Bielle 2009 “La Confrérie du Rhum” Single Casks

Please forgive the small hiatus but personal affairs made it necessary. Anyway, now we are back in the game!

Bielle, Bielle, Bielle… Bielle. Yes, four Bielle single casks are on the agenda today. All are from 2009, eight years old, and have been bottled for La Confrérie du Rhum. By the way, these Rums are double distilled, first in a column and then in a pot still, and said to be the first such expressions that have been aged. Alors!

Bielle 2009 8YO “La Confrérie du Rhum” #54 (51,9%): Nose: Very thick and dense and reminding me quite a bit of the Rhum Rhum profiles. It starts with oranges, marzipan, spices such as vanilla, cinnamon or pepper, something between caramel and molasses, seemingly random herbs or vegetal notes as well as a thick gum paste. This is very good! Palate: Very rich, delicate and heavy-bodied, even though it comes with a few more fragile, lighter aromas as well. The texture is simply amazing however and the integration of the alcohol is just as good. Oranges, marzipan, aromatic petals and vanilla are my main associations but we can also find many more spices such as allspice or cinnamon, oak, caramel and muscovado sugar. Later also cherry blossom, definitely honey and some of those vegetal notes from the nose. Finish: Long and lasting, with honey, floral notes, oranges and papaya. Bielle definitely delivered here and we can only hope that the other casks are just as good! (89/100)

Bielle 2009 8YO “La Confrérie du Rhum” #101 (52,3%): Nose: Sharper than #54 and not as balanced. It is quite powerful but all in all not as lovely, nuanced and frankly, a bit too aggressive for my liking. We get oranges (not as ripe as in #54) and other citrus fruits, oak, the set of spices and some of the floral notes again, but as we’ve said, here they’re not as lovely. Palate: Better than the nose but still slightly sharp. Flavourwise, we are in familiar territory, with oranges, marzipan, vanilla, banana and papaya, but also that combination of oak and spices. Later also some hay and grains. That clearly works for me! Finish: Medium long with the grains, a hint of chocolate and roasting aromas (coffee, roasted peanuts). It is a good Rum, but no comparison to the greatness of the previous Rum. (85/100)

Bielle 2009 8YO “La Confrérie du Rhum” #106 (52,6%): Nose: Similar to #101 in the sense that is more or less as rough but I’d say that this one is a bit more aromatic all in all. Oranges, honey, cherry blossom and related patels… I think the general profile should be familiar by now. There’s basically no marzipan though. I do like this one, but that combination of orange and honey is just great, no matter what you do. Palate: Relatively sweet (orange juice, honey), yet quite dry and woody at the same time (oak, spices). In a sense it is the result of blending the two first casks I think. It doesn’t quite have the same elegance and balance as cask #54 but feels more developed and mature than #101. Finish: Medium long to long with the orange and honey combination but also herbs and grassy notes, oak and spices. Another really good one. (86/100)

Bielle 2009 8YO “La Confrérie du Rhum” #107 (52,1%): And a last one. Nose: Quite mild and soft, rivaling that great cask #54. At the same time, it is sufficiently intense and layered. We get oranges, honey, a hint of marzipan, vanilla and caramel, oak, freshly cut herbs (sage, mint) and some of that typical Bielle-bubblgum. Palate: Yes, here we go again – this has to be another “winner”. Balance and maturity are spot on, the texture is great and the flavour profile is as well, as with the rest of today’s bunch. Floral notes are my main impressions but honey and oranges are playing the second and third fiddle, respectively. The cask (oak and spices) offers a nice support, without highlighting any notes in particular. With the second and third sip we get more citrus notes such as grapefruit, unripe cherries and hay. Finish: Medium long with oranges, grapefruit, honey, oak, bitter vanilla and even a noteworthy adstringency. This was another great barrel. (88/100)

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