Rum review, Depaz Blue Cane Rhum Agricole (5/5)
Depaz Blue Cane Rhum Agricole is a cane-juice based rhum from Martinique, following the strict guidelines that allow it an AOC designation as a Martinique Rhum Agricole. The Depaz estate was founded in 1651, though when it started producing rhum is a good question. The Depaz Blue Cane began its introduction to the U.S. market around 2006.
I had purchased this a year or so back for curiosity’s sake, and to put a bit of a bigger bump to my collection of Rhum. I am fairly unsure I had tasted a drop (my bottle remained unopened until recently) until Ed Hamilton came to town, sampling some local bartenders on about 28 different rums… that was a fun lunch indeed. Upon tasting this, I knew I had made a mistake having not opened that bottle, and oh how quickly it would be drained.
Appearance: The color is a pale straw yellow, with an almost golden sheen in the glass. Very nice clarity with no particulate in the bottle. Strong legs stick to the glass, only after a few agonizing seconds giving way to gravity.
Nosing: There is an immediate grassy funk to the nose, almost rising out of the glass. Like its fresh cane juice cousin CachaÃ§a, it’s a note that’s inescapable, and can vary between marvelous and disgusting, depending on the quality of the distillate. Once that smell has passed, there is a brief note of cinnamon and a bit of honey. The aroma is lovely, with a nice floral quality to it, and that 90 proof really helps it leap through the nose. Don’t sniff too hard, there are demons lurking under the loveliness.
Tasting: Mildly sweet and smooth, moving to a burn at a nice even pace, not all-at-once in the back of the throat like some might do. There is a lot going on in this, with some smoke, some sweetness, a bit of baked goods, bacon fat, some fruit… this is either a master blender’s dream to pull flavors from, or nightmare to have to recreate. There’s even the mildest flavor of a smoked gouda. As a sipper, this is enjoyable and even refreshing, but left on the tongue, gives you plenty to think about.
On Mixing: I’ve found that the higher proof funkier rums have a very easy time standing out in drinks, and this is no different. With its high proof and distinctive Martinique notes, it’ll power through in a Mai Tai (highly recommended) when paired with, say, an Aged Barbados or Jamaica Rum. I wouldn’t muddy it too much with anything over 5 ingredients, but a Donga Punch or Last Rites suits it fine, dandy, and then some. Of course, if you want simple and authentic, there’s always Ti’ Punch!
Score: 5 Ti’PONSCHes out of 5. It’s an outstanding savory and thoughtful sipper, and shines through postively in mixed drinks. Depaz Blue Cane is a Rhum any rum lover should have on their shelf, and on their breath.
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