The Duchess

More and more birds! The Duchess is a Dutch independent bottler that we hadn’t talk about yet on the blog. Let’s discover six of their products coming from few different countries and distilleries.

The Duchess Labourdonnais 2010-2020 (57.9%)

Colour: Light straw.
Nose: That’s dry with ripe bananas, canon powder, sulfur, mushrooms, bitter oranges, mangoes, lychees, floral notes, licorice, black olives and fresh cane. That’s quite monolithic.
Mouth: It has a nice oily texture but it clearly lacks of complexity. That’s powerful and very spiced. Fresh cane, chilies, tannins, wood, citruses such as oranges and grapefruits, bananas, pepper, herbal notes and fresh soil.
Finish: Mid-long. Sea water, black olives and iodized notes that leaves an atypical salty taste.

Not the kind of profile I use to like, it taste too young and linear but don’t forget we talk about a 9yo rum.

Score: 80

The Duchess Rhumerie du Simon 2004-2019 (61%, cask #14)

Colour: Dark straw.
Nose: That’s difficult to say we have a such ABV at nose, very nice alcohol integration. Milk chocolate, almonds, wood, nutmeg, orange and lemon peels, coconuts, vanilla, camphor, fresh cane, caramel, peppermint and eucalyptus pleasant freshness.
Mouth: That’s surprisingly sweet and easy to sip! I’m also surprised by that waxy and old furnitures aromas that are more common in the Seb’s whisky world than in mine. Then we have burnt caramel, candle wax, oak wood, white pepper, tobacco, hay and some mineral notes.
Finish: Long enough and warm. Burnt wood, peppermint, dark bitter chocolate and vanilla.

I only regret the absence of fruits but it remains classy and well balanced with some atypical vintage notes so I enjoyed it!

Score: 86

The Duchess Ten Cane 2008-2019 (63%)

Colour: Dark copper.
Nose: Wow that’s powerful and surprising! The alcohol integration could have been better. Polished wood, glue, milk chocolate, burnt caramel, fresh cane, freshly cut grass, brown sugar, eucalyptus and some citruses presence.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is better in mouth but it remains quite powerful. Butter caramel, maple syrup, grapefruits, pine wood, leather, bilberries, blackcurrants, thyme, lemongrass and dandelions.
Finish: Long. Vanilla, tree sap, burnt caramel, cocoa beans and some floral notes.

The nose bothers me and the rest is okay but no more in my opinion. The profile is close to some TDL.

Score: 82

The Duchess Fiji 2004-2020 (59.8%, cask #, bottles)

Colour: Gold.
Nose: At first nose I have some troubles to identify this one comes from Fiji. That’s very sweet with a lot of wood, coconuts, vanilla, glue, orange peels, milk chocolate, black olives and sea water.
Mouth: Same statement as the nose, the wood is too present. Tannins, white pepper, nutmeg, a slightly acidulous side with orange peels, grapefruits, lemon juice, leather, fuel and cocoa. That’s a bit too monolithic as well.
That’s the second time it happens with a Fiji rum, the first one was the Excellence Rhum bottling and I thought it was a mistake from the sampler I bought it from, but I checked and it comes from 2004 vintage as well so…
Finish: Mid-long and warm. Bitter cocoa and vanilla.

In a blind tasting I would have been far from Fiji. This is way closer to a Barbados rum in my opinion; and even if it’s not bad this isn’t my cup of tea to be honest.

Score: 81

The Duchess Worthy Park 2006-2019 (57.9%, bottles)

Colour: Gold.
Nose: That’s powerful and very spiced. Roasted pineapples, apples, pears, mangoes, wood, grapes, black olives and nutmeg. That’s quite classical and monolithic.
Mouth: It’s astringent and the wood/spices combo leads the way. White pepper, tannins, roasted pineapples, bilberries, leather, fuel, polish, black grapes with some dirty notes.
Finish: Long. Thick smoke, vanilla cream, pepper and some floral notes.

A quite typical Worthy Park, I’m not convinced this time!

Score: 80

The Duchess Uitvlugt 1993-2020 (50.1%)

Colour: Light gold.
Nose: The Versailles characteristics are present for sure. Steel, mocha, licorice stick, honey, some fruity freshness with oranges, limes and apples. Then we have cinnamon, chocolate, black olives, wood and anise star.
That’s a well balanced and complex nose, nice!
Mouth: The texture is pleasantly oily. As it’s the case for the nose, we have something refined with a nice aromatic strength. Metallic notes, honey, apples, wood, white pepper, lot of licorice, tobacco, olive oil, black olives, iodized notes and peppermint.
Finish: Long enough and slightly drying. Burnt wood, caramel, vanilla and some floral notes.

I’m usually not a huge fan of that kind of Versailles profiles (and licorice by the way) but I must say I enjoyed this one pretty much. Very complex with a nice balance, good job!

Score: 89

I enjoyed discovering The Duchess through these products. Quick reminder, our notes doesn’t consider the release price, and in this case I could have seen that this bottler is well placed in this field. I hope to discover more from them in the future!

Discover those rums on the Rum Tasting Notes app

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