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Rum Reviews

Rhum Bologne 2014, Velier Flora Antillarum


The first from @velierspa’s Flora Antillarum series was the 2014 @rhum_bologne, which also holds the accolade for being the oldest distillery in Guadeloupe. It has its roots from a family of Dutch settlers whom had fled Brazil in the mid-1600s before settling in Guadeloupe in 1654, establishing a sugar estate on the island of Basse-Terre which focused on sugar agriculture for the next three centuries.

It was not until 1887 that a distillery was established within the estate with a focus on rhum distillation, a consequence of the waning sugar industry, which was felt particularly hard among the French Caribbean islands. Yet despite being the oldest distillery on Guadeloupe, Bologne only really started producing aged rhums in 2008 under their new cellar master Frederic David, and in 2015 an expansion of their range of rhums including rhums from their Black Cane varietals.

The Bologne 2014 itself is a blend of three different casks of pure sugarcane juice rhums that were distilled on its Créole column still and tropically aged:

- No. 322 distilled in May 2013, aged in a new oak barrel.
- No. 252 distilled in May 2014, aged in an ex-cognac barrel.
- No. 282 distilled in November 2014, aged in an ex-cognac barrel.

The casks were then blended and bottled in 2022, at cask strength of 54.9% abv and an outturn of 1,000 bottles.

The Bologne had a nice soft nose, warm, with chestnuts, a slight of varnish, and even red fruits. There was an elegance and roundness about it, and despite being an agricole rhum, it did have those notes of sweet molasses, even a bit of miso, tangerines, slightly vegetal and tea biscuits. All very interesting for an agricole rhum.

Yet the palate was very different from the nose. It started off rather bitter, hint of chestnuts and burnt caramel. And while the nose had traces of a traditional molasses-based rum, the herbal and vegetal notes of an agricole were quite dominant on the palate. The finish itself was rather long, slight orange peels, coupled with the earlier bitterness that too extended into the finish, but slowly fading as the finish stretched on, adding a nice layer of complexity to this rhum.


Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu


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