La Mauny XO Vieux Rhum Agricole (40%, Martinique)

After the J.M XO Rhum Agricole, why not compare it with another XO Rhum Agricole from the same island. This time an offering from La Mauny of which I already reviewed the entry-level 1749. This XO is just like the J.M 6 years old (and probably older), but has a lower ABV. This one is 40%.

La Mauny XOColor: Dark orange gold.

Nose: Woody and spicy. Higher in esters than the J.M. This one is fatter and thicker and has some traits of Jamaican high ester Rum. Aromatic with sweet spices. Again a (dry) wood driven Rhum Agricole. Fruits in this one are of the tangerine kind, mixed with some creamy vanilla. Plain sugar with a hint of gravy. Quite some cloves and tiny hints of fireplace, coal and tar. Licorice and cloves, that’s it! Absolutely wonderful nose. Just like the J.M, this has a note of floral soap, just not roses this time. Mocha and milk chocolate. Give it some time and it grows on you. It is shy to let its aroma’s go. This has been reduced too much and should have been higher in ABV. At La Mauny they must think that if they rise the ABV, people get scared and will stop buying their product?

Taste: Sweet black tea. Syrupy. Red fruits like raspberry. Very soft. Nice wood, but its presence is very faint. Much less wood in the taste than in the nose or as in the J.M. Quite fruity with nice wood (pencil shavings), but a wee bit too smooth and light at 40% ABV. Amber sweetness with sugared and dry roasted almonds.

Just try the J.M and you’ll know this is reduced too much. A shame, because you can taste and especially smell the quality in this one. Again a very easily drinkable XO Rhum Agricole though. Both have nice and complex noses. The taste is a bit less complex, but still very drinkable. This La Mauny is somewhat sweeter. If I was forced to pick only one I’d go for the J.M. Nevertheless, both are nice, and both show that there is a lot more to be gained from Rhum Agricole.

Points: 84

La Mauny 1749 Rhum Agricole Ambré (40%, Martinique)

Lets try some Rhum Agricole shall we? This is not a very expensive Rhum Ambré, so probably made for cocktails or cola. This Rum is made by La Mauny. The Rum is named “1749” because in that year Ferdinand Poulain, Count de Mauny, from Brittany, France, arrived in Martinique. He married the daughter of a planter who owned a sugar estate located in Rivière Pilote, on the southern part of the island of Martinique. This sugar estate later became the La Mauny domain which besides Sugar produced Tafia, a precursor of rum. As with many sugar plantations, sugar stopped being the main business when sugar was sourced from beets, and of course, sourced closer to home, and the focus shifted towards distilling of the sugarcane juice. In 1923 The domain became the property of the brothers Theodore and Georges Bellonie. Georges distilled and Theodore was selling their product, Rhum Agricole. In 1996 La Mauny got an “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée”(AOC) status, we know from french wines.

La Mauny Rhum Agricole Ambré (40%, Martinique)Color: Gold

Nose: Nice! Vibrant vanilla, spices and wood, but much more, already very complex. Licorice with lots of depth, orange skin. Thick sticky toffee like this is a Demerara Rum. Christmas pudding. With air, the spiciness becomes more vegetal, and you know what that means, yes another layer of complexity. This is an example where a young product takes a lot of wood influence without being woody. But back to the vegetal part it’s like smelling a fern in a pot of soil which is just being watered when you return home after a weekend of leisure. Excellent nose!

Taste: The taste matches the nose, but in a toned down way. Its warming all right, and it has the honey, vanilla and funky toffee. But it all seems reduced a bit, yes its a bit thin and light, there was more happening in the nose. The taste would probably match the nose even more, when it would be higher in ABV. For a moment quite early in its development, it has a peak of bitterness that does dissipate and doesn’t overpower the finish. There are elements that come across as being chemical or even something rotting a bit. What? If this had a fuller aroma on the palate, aided by a higher ABV, this would be a fantastic sipping rum. It’s still a good tasting Rum, but I guess it was eventually made for cocktails. Will have to look at some other Rums by La Mauny. This was just a first impression!

Points: 77