Kill Devil Bellevue 1998 (58.8%)


This is a column distilled, molasses based rum from Damoiseau distillery on Grande-Terre, one of the islands of Guadeloupe. The story behind this vintage is fascinating, so definitely check out this incredibly helpful article from Single Cask Rum if you want to learn more. We learn from this article that this rum’s history isn’t very clear, save for the fact that it was distilled in 1998 by Hervé Damoiseau, aged partially on the island, and sold to the Main Rum Company sometime in the mid 00’s where it would continue to age in the Netherlands until bottling. This particular expression is twenty years old, bottled at 58.8%, and exclusive to The Whisky Barrel in Scotland.


The nose has so much going on. Old dusty cabinet, cinnamon, pipe tobacco, jammy red fruits, black licorice, and marshmallows.

The palate is where the age really starts to become apparent in best way possible. There’s tons of wood, but the delicate fruity notes aren’t at all lost. Baked apples, raspberry preserves, black tea, still lots of licorice, and I don’t know… old books? Yummy old books, whatever that means.


This is an excellent example of a really old rum done right. The unique qualities of the distillate are integrated nicely with the oak. It’s an oak bomb for sure, but that’s to be expected and desired from a rum this old. Partial continental aging was definitely the right choice here, as twenty full years of tropical aging would have completely smothered the distillate.

The stocks of the 1998 Bellevue vintage are running dry, and though there are still options for bottles, the prices are painfully high. It’s hard to recommend this particular bottle at its current price, despite how excellent it is (I’d love to hear of it if anyone tries this more affordable bottling from Roots). Even still, I personally don’t regret buying it. It’s a fantastic rum which I will save for special occasions. If you’re looking to splurge on a more expensive rum, I don’t think this is a bad choice. (8/10)