Bellevue 19, 1998 (Golden Devil for K&L)

From Cognac to rum. This is another K&L selection and another sample from Sku. I know only a little more about rum than I do about Cognac and so I can tell you that Bellevue is a distillery in Guadeloupe (a word that is very hard to spell late at night) but I cannot tell you very much more than that. This was also bottled by Hunter Laing in their Golden Devil series—I think that’s the name used for their Kill Devil line in the US (is that because there’s an American producer named Kill Devil?). Anyway, I know nothing about the characteristics of Guadeloupean rum and so am curious to see what this is like. Let’s find out.

Bellevue 19 (59.7%; Golden Devil; from a sample from a friend)

Nose: A little blank at first but then there’s a pretty standard if muted dark rum profile laced with aniseed and an herbal character (sage?). As it sits it begins to open up with more caramel. Let’s see what water does. Not very much really—no interesting change to report.

Palate: Richer on the palate with more caramel and some spicy oak as I swallow. Very drinkable at full strength. Gets sweeter as it goes. Not as herbal here. With time that aniseed from the nose pops out more overtly here too and brings some pepper with it. Brighter here with water with some citrus mixed in.

Finish: Long. The caramel expands and the sweet and spicy notes (cinnamon, pepper) intermingle to the end. Brighter and more acidic here too with water with the spice coming back up again at the end..

Comments: Pleasant and very approachable and drinkable but nothing very special. Would probably be a very good mixer. I liked it better with water.

Rating: 84 points.

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