Karukera 2008 Single Cask #66 / Velier 70th Anniversary
This is a rhum vieux agricole from the Esperance distillery, one of the oldest in Guadeloupe.
The Esperance distillery was built by Louis-Philippe Henry Longueteau. He was working on the Sainte-Martine plantation at the time and spotted an opportunity to the build a distillery in its sugar factory, which like many others in Guadeloupe was beginning to struggle for profitability. He later also bought the Mon Repos distillery in the 1940s, bottlings its first rum in the 1950s. Mon Repos closed in the subsequent decade, but as the stronger brand, Esperance rum was bottled under its name instead. Financial difficulties then saw the Mon Repos brand weakened as the Longeteau family were forced to bottle a bad batch of rum in the 1980s, and having been poised to sell the distillery in the early 2000s, the father of current owner, Francois Longeteau went into significant debt in order to retain it. Intent on obtaining full control over their product, Longeteau converted the entire Sainte-Martine plantation to sugarcane cultivation, even buying their own machinery to harvest it. In doing so, Esperance became known as the single farm distillery in Guadeloupe. The Longeteau brand has gone from strength to strength ever since, and the Esperance distillery now also produces this Karukera rum as well.
A 2008 vintage, this was bottled from a single cask for the 70th anniversary of Italian importers and bottlers, Velier.
Karukera is a collaboration between distillery owner, Francois Longuetau, and Sylvain Guzzo, are exclusively distils pure juice from crushed canne bleu (a rare variety renowned for its flavour) in Esperance's creole column stills, with maturation in French oak.