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Whisk(e)y News: RUM! Bellevue, Enmore, Dark Overproof - 12/13/2017 - Other Distilled Spirits

After months and months of anxious customer outreach, emails, long conversations, and insight from others in the industry, we're ready to start getting serious about rum again. While we’ve been working to bring in single casks of interesting sugarcane and molasses-distilled spirits from all over the world since 2012, we were always a little ahead of the curve when it came to the connoisseur rum market. We’ve always received tremendous positive feedback about our K&L exclusive rum selections, it’s just that we’ve just never had enough of an audience to make them a regular thing. In 2017, however, with the tiki cocktail culture renaissance in full swing and a new excitement about rum making its way through a number of internet message boards, we’ve been overwhelmed by consumer questions about our single barrel program—particularly those we bring in under the Golden Devil label. When would new selections be arriving? Could we source rare pot still rums from Guyana? Would there be an agricole rhum cask in the future? Had we considered doing a private blend?

The answer to all of those questions was yes. However, the larger, looming question was: if we restarted the program, would the demand justify the supply? Judging by the amount of emails we received and the excitement that’s already been buzzing online about these new Golden Devil casks, it appears the rum revival we’d long been anticipating is finally upon us and we’ve got you covered for the holidays. There are three new K&L exclusive Golden Devil releases to show you: two full proof single barrels and one custom blend. The 19 year old agricole rhum from Bellevue distillery in Guadeloupe is a picture of elegance. The 25 year old pot still rum from the now-defunct Enmore distillery in Guyana is a collector’s dream come true. Plus, we’ve created our own K&L exclusive dark overproof blend of Jamaican pot still rum with column still rums from Guyana.

For those looking to dig deeper into the higher-end rum market, these two single barrel exclusives should get you on the right track. For those interested in an affordable, high-proof, flavor-packed tiki mixer, we challenge you to find a better bang for your buck than our new Golden Devil dark overproof. Check out the specifics below:

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
Bellevue 19 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guadeloupe Rum (750ml) $99.99 View
Enmore 25 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum (750ml) $199.99 View
Golden Devil "K&L Exclusive" Dark Overproof Rum (750ml) $19.99 View

Bellevue 19 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guadeloupe Rum (750ml) - -23 available ($99.99)

Bellevue distillery on the island of Guadaloupe has been run by the Damoiseau family since they purchased the ancient facility in 1924, eventually merging with La Martiniquase, one of France's largest drinks companies. Since the mid-nineties, the extra support has led to a serious reinvestment in the distillery grounds and while Damoiseau uses only locally-sourced sugar cane for all of its rums, most of which is planted right next to the site itself, Bellevue rum is actually distilled from molasses, despite its bold and herbaceous character. Bellevue uses a column still for its production, distilling to a proof of nearly 160 and maturing in ex-Bourbon and ex-Cognac barrels. Generally unavailable in the U.S., we purchased this 19-year-old single barrel from Europe and had it bottled by our friends at Golden Devil in the UK. At 59.7% cask strength, the rum is far from the bold and grassy flavor we see from Damoiseau regularly. It has an herbaceous character on the initial palate, but the color is dark and brooding and the flavors range from flat cola to ginger and root beer on the finish. Tiki fans will rejoice, but Rum fans of all kinds will be thrilled by the opportunity to secure a single cask selection from one of the industry's more elusive producers.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 15, 2018

Getting to taste this 19 year old single cask from Bellevue was exciting. With the age and distillation process the powerful vegetal components are softened by dark figgy pudding notes and Christmas spice. The rum is a fascinating blend of warm spice and vanilla pudding all framing a long floral core with a long finish. Any true fan of rum will happily work their way through this bottle, although it may disappear faster than planned.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: February 15, 2018

The first rum I ever had from Bellevue was bottled by Berry Bros & Rudd and it was both incredibly delicious and obscenely expensive. I was definitely on the hunt for Guadeloupe's amazingly refined spirit from that point on, but I was convinced we could find a more cost effective way to bring it to K&L. After a few years of searching, I found my opening. Our friends at Golden Devil secured a 19 year old cask from Europe and got it bottled for us this past Fall. Those expecting Neisson or La Favorite flavor, don't be put off. This is not a super grassy, herbaceous, intensely aromatic rum. Those elements are there, but they've been softened by 19 years in wood and are integrated with flavors of cola, fruit, and spice. This is a complex sipper from a distillery we rarely see stateside. I'd recommend it to anyone remotely interested in rum, but especially to those on the hunt for something rare and interesting.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 08, 2017

This is a real treat. In the nose it is rich and full with caramel aromas. In the mouth it is smooth and pretty and round with dried fruit and burnt sugar flavors. The Guadeloupe 19 is dry and complex. There is a tasty dusty after taste. I tasted this with a splash of water.

Enmore 25 Year Old "Golden Devil" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Guyana Rum (750ml) - -34 available ($199.99)

Enmore was once the home of El Dorado's famed wooden coffey still, but the distillery was closed in 1993 and all of the equipment was eventually moved to DDL's main Diamond site where all the former Guyana distilleries are now consolidated. This single barrel edition, distilled in 1992, represents one of the last runs at the former site and for serious rum fans these lost distillates are as collectable as can be. This particular rum, however, comes not from the wooden coffey still at Enmore, but rather a single pot still, potentially the wooden pot moved there from the defunct Versailles distillery before eventually landing at the Diamond site where it sits today. Guyana's pot distilled rums are valued by blenders and other experts as a source of very heavy bodied, very flavorful, and deeply aromatic rums. Dark in color and earthy on the nose, the flavors are rich and expansive with molasses, burnt sugar, roasted coffee, and cocoa on the finish. For many collectors, Enmore is the Port Ellen of rum, yet its price points are still well within reach considering its rarity and value on the market. Bottled at 63% cask strength, this Golden Devil single barrel edition is a true gem of magnificence and a valued piece of rum's long and ever-evolving history.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 08, 2017

This 25-year rum is lively and delicious. In the nose if offers sugar and floral aromas. In the mouth it is round and lush with deep dried fruit and dark chocolate flavors. There is a creamy mouthfeel. A beautiful expression of a mature rum. I tasted it with with a splash of water.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 07, 2017

This 25 year old Golden Devil from Enmore made me come back a couple times to the sample bottle and I had to leave it reluctantly. Dark spice over fruitcake with a subtle wood notes on the nose hint to the richness and complexity. On the palate the rum had a wonderful dried fruit and pudding quality that morphs into savory chocolate and coffee notes. Earthy mocha and baking spice with dark berry notes make up the finish that seems to last forever.

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 06, 2017

What's crazier than the fact that we were able to secure a single cask of rum from Guyana's former Enmore distillery, is the fact that we were able to do so for the same price as last time; despite the huge differences in today's market. This is not only from Enmore, mind you, it's from Enmore's old pot still rather than the wooden column, so the flavors are more intense, loaded with earth, molasses, coffee, and richness. I've had people emailing me about this cask for over five months, asking if they could pre-order or secure a bottle in advance. I'm not expecting it to hang around for long.

Golden Devil "K&L Exclusive" Dark Overproof Rum (750ml) - -16 available ($19.99)

With tiki culture experiencing a full renaissance and rum appreciation reaching its highest level of enthusiasm in decades, we thought it was time to create a custom K&L dark overproof edition that offered our customers something unique, well-priced, interesting, and flat-out delicious in that category. Made with a unique blend of rums from Jamaica and Guyana, this 57% ABV edition combines the aromatic and funky pot still flavor of the Jamaican rum culture with the textural compounds of Guyanese column-distilled beauty. Hints of green banana and molasses penetrate the palate on the first sip, but the power of the proof takes over half way through and turns dry and robust on the finish with notes of earth and oak. We're expecting our friends in the tiki industry to go nuts for this, both due to the quality and the value proposition blended into each bottle. Don't be surprised if your favorite rum bar has a few bottles of this behind the counter next time you go.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 08, 2017

This is a real bargain. I thought that it cost more when I tasted it. It has early spring time herb and floral aromas. In the mouth, it is dry but has dark sugar flavors and is easy and complex.

Staff ImageAndrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 07, 2017

Just in time for Holiday party's (and to be honest for a Sunday Funday) this beautiful little bottle of Dark Overproof is exactly what is needed for cocktails, punches, and parties. Seriously, this is excellent, especially given the price, for those who need a good dark and strong rum for winter cocktails. Dark chocolate on the nose with a little coffee on the nose leads to a lighter palate than I was expecting. Caramel and fudge pudding with a rising heat and spice from the proof all come together here. Fantastic!

Staff ImageDavid Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 06, 2017

After watching rum interested at K&L begin picking up again this past year, I reached out to one of our partners in the UK to see if we could come up with an exclusive blend that would give rum enthusiasts a serious run for their money. Tiki cocktail fans are always on the hunt for a new dark overproof option and this baby uses flavorful and expressive Jamaican pot still as the base, fleshed out by the column still rums from DDL in Guyana. Everyone I've given it to thus far has freaked out and I've got bartenders begging me to let them buy it wholesale. I'm hoping it's a big hit because we can definitely keep this going should rum drinkers want us to!