Bellevue 1998 Moon Import
Moon Import was founded by Pepi Mongiardino in 1980. Although primarily concerned with the distribution and bottling of single malt, the company has released some spectacular rum as well. While the new owners of companies like Samaroli and Silver Seal have placed a greater emphasis on rum in 21st century, Mongiardino was an early advocate of the spirit, particularly Demerara rum and the Moon Import catalogue routinely featured a number of what are now very special bottles. Always beautifully labelled, Pepi is acclaimed for designing the packaging for Moon Import bottles himself, often using images found in old books. These iconic designs, coupled with the quality of the liquid saw Moon Import steadily grow in popularity, and with the help of Intertrade founder, Nadi Fiori, they exported their first bottles to Japan in 2001.
This rum from Damoiseau distillery is one of 250 bottles filled in 2015.
Originally known as the Bellevue au Moule distillery, Damoiseau is located in the Bellevue estate in Grande-Terre, and was established in the 19th century by the Rimbaud family of Martinique. It was bought by Roger Damoiseau in 1942, who converted it into a rum agricole distillery, which is today run by his grandson, Herve. The distillery operates three column stills and produces both agricole rum as well as molasses-derived spirit during the months outside of cane-cutting season. Damoiseau is one of the largest Guadeloupe distilleries, accounting for close to half of its overall production.
This is from a large batch of molasses rum distilled at Damoiseau in 1998. It was acquired by The Main Rum Company in Liverpool who, with Damoiseau as protected brand name, re-casked it and labelled it as Bellevue after the estate upon which the distillery sits. These are not to be mistaken for the distillery of the same name on the neighbouring island of Marie-Galante, which to add to the confusion is also run by Herve Damoiseau's cousin. The first of these 1998 vintage Damoiseau appeared on the independent scene in 2013, with a proliferation across various brands in the years following. They have been labelled as Bellevue, Grande-Terre, and on a couple of occasions mistakenly identified as South Pacific (a distillery in Fiji).