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Barbancourt 5 Star Reserve Especiale 8-Year Rum is agricultural, meaning it's produced from fermented sugar cane juice rather than the more typical molasses. The sugar cane juice is double distilled and aged for eight years in Limousin oak barrels.
Dupré Barbancourt created the Barbancourt rum recipe in 1862 in Haiti, where the rum is still produced today. A French national, Barbancourt incorporated traditional French methods including double-distillation in the process.
I heard about this Haitian rum in the forums, which uses sugarcane instead of molasses and thought I would give it a try. I picked it up on sale for $18.99 which is a good price. I found it to be surprisingly good for the price. Nice color, good notes and quite smooth. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a great rum at a great value.
I'm generally not a fan of agricoles. Others I've tried (and there have been several) have not appealed to me so I've not rated them. With that said, this is the best I've tasted and I like this one. It struck me as on the dry side but subtly sweet with a mild whisky-like flavor. Unfortunately, for my taste it's over-priced (around $30 US / 750 ml) where I can get it.
There's nothing wrong with this rum, it's well made and has a certain appeal. But there's nothing that jumps out and grabs you by the short and curlies and makes you go wow. The fruit is nicely balanced with the oak, and there is a nice kick from the alcohol which is warming and has good length. Normally I prefer to drink straight up at 40% but this at 43% is perfect.
UPDATE: Whenever I drink rum I let them breath in the glass for about 10 minutes. I did the same when I originally posted this rum and the initial results were such. However I had a feeling something was wrong with this batch as a whole, like the factory missed a mixing step. The smoke flavor was just way too high to be normal. I figured to get the smokey taste out would be just to stir it. So I poured the whole bottle in a pryex glass and put it on the stirrer and stirred for about 20 minutes. After having the whole room smell like a burning log I took it off the stirrer and tried it. MUCH better, the flavors are all there like they should be. Definitely can get the argicole taste now. And doesn't taste like a burning log anymore. Still not that good but enough to be enjoyable in a rum and coke.
I'm leaving the original review below \/
This is bad rum at all points. Opening the bottle it smells OK at best (kind of like a failed pusser's batch). Drinking it straight is okay for a millisecond (imagine a better tasting bacardi gold) and in comes a whoosh of harshness with so much smokey/tabacco flavor you mine as well suck the tail pipe of an 84' ford, there is only a faint hint of the grassy agricole part but that flushed out by the smokey too. In coke its much the same, it is less harsh but there is so much smoke flavor its not very good. It's not even a pleasant smoke like smoked jerky. It's more like the new guy left the space heater too close to the barrel and it caught them all on fire and they said "screw it we waited 8 years we are going to sell it anyway". Clement makes 100x better agricole. This could be good to marinate foods in for a smokey taste.
Beautiful colors. Smooth, with pleasant notes of oak and a soft scent of the cane sugar.
Note that this is comparable to a Martinique AOC Rhum at about half the price, and as such is going to have an unusual flavor due to its cane juice origin, as opposed to most rums which are made from molasses. The aging imparts a Cognac-like taste to it.
i don't remember the name of the Agricole that i had years ago, but i hated it. maybe it was too young, maybe i was too young, but it didn't taste like rum to me. i tend more towards the Jamaica style, more aged sipping rums. Then i tried this one neat (at Smuggler's Cove in SF - great place...). i really enjoyed the contrast of this one vs molasses based styles - grassy on the nose, herby and grassy notes on the initial taste, with a full flavor lingering taste experience. its not delicate, by any means, but reminded me of a fragrant sauvignon blanc (but obviously higher proof). i'd go back and try the Martinique Argicoles now after this one - nice change of pace but also stands on its own as very enjoyable.
Got it as a gift by a Haitian friend that just returned from a visit there. Absolutely awful! Taste like Nyquil cough medicine mixed with prison hooch with a hint of sweaty ass! Didn't have the heart to tell my bud how bad it was. The toilet seemed to cringe as I poured it down its gullet. Really God awful stuff!
If 4 years old was not drinkable even with coke, this you can take if nothing else is available.
Excellent on all fronts for sub $30. Bottled at 43% which makes it a great sipper. If I were to fault it I would say it's a bit generic and lacking a wow factor. But really it's far to good and enjoyable at it's price point to care about such a minor and petty thing.
It’s also an all around brown rum substitute. It can be perfectly used in any drink that calls out for brown rum.
Vic's recipe, according to B. Berry, calls for 2 rums: an aged agricole and a dark Jamaican. (There is some confusion about whether Barbancourt is truly an agricole, but the label says "100% sugar cane rum" and that's close enough for my standards). There isn't enough character or complexity for this to be a top-notch, stand-alone sipper, but it deserves respect (and an 8) for making authentic Mai-Tais shine like the sun.
a pesar de que no es el de 15 años, llena todas las expectativas de los conocedores roneros
I found this has a distinct taste compared to D.R. Rums, must be something in the distillation or aging process. Still a fairly good drink when mixed, but not a lot of complex on its own.
This one i can recommend to anyone. is good for sipping and mixing.
Wood flavor is perceived and some flavor notes that for some reason reminds me a brandy.
Herbal after taste which i find very pleasant.
Just a nice rum at a very good price. Not too harsh, just a good rum for shots or sipping. Best value I’ve found!
Older bottlings,this actually used to be a really good,smooth,rum.Post earthquake,the recipe appears to have changed.Current version is harsh,very smokey,with a strong alcohol burn.I've tried a few of the newer bottles and have been disappointed everytime.Luckily,I still have a few of the older bottlings.Doing a side by side comparison,they are two completely different rums.Avoid it...
I tried several glasses of this just to make sure I gave it a fair shake. I never made it through more than 2 sips on any glass. I tasted nothing but alchohol. I did not enjoy anything about it. This is a hard pass for me.
At first, I was suspicious of this rum, driven perhaps by its bargain price (around $25/750mL), but by the time I got the the bottom of my first bottle, I was back to the store for more.
It's the rum I go to, even for sipping, when I don't feel like dipping into my stash of anything fancier. By far, not my first choice for sipping, but wholly adequate. Still very smooth on the way down, and only a slight nose of varnish to it.
I tend to fine Haiti runs a little rash for sipping, so i was happy when this initial mouth feel was round, and smooth, but it gave away quickly. The nose was mild, but there was no alcohol burn. There was a hint of leather, banana and a little tobacco. The taste had light sugar throughout, with mild bitterness in the end. It was not bad, but nothing to write home about.
Great stuff. Obviously not as good as the 15, but it’s pretty clear the barbancourt guys know what they’re doing.
..nos,ez egy remek kis 8éves ital, olyan rendezettek benne az illatok és az ízek.Fűszeres ,tölgyes, pici vanilia..de illatában és ízében is VISSZAFOGOTT...viszont torokban már ÉREZNI hogy magasabb az alkoholtartalma mint az átlag !! Valahol ez a kettősség jellemzi a rumot !!! Finom , vagány az üveg :)
Al naso non regala sentori particolarmente dominati,arriva fatto l'alcool a coprire tutto. In bocca subito forte l'alcool che lascia il posto a pepe e erba verde. Il finale non é granché e lascia un po di amaro in bocca
I'm generally not a fan of agricole rhum my opinion is it lacks substance but this one is well complimented by its oak barrel but at the end of the day it's still an agricole and if I wanted that true taste like spirits in oak barrel I would be a whiskey drinker.
"Barbancourt 5 Star rum review by the Ultimate Rum Guide"