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Chamarel VSOP Rum

Review: Chamarel VSOP Rum (2006)   85/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted January 20, 2020

La Rhumerie de Chamarel is located on the Island Nation of Mauritius which is situated several hundred miles east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The distillery cultivates its own sugarcane with a harvest is done by hand, without ever burning the crops. Freshly harvested sugarcane is transferred to the Distillery within within 4 hours of being cut to preserve its freshness and aromas.

The Chamarel Distillery, has various means of distillation available depending upon the spirit being produced. Their White Rum is distilled from sugar cane juice in a Barbet type plate column, entirely made of copper. Their Double Distillation Rum is distilled from sugar cane juice in two 20HL copper stills, following as similar method used by Cognac producers. This process is uncommon for Rum preparation, and makes the Chamarel Double Distillation Rum quite unique in the World of Rum.

Chamarel VSOP is produced from rums distilled on both the plate column (90 %) and the copper still (10 %).  Each style of rum is aged separately for 4 to 6 years in Ex-American Oak Barrels & Ex-French Oak Barrels in the La Rhumerie de Chamarel aging cellars.

The final blended rum is bottled at 44% alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Chamarel V.S.O.P. is sold in the squat cylindrical bottle shown to the left. The heavy glass bottom implies substance and the sharp angled shoulders of the bottle lend a masculine appeal. The neck of the bottle is of medium length just long enough to allow you to pour a nice dram without the hazard of spilling.

In The Glass 8.5/10

Chamarel V.S.O.P. Rum displays a nive amber/copper hue in the glass. When That glass is tilted and twirled I see mid sized droplets forming at the crest which fall as slightly thickened legs.

I notice lots of fine oak spice in the breezes mingling with vanilla and butterscotch. There is also a nice herbal note which began as a wisp, but soon grew in stature asserting itself into the oak and butterscotch. I also begin to notice notes resembling dried raisins, almonds, orange peel, camphor, as well as hints of cinnamon and mint.

In the Mouth 51/60

The rum enters the mouth with the light spiciness of fine oak as well as a light push of alcohol heat. The spirit is bottled at 44 % abv. so this light push is not unexpected. Classic flavours of butterscotch, fine oak spice, vanilla and almond are all mingling together.  As the rum sits and breathes it becomes more oaky. I begin to taste flavours I would more normally associate with cognac, dried raisin and apricot, orange peel, herbal camphor, hints of cinnamon and light menthol.

When I add ice to the dram, the cognac-like flavours intensify.

In The Throat: 13/15

Chamarel V.S.O.P. Rum is a iight to medium bodied spirit that features a lengthened herbal finish. I taste vanilla, oak and almond as I swallow and then oak spice settles in with lightly sweet butterscotch and almond lingering.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

Chamarel V.S.O.P. is very nice rum, The herbal notes are reminiscent of the French Style, but these notes do not overpower the spirit. The sense I get from the glass is more of a melding of Spanish column rum still and French pot still rhum. It’s quite nice.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Recipe:

The Presbyterian Cocktail is a simple long cocktail which mixes Scotch Whisky with ginger ale and soda water. Of course a proper Presbyterian Cocktail must be made with whisky. When made with rum from Mauritius, I believe it would be appropriate to call this construction the Mauritian Presbyterian.

French PresbyterianHere is the recipe:

Mauritian Presbyterian

2 oz Chamarel V.S.O.P. Rum
2 1/2 oz Ginger Ale
2 1/2 oz Club Soda
slice of lemon

Add the ice-cubes to a rocks or Collins glass
Pour the Cognac over the ice
Add Ginger Ale and Club Soda and stir
Garnish with a slice of lemon if desired

Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping



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