Guadeloupe Rum 1998 Samaroli Single Cask #74
Samaroli is perhaps Italy's most revered independent bottler of Scotch whisky. With an impeccable taste in single cask whiskies, and an eye for aesthetics (if not English spelling at times!), he is regarded by many as a visionary. Many of his bottles now occupy deserved sports on the pantheon of whisky greats, and their rum output under the tenure of Antonio Bleve is increasingly revered as well.
Bottled in 2016 from cask #74, this Damoiseau rum is bottle 224 of 340.
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).