The Barbancourt family is of French origin, hence the spelling ‘Rhum’ on the label. Sugar cane grown at Domaine Barbancourt as well as other parts of Haiti is hand cut between November and June, then thrice milled, then fermented for about 72 hours with a proprietary strain of yeast developed in-house.
Double distilled in a column still to 70% ABV, then second distillation yields a spirit of 90% ABV. The newly distilled liquor is diluted with water to 50% ABV before storing solely in French Limousin oak barrels and set aside for aging. Before bottling, the rum is filtered to remove impurities and achieve color clarity.
A brilliant mahogany amber color is but the first clue that Barbancourt 15 year old is an exceptional rum. Aromas include beautifully soft scents of caramelized brown sugar that manage to intoxicate without overwhelming your senses, a light molasses aroma adds depth of character, oaken vanilla and notes of dried fruits – raisin, dried apricot, orange – are evident, as is a slight cane earthiness, subtly spiced with clove and cinnamon.
Those wonderful aromas prepare your mouth for a nicely complex suite of flavors delivered in direct proportion with those your nose detected, but smoothed with a touch more vanilla. A medium weight body integrates heavy alcohols well into the overall liquor, allowing the flavors spread slowly and elegantly over the palate.
The finish is substantial and charismatically long; cocoa adds to the complexity, with a lasting sweetness in the throat.