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Old 08-24-2008, 07:12 PM   #41
TheRumelier
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Where to start? Barbancourt is just like it's country of origin, something completely different in the middle of the Caribbean. While it is made from cane juice, it does not have to comply to the strict AOC rhum laws, like the rhums in Martinique and Guadaloupe. The white version was not available in Haiti when first released, (not sure if it is now) due to the fact that most of the white rum in Haiti is Clairin or Moonshine, (called Monkeybag here) and usually bottled in old Barbancourt bottles. The company thought that the locals would consider it as the same raw taste as Clairin. I've just nosed 2 bottles of Clairin (and tasted) against a glass of the white. The white is much much smoother and very similar to a molasses rum of the same age, nothing like a true agricole rhum from the French islands. The Clairin is just like any other local moonshine, raw and hard to stomach, especially the aroma.
I think the main reason for the difference in taste is the ageing in huge oak vats and not small barrels, like most rums are, hence the less overpowering taste of their older rhums, not like the molasses rums most of us are used to. It is like comparing Demerara rum to Puerto Rican rum even though they are both molasses based, so why compare Haitian rhum to Martinique rhum???? Whatever the story, Barbancourt rhums are some of the best value from any country and are used greatly here as house rums.
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Old 08-24-2008, 07:45 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRumelier View Post
I think the main reason for the difference in taste is the ageing in huge oak vats and not small barrels, like most rums are, hence the less overpowering taste of their older rhums.
OK, this is interesting. . .

There is surprising consistency across the 4, 8 and 15 year old versions.

On my first taste of the 15 YO I wondered if I hadn't been sold a fake or something. It was so similar to the 8 YO. But then putting them side by side the differences became clear. Later on I tried the 4 YO, and again it was not to radically different to the 8YO and 15 YO.

Anyway, I really like them, and I need to try the white.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:06 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRumelier View Post
it does not have to comply to the strict AOC rhum laws, like the rhums in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Whatever the story, Barbancourt rhums are some of the best value from any country and are used greatly here as house rums.
Only Martinique has AOC status. Guadeloupe (and Marie Galante) may acquire it in the future.

I too love Barbancourt Rums. My feeling is that the double distillation produces a highly rectified base. And as Rummelier states, ageing in large vats (which I believe Barbancourt employs) leads to a more ephemeral spirit than an aged AOC Martinique Rhum.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:52 AM   #44
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Have you heard the one about the three Haitian ground moles. The papa mole poked his head out of the burrow sniffed the air and said, "I smell cane juice." The mama mole poked out her head along side papa, sniffed the air, and said, "I smell cane syrup." The baby could only reach up to his parent's hips. He said, "I smell molasses."


Just tasted the 15 for the first time. It had the "Estate" label. I have never tasted a true (AOC) Agricole. The B15 was everything I expected after reading reviews. There was a very pleasant burn on the first sip that, as some reviewers have noted, stayed in the mouth and not the throat. After my tongue absorbed the initial oaky tannins a distinctive caramel-butterscotch flavor emerged - not sweet just mellow. As for the raw cane v. molasses aspects of the taste, I can only judge by the caramel flavors, which seemed very mature. I would like to compare to the B8 so that is on my shopping list.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:57 AM   #45
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Barbancourt Reserve du Domaine 15 was the rum that launched me on this discovery 32 years ago. I was so utterly surprised and delighted. First love. I've been trying to recapture that bliss ever since. So I kiss a little rum everyday.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:37 PM   #46
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I tried their 1 star the other day. It doesn't seem to state the age anywhere but I guess it is 2 years old or something.

Anyway, I found that had a distinctly 'agricole' type flavor. Reminded me a little of the first time I tried St. James. Very aromatic and grassy. Smooth though.

So I can see the cane flavor in the younger ones, but for some reason I don't seem to get it in the older ones.
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Old 09-12-2008, 04:06 PM   #47
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Gonna have to pick some up and add a third rum to my list of rums I have tried. ( NOOB! )
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Old 09-14-2008, 12:02 AM   #48
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OK, I just got hold of a bottle of the Barbancourt white. . . It is surprisingly hard to find in Haiti but not entirely unavailable. Incidentally the one star is also very hard to find here - after several days I have yet to see it. The standard pour is the 3 star, but the 5 star is also available in most places.

Anyway, returning to the white, to me it clearly tastes like a cane sugar rum. It does not taste remotely like a molasses rum. The cane sugar flavors are on the light side (the double distillation?), but it clearly tastes predominantly of cane rather than molasses. Surely no reasonable person could deny this?

The production methods undoubtedly differ from Martinique rums, and perhaps they even adulterate the raw material by cutting it with some molasses (who am I to say?), but there is a clear relationship. White Barbancourt makes me think of something like St. James white. In a broad sense they belong in the same family.

You can argue the details but there is no doubt whatsoever that these are products that share many common characteristics.
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:25 AM   #49
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Quote:
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As for clarifying the distinctions between the different rums (or in this case rhums), I just like to understand why what I like tastes the way it does.
Well to be pehaps overly obvious, the rhum tastes the way it does because of it's base ingredients, method/time of fermentation, distillations, and the means of aging. That being said, the way it tastes has absolutely nothing to do with its name, or designation, and very little to do with its region of origin.

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Originally Posted by bunnyhugs View Post
I guess I'm also interested in whether there is a 'French style' outside of 'agricole' (or if you like the strictly defined 'AOC agricole'), and if so what the characteristics of that style are.
Agricole is a type of 'French Styled Rhum'.
AOC Rhum Agricole is a delimitation based on production methodology, and local of certain agricole 'French Styled Rhums'.
French Brandy is not Cognac, or Armagnac-- but it is French Brandy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnyhugs View Post
Anyway, returning to the white, to me it clearly tastes like a cane sugar rum. It does not taste remotely like a molasses rum. The cane sugar flavors are on the light side (the double distillation?), but it clearly tastes predominantly of cane rather than molasses. Surely no reasonable person could deny this?
To my knowledge no 'reasonable' person has denied this..

Quote:
Originally Posted by bunnyhugs View Post
The production methods undoubtedly differ from Martinique rums, and perhaps they even adulterate the raw material by cutting it with some molasses (who am I to say?), but there is a clear relationship.
BARBANCOURT DOES NOT USE ANY MOLASSES AT ALL!
Is has been implied (or perhaps insinuated) that Barbancourt uses "some" sugar cane syrup (quite a few stages before molasses, and completely different flavor) that is re-constituted to 'juice' before fermentation (like a bottle of Orange Juice that is'100% Juice' <from concentrate>.) These implications have not been validated, corroborated, evidenced, or anything that whould give any value to them that i am aware of-- unless you count multiple repetition. We can't use hearsay to sully the reputation, and credibilty of this fine rhum... We are not politicians. Let's not repeat unsubstantiated hearsay over and over until it becomes a matter of collective subconscious understanding.

Let's repeat the obvious: Barbancourt, is good-- very good.
We love Barbancourt Rhum, a 'French Styled Rhum' made from sugar juice.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:23 AM   #50
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Quote:
Rum Index by Country:Dark brown rum distilled from sugar cane juice, syrup and/or molasses depending on availability. Aged 15 years in large vats and barrels.
The most expensive rum from Barbancourt, this rum lacks the heavy smoky flavors found in some rums that have aged 15 years. Although I prefer the 8 year old rum from Barbancourt, Reserve du Domain shouldn’t be overlooked by the connoisseur.
What about the mention of molasses in the description from the Index? Just curious. Also the "Estate" is not listed in that index; the "Domaine" is - and some here make it clear that they are not the same beast. Again, just wondering if there is some tidying-up to do in the index?
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