’ve just witnessed. An amazing rum that doesn’t require many concluding remarks. RTN (93/100)
Velier Damoiseau 1980 18YO (60,3%): While the Velier version has exactly the same age and abv, it got to rest in an inactive container for another four years. Not that this really matters… Nose: Incredibly similar to the OB. Relatively speaking, it is a bit mustier and woodier, with a smaller emphasis on the dried fruits but more cask aromas. It is not as “fresh” as the OB but more mature and elegant instead. These are only relative differences, less than nuances even, however. Palate: Again, let’s focus on the relative differences. I’d describe the texture of the rum as a bit more syrup-y than that of the OB, slightly sweeter, more mature and less complex. The wood is a bit more dominant but the dried fruits and herbal notes can be found just as well, of course. Then the burnt caramel, beety syrup and definitely olives! Salty licorice, dry cheese, walnut oil, humus and stale black tea are just some of my additional impressions. It’s just as good as the official bottling, but definitely not better! Finish: Long and lasting with many of the “dark” aromas such as burnt caramel, old wood, dark grapes and dried herbs. All in all, the differences between the rums are rather minor in fact, but each of them boasts in a slightly different niche. There’s no way for us to grade one higher than the other, both of them are simply the best Damoiseaus I’ve had to date, even though some of the 1998s are seriously starting to challenge the throne. RTN (93/100)