Rum Journal: Tasting a Guadeloupe Rhum From 1991


Far on the eastern end of Guadeloupe’s butterflied island pair is Le Moule.

It is a nondescript place of farms and palm trees, quiet and breezy.

But it has a secret. In a lush hilltop next to an old mill is one of the Caribbean’s best rum distilleries: Damoiseau.

It’s long been a Rum Journal favorite, whether the company’s classic white rhum (perfect for a Ti’ Punch) or its aged varieties.

But each year the company releases a special vintage, one whose rum is more than two decades old.


This is the Rhum Vieux Millesime 1991 Full Proof.

To put in perspective how old this rum is, it was first put in the barrel in 1991 (July 24, to be exact), and it wasn’t bottled until 2010, according to the label.

And it wasn’t purchased by Rum Journal until 2015. That’s old. And that makes for something special.

Unsurprisingly, after just about two decades of aging, the rum has a dark, golden brown color.

The aroma has hints of brown sugar, marzipan (a Damoiseau signature), licorice and leather.


The rich profile is dominated by pepper, cacao, oak, leather, marzipan, a hint of smoke and dried fruits, most notably apricot.

Bottled at a whopping 54.4 percent ABV, this is a robust but elegant spirit. That’s where the Full Proof comes in.

You can tell that this is Damoiseau, and you can sense the Damoiseau as it was when the aging began, now just a whisper.

Like many extreme-aged agricoles, this is a luscious, velvety rum, with a luxurious texture.

It has a curious, wonderful flavor that’s really not like any rhums agricoles we have ever tried.

It is a wonderful journey back in time.

— CJ