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Rum Reviews

rhum Lapalun 1952, 50% ABV, Habitation Clément, Petit Bourg, Martinique, Rhums Chantal Comte


When we speak of mythical or unicorn rums, rhum Lapalun 1952 from Petit Bourg, Martinique, by @chantalcomte is one that remains relatively well hidden, often overshadowed by the famous Caronis, Appletons, or Demerara rums of old. But for those who are familiar with it, Lapalun holds a special value (and a high value too) in their collection.

Much remains unknown about Lapalun’s provenance, which only adds to the mystical aura surrounding this bottle. Piecing a complete picture isn’t an easy feat, but here, I’ve picked out pieces of research from Olivier (@scarslh) and several Japanese bloggers to give an idea of its history, although really it raises more questions than answers. One thing is for sure, is that Lapalun was bottled exclusively for the Japanese market.

Olivier tells us that in his conversation with Chantal, she explains that this was bottled on request of a Japanese customer in the 1980s, and was distilled in 1952 from the Habitation Clément in Martinique, bottled at 50% abv with an outturn of 52 bottles. This is where the Japanese bloggers diverge, where they speak of three different bottlings of the Lapalun, bottled in the 70s and differentiated by the colours of their bottle stoppers:
• Black stopper with Chantal Comte
• Gold stopper with Chantal Comte
• Red and white stopper with Lapalun

I actually believe that these two strands of information are not exclusive in and of themselves. Rather, they are complementary to each other, and together tells us a story on what seems like a rum lost in history.


Tasting Notes

The nose is luscious and deep, much like a cross between a fruit cake and dark chocolates, prunes and a tinge plasticine. Its rather compact, but give it 30 minutes or so, it eventually opens up to reveal a lighter side, a side of savoury soy sauce, paired with hints of citrus and surprisingly sarsaparilla. A lovely and enticing nose.

The palate delivers a profile that only rums of the yesteryears possess, one that is rich and dense, with a burgundy-like structure supported by tannins and wood. Fortuitously the liquid was bottled just right; another year or two and I reckon it might have risked becoming over-oaked. The sweet, fruity notes come along, with red apples, caramel, more sarsaparilla, a tad fizzy, and tangerines. The finish is long as the tannins return, with black coffee, liquorice, and purple fruits.

The rhum Lapalun 1952 is quite simply a rum made for the kind of nights where you pull up an armchair by the fire and let yourself be immersed in its rich and sweet profile. Its not terribly complex, but complexity shouldn’t be conflated with quality, as I always say simplicity is at times a form of elegance in itself, and Lapalun 1952 is a great representation of that.



Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu



Your occasional rum addict!