Saint-James cuvée 250 ans


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Saint-James
Origin Martinique
Bottler none
Type Agricole Rhum (artisanal column)
Alcohol By Volume 43%
Sugar Measured
Description To celebrate the 250th birthday of rhum Saint-James, composed of the following millésimes : 1885, 1934, 1952, 1976, 1998 and 2000.
Review 3


Review by "Lance" Score: 86

About the only place this rhum falls down is that for all the information we have on it, it leaves us begging for more.  It is a heritage (or "halo") edition rhum, a bland of six millésimes, those years considered to be of exceptional quality - the legendary 1885 (R-010, remember that?), 1934, 1952, 1976, 1998 and 2000, and yeah, what else could we possibly want? Well, how much of each was in the blend, for one, and how old each of those components was, and further, how much (if at all) the final blend was itself aged. But I'm not whinging too loudly.  This is an impressive dram, and only 800 bottles were issued for the 250th anniversary of the plantation (I think this was 2015).  One wonders if it was a coincidence that each bottle supposedly retails for €800, and yes, it's still available, the secondary market has thankfully not gotten into the action here as yet.

Nose: Luscious, voluptuous. Caramel and dark fruits, hinting at (get this) a column still Demerara, except that it's much lighter.  Florals and sweet ripe fruit are exhaled with joyous abandon - marula fruit, cashews, light pineapple, and the sweet and over-ripe scent of mangoes that fall under gargantuan tropical trees in such profusion they rot right there on the ground.  Also oaky, somewhat sharp, some freshly sawn lumber, pineapple, tobacco and grated ginger.  Whew...quite a smorgasbord, and well assembled, I assure you.

Palate: After the stronger Neissons, this seems almost tame.  Much of the nose has been retained - ripe fruits, cherries, the crispness of gooseberries, herbs and grass and cream ("krauterquark" as the Germans would say).  Much of the heavier components of the blend lose some definition here, the younger ones take over and contribute a light, frisky, sparkling profile. Pleasant, just not earth shaking.  Light strawberries, vanilla, oak (perhaps a bit much), breakfast spices, cumin, and a vein of citrus and salt caramel through the whole thing.

Finish: A shade brief, with the aforementioned fruit, cumin, citrus, salt caramel and raisins, lots of raisins.

Thoughts: I'd hazard a guess that the more recent vintages, say from 1976 on, contribute some sprightliness and vigour, some of that sharpness and tart fruitiness to the blend, while the older ones contribute depth and solidity upon which these rest.  For my money I'd prefer somewhat less of the former, more of the latter, or some better balance between the two, and perhaps a greater strength - all the elements of a great rum are in evidence, but it's too light.  That's not to say it's bad - not at all! - but it does make for ease and comfort; I'd personally prefer something more aggressive and complex which would elevate such a great collection of vintages a few points more.

Review by "Serge" Score: 86

This is the new bottling everybody’s talking about, 800 decanters sold for… 800€ each (good news that they did not come up with 2000 decanters), a vatting of the vintages 1885, 1934, 1952, 1976, 1998 and 2000. I know what you think, a shame that they won’t tell you about the proportions – after all the regulations for Scotch do make sense. Yeah, how many drops of 1885? (great rhum, that one, by the way). Or is it only some 2000 plus a bottle of each other vintage thrown in? But I agree, that’s probably only spiteful gossip, apologies… No ideas as for the strength, as it’s not available yet.

Nose: nah, it’s a great nose, complex, subtly oaky, with, granted, whiffs of warm pencil shavings, but also the loveliest marmalades, pineapple wine, strawberries, ‘a pack of liquorice allsorts’, tamarind, artisan crème de cassis, biscuits, chocolate ganache, praline, a little pipe tobacco, raisins, gingerbread… This nose is almost perfect.

Palate: the younger vintages speak out, as this is rather ‘nervous and bright’. It’s perhaps a tad thin (probably only 40% vol.) and maybe a little dominated by newish oak, but other than that, these blood oranges and pink grapefruits plus all the subtle spices (red curry, cinnamon, nutmeg) really work in sync. Love the tobacco in it, the black raisins, the prunes…

Finish: a little short, and with quite some cinnamon and black tea. The raisiny aftertaste is great, though. Touches of pineapple and banana jellies.

Thoughts: ‘more oomph!’ as Goethe would have said. This would have been an utter winner at 45 or 46% vol., but I still rather love it.

Review by "Marco" Score: 83

A blend of the vintages 1885, 1934 up to 1952 and also younger rums ranging from 1976 - 1998 and also some from 2000. Is this simply an overkill or a clever idea?

Nose: Brown cane sugar, with hints of fresh sugarcane. The rum smells like a basket full of sweet fruits. Papayas, strawberry's and apricots. Oak and grassy flavours. Herbs and iodine in the background. Leather, toffee and mango's. Weak aromas of grapes and raisins. Unfortunately, very compact and somewhat closed.

Palate: Sugarcane, menthol, herbs and roses flood the mouth. Grassy and flowery flavours. Very little fruit. More herbs, leather and oak flavours. Blackberries? Currants? The rum becomes more herbal. Minerals. At the end a slightly earthy profile.

Finish: Menthol, sugarcane and very briefly fruits. Then again the earthy flavours and some minerals. Herbal and grassy.

Thoughts: Better than the “240”, but still not world class. At least this is my humble opinion.

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