Let’s jump into the very premium end of exceptional rum! In addition to the Rum of the Month we have managed to get our hands on some VERY LIMITED 10 year old, Single Estate, solely Pot Stilled Rum from the 2003 sugar harvest. Once again for the FIRST TIME in Australia and EXCLUSIVE to The Rum Tribe the Saint Aubin 10 year old Pot Still is the divine Members Extra rum.
This rum gives our members the chance to try a solely pot distilled rum against the ‘Rum of the Month’ which is solely column distilled. Whilst the two rums are differently distilled, they are identical in many respects. They come from the same sugar cane stock, grown on the same estate, both are distilled from cane juice, rather than molasses and the fermentation techniques are identical. Both stills are copper, both are bottled at nearly identical strengths – the VSOP at 42% and the 10 year old at 43%. They differ in the method of distillation, age and cask choice.
Obviously the cask choice (bourbon and cognac for the VSOP, bourbon for the 10 year old), and age of maturation (4 versus 10 years), is going to lead to differences in the flavours. But what is immediately apparent on ‘side-by-side’ tasting the two, is that whilst there are different flavours, there is also an undeniable shared ‘terroir’ to the two rums. I definitely get the sense they are brethren rums. Not that they are the same – they are definitely different – but you can taste the undeniable family tie they share. But where the two rums differ dramatically is in mouthfeel, and the degree of perceived ‘cleanliness’ or ‘crispness’. The column-distilled VSOP sparkles cleanly on the nose and palate – the pot-distilled 10yo definitely feels more viscous and ‘heavier’ on the senses.
Overall, my impression is that the VSOP highlights the ‘treble’ and the 10yo gets down in the deep, reddy base – both in flavours and overall mouth feel.
Our Tasting Notes
Colour: Deep chestnut brown
Nose: Very complex. Deep earthy, oaky nose with maraschino cherry, aniseed and burnt caramel notes.
Palate: Instant, mouth-coating, viscous oiliness. Fruit mince and stewed fruit notes plus dark chocolate.
Finish: Lovely, long and chewy. A slight pepper counters the oiliness with that dark sweet fruit re-appearing before a distinct aniseed burst sees it out.
This is a deliciously rich and satisfying rum with a finish that you can chew on forever. The age of the rum is given away by the extra wood influence on both the nose and palate. But that mouthfeel and the resulting way the flavours just cling and dance over your tongue and palate is just so satisfying. This is so rich it would easily stand up to a big cigar if one was so inclined.
From Saint Aubin
This handcrafted 10 years old rum is made from selected sugar canes manually harvested on the Saint Aubin Estate in 2003 and distilled in our traditional copper pot still. The ageing process took place in carefully selected oak barrels thus giving this exceptional rum it’s complexity and mellowness.
About Rhumerie de Saint Aubin
Located along the undulating slopes of southern Mauritius, the fields of Saint Aubin have been under sugar cane cultivation since 1819. Bountiful rainfall (a product of the island’s microclimate), along with copious tropical sunshine provide the Saint Aubin Estate sugar plantations with the perfect conditions for sugar production. The rich volcanic soil on which the estate lies is the 3rd point of the trinity of sugar production. The on-site production of such high-grade cane and subsequent cane juice ensures the very best and freshest ingredients go into making this Rhum Agricole. Knowledge and traditions passed down through 8 generations of family ownership add the rest.
The Saint Aubin estate was established in 1819 (which the company logo pays homage to). It wasn’t long before rum distilling was being carried out on the estate as well. The family has now been distilling for the local market for eight generations. This culminated in 2003 with the building of the ‘Rhummarie De Saint Aubin’ and the emergence of the Saint Aubin brand into the global market since then.
The Saint Aubin distillery utilises both column, and pot still distillation. Unusually though, all the stills at Saint Aubin are fully copper. Unusual in that most column stills are stainless steel – especially in the modern rum industry.
The distillery is just one aspect of the Saint Aubin Estate. It is nowadays a multi-faceted business that has expanded and diversified from it’s sugar-based roots. Now incorporating eco-tourism, tea production, other local products as well as the rum, Saint Aubin Estate is a big player in the Mauritian economy.