Review: Savanna 7 Year Old

From the Indian Ocean – Reunion Island comes this 7 year old bottle of Savanna rum. At the end of the 17th century the region of Savanna – Saint-Paul was one of the first settlements on the Reunion Island. The Great House of Savanna which was build on this land was bought at the beginning of the 19th century by Olive Lemarchand and it became the Sugar Estate of Savanna. In 1876 the Savanna Estate Society was formed with mentions of a distillery that was probably build in the 1870s. Distillerie Savanna was designed and made by Emile Hugot between 1948 and 1950. In 1992 Distillerie Savanna moves its operations to the site of Soucrerie de Bois-Rouge in Saint-Andre bringing the distillery closer to its raw material.

Alright, I have to say I used a lot of Google Translate since their website is entirely in French (with the exception of an English flyer I found after struggling to translate… meh) so if I am wrong about anything I do apologize and please correct me. So Distillerie Savanna uses column stills made partially or entirely out of copper. They are also equipped with a laboratory that analyzes every distillate to make sure it meets their standards. The distillery uses both sugar cane juice and molasses as their raw materials which makes it quite unique in modern times. They have different yeasts and different fermentation times, depending on the type of rum they are producing – agricole, traditionnel or grande arome.

The rum I am writing about today, the Savanna 7 Year Old, derives from molasses left to ferment for about 24 hours and then column distilled. Left to age for 7 years in Limousin or Allier oak casks on the island and then bottled at 43%. I have no reason to believe that this has been adulterated but if I am wrong do let me know.

On the nose… oh, the citrus, mandarins, grapefruit zest along with a mineral aroma like match sticks. Salted caramel, apricot and raspberries. Smells quite rich but there’s an earthiness to it as well that gives it an edge.

On the palate it’s quite oily, the caramel jumps in front along with some dry fruits – raisins. Red apples, orange zest, oak spices, a hint of smoke, some floral notes in-between, reminds me of Trinidad a bit – Angostura 1824 – but I like this more and I’ll give it extra points because it’s younger as well. Blackberries and that match stick aroma in the background with more spices and cacao upfront. On the finish the citrus is lingering along with some mineral aromas, oak spices and smoke.

I saw some discussions about Savanna on different groups/threads and I decided to try some myself. I do have to say I am not disappointed at all, this is great stuff. Around £50 for a 7 year old is a bit much my opinion but I’ll keep an eye on Savanna as they are very promising.

Savanna 7 Year Old score:
Flavour/taste: 50/70
Value for money: 7/15
Transparency/purity: 13/15
Overall: 70/100

Cheers!

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