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Old 11-02-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
TheRumelier
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Default Berling Vieux Labbe Gold Label Rhum

I was lucky enough to finally receive a bottle of Berling Vieux Labbe Gold Label Rhum from Haiti today from one of my rum mules (emloyees). I had been trying to hunt down a bottle of this for a long time. Even though I have about ten Haitian employees in our company they appear to have little rum knowledge considering the imbedded rum/clairin culture in the country.
Normally when asked to bring me back a bottle of rum I only get a bottle of Barbancourt or some kind of clairin in a used plastic water bottle. This time I gave the mule a photograph and plenty of US $'s.
There appear to be four rums in their range, a gold label (which I received today), a white label (which I already have), a black label and a red label. Any information about their differences appears to be hard to impossible to find.
Ironically a member of the original Linge family from Germany, who own the company had recently contacted me after reading the page on my website about Haitian Rhums and Clairin. I had posted a story about Berling rhums and he wanted to know if I had any contact addresses for the company and his long lost descendants. A quick search today found a Facebook page for Berling rhum and a photograph of Herbert Linge, the president of the company with Ian Burrel. Hopefully they will now be re-united.
Anyway, I will sit down with this rum and give it a good taste, then post a few tasting notes on it. L.Perry had noted on this site before that it was thought the rum was a blend of cane juice and molasses rums, which give a unique profile to this rum. If nothing else it has an interesting story behind it!!
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:59 PM   #2
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Congrads Rummelier, nothing like a hard to find catch in hand. Enjoy and am looking forward to the info.
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:22 PM   #3
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Default Update.

I recieved another e-mail today from another Linge descendant living in Canada, along with a few old photos of the family and the castle in Haiti. She thanked me for helping to find her lost relatives. Drinking rum sometimes can be beneficial!! I posted a photo on my site and will add more when time permits. Hope to give the rhum a good taste tonight.
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Old 11-08-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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I finally got around to sampling some of this rare rum, that has created such an interesting family story for the descendants of the Linge family.
I have another rum mule going to Haiti this week with a large bill from my wallet, so I look forward to seeing what comes back next week.
The rum has some similar traits as it's family namesake Barbancourt. There is no age statement on the bottle, but rather a lot of alcohol on the nose suggesting that it has not had too many years of contact with oak. Barbancourt uses large vats to age their rums, so oak contact is minimal, maybe this method is used by Berling. The rum tastes and smells similar to an agricole rhum, so it would suggest cane juice was fermented here. It has been mentioned earlier that Berling rums could be a blend of cane juice and molasses rums. That could be the case with this bottling too. I sampled the rum straight, but I think it would better drank with a mixer. I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of agricole rhums, so my opinion could be a little biased. Many people would like the cognac aromas and texture of the rum and I think for me the next time I sample it I will add some ginger ale and ice.
I will try and find out more information about this rum, such as age, origin, pot or column still, etc. as it would be interesting to find out it's true origins.
PS I have some more photos of the Linge family and their castle in Haiti on my website, on the Haitian Rums page.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:43 PM   #5
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Front Label Berling Vieux Labbe Rhum from Haiti.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:26 PM   #6
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That's the one I had. I loved it in hot, spiced apple cider, but Mr. lperry, a scotch drinker, liked it straight. Now that I have more experience tasting rums, I realize how this one is unique.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:06 PM   #7
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I can't remember how this one made my list, but it is on it. I am looking forward to your comments!
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:01 AM   #8
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I have a bottle with the black label and it is marked as 10 year. So perhaps this is in part the distinction between white, black and red labels. My unknowing palette picks out more of the oak than you're describing, maybe it is older than the white?
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