Review: Bologne Rhum Vieux 3 Year Old

Rhum Bologne is one of the very reasonable priced agricole rhums that can be found online. I got this bottle from Amazon and I do think it’s fantastic value, especially as I’m a fan of the Bologne Blanc 55 for mixing into drinks. Now let’s see how their aged expression fares.

Rhum Bologne‘s long history started in 1654 when the Bologne family arrived in Guadeloupe and started growing sugar cane on the fertile ground of the La Grande Soufriere volanco on Basse-Terre. The Bologne plantation didn’t make rhum until 1887 when it became a distillery. In 1930 the current owners, the Sargenton-Callard family took over the distillery and bought the Beauvallon, La Coulisse plantations as well as the Fromagerin Capesterre estate in order to ensure an independent sugar cane supply – all the sugar cane used for their rhums is cultivated by them.

They distill at 70% ABV and below in order to keep the expression of the vulcanic terroir of the area where the cane is grown. Bologne qualify as an agricole rhum in as they are following the Guadeloupe GI requirements.

Bologne Rhum Vieux is cane juice based, column still distilled and aged for 3 years in French oak barrels. Bottled at 41% ABV free of adulteration

On the nose it has a nice minerality to it. Coal, sea water and tropical fruits – mango, passion fruit and pineapple. Oloroso sherry, black pepper and charred wood. It has quite a pleasant profile. Blackberries, red apples and a touch of cinnamon.

On the palate it’s fruity with some burnt flavours. Red apples, dried peach, plums and mango. Burnt wood, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Oxidised Oloroso sherry, ume fruit, walnuts, ginger beer and unripe pineapple. The finish is medium with red apples and charred oak.

This isn’t bad at all, it has a nice fruity, nutty, mineral combo going on. If you told me it spent some time in an Oloroso cask I’d totally bite it. The downside it’s that it has a lighter profile than I’d like and I can’t feel any cane juice grassiness – but in my experience that happens to most agricoles that have been anywhere near a shadow of oak, the raw material kinda gets masked.

That being said this is a fantastic value given you get a nice, aged (although young) agricole rhum for a ridiculous £21 on Amazon. Should be interesting to work with it in drinks such as the likes of a Dark & Stormy.

Bologne Rhum Vieux 3 Year Old score:
Flavour/taste: 47/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 77/100


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