Search
  • Stuart Pearce

Savanna Limited Release Review - Métissage Collection

A set of very limited releases from the incredible Savanna distillery tucked away on the tiny island of La Reunion in the south Indian Ocean.

These are all traditional method molasses based rums produced on a column still.

I was lucky enough to buy a pack of samples from a rum legend who regularly opens and splits special bottles. Looking forward to trying these long tropically aged, very rare rums.






Usual tasting format. 20ml of each. Left in glasses for 30 mins to open up. Nosed first then tasted, in increasing abv order.


SAVANNA TRADITIONNEL 2003 16 Y.O. FORT DAUPHIN - 44.8%, 834 (50cl) Btls

Cask #989 Armagnac


The lowest abv of the group. One of two that have been aged in ex-Armagnac casks (From Darroze house). A small release of just 834 small (50cl) bottles. Both of the Armagnac releases have had the most aging in this tasting - a massive 16 tropical years.

Named after the old name for Tolanaro in Madagasar - a relative neighbour of La Reunion and one with close historic ties to the island.

Aged initially in ex-cognac barrels, as is common with French island rums. And latterly in these wonderful ex-Armagnac casks. Part of a growing collaboration with Darroze.

A traditional molasses based rum, produced using a column still.


Eyes: Bright mid-bronze. Good legs :-)


Nose: Woody, spicy. Very recognisable Savanna. Liquorice, gooseberries & papaya. Complex. Some grassiness which is surprising as it's not a cane juice rum. The wood is very pronounced - leaving musty old wine notes.


Mouth: A relatively thin mouthfeel. Really clean crisp taste. Bright and zesty, which is incredible after the huge tropical ageing. Taste runs on well and evolves a lot. An almost white wine start moves on to spice and wood. Menthol. Cinnamon and more spice. Some olives. Pickled tomatoes. Some summer fruit and sweetness. An interesting and very good rum, [85pts]



SAVANNA TRADITIONNEL 2007 12 Y.O. CANTON- 55.1%, 300 (50cl) Btls

Cask #969 Muscatel


A noticeable step up to 55.1%. This has been aged in ex-Muscatel casks. Easily the smallest release with just 300 small (50cl) bottles. Sadly this will be very very hard to find with such a tiny release.

Named after the Chinese city that I can only assume has close historic ties with Reunion.

Aged initially in ex-cognac barrels, as is common with French island rums. And latterly in ex-Moscatel wine casks.

A traditional molasses based rum, produced using a column still.


Eyes: Comfortably the richest colour of the lineup. A stunning dark gold amber. Marginally less 'thick' than the Fort Dauphin - still leaving great legs on the glass.


Nose: A real step up from the Fort Dauphin. Richer, deeper. A touch of eucalyptus. Toasted coconut, even chocolate. Lovely spicy wood. Buttery, fruit caramel, vanilla. Still signature Savanna with a lot more depth and complexity that I love. Very inviting. Really beautiful.


Mouth: The Muscatel influence is undeniable. Loads of sweet grapes and summer fruit. Orange zest. Caramel. A little sharpness. Sweet nutty chocolate. Salty. A very complex & interesting rum. I'm definitely tasting spicy dark chocolate coated orange peel. A clear raisined cognac lingering finish. Not a rum I'd want often but you have to admire the quality and complexity. [86pts]



SAVANNA TRADITIONNEL 2007 12 Y.O. MADRAS - 60.3%, 678 (50cl) Btls

Cask #496 Grand Arome


Moving up to a punchy 60.3%. This Grand Arome (longer fermentation, more funky, higher ester) rum was aged in the Chai Humide style - solely in Cognac barrels - in a wet cellar. A technique that has been very popular with previous Savanna releases. A small release of just 678 small (50cl) bottles.

Named after another close neighbour whose people have undoubtedly influenced La Reunion island.

A traditional molasses based rum, produced using a column still.


Eyes: The lightest of the group, likely due to not having an additional barrel finish, A stunning bright gold - the result of 12 tropical years. Some clear unctuousness, maybe a little less than the others.


Nose: Wow. Bright and funky. Olives. Reminds me of some of the really big Savanna HERR rums, yet controlled. Lots of spice. A big hit of rotten strawberries. A bit salty. Exciting, interesting and slightly intimidating. Clearly a big rum.


Mouth: A completely different rum. Olives, tropical fruit, cloves, spicy, toasted oak, salty. Lingering. A big big taste. The taste really lasts for ages, and leaves you wanting more. Citrus. Brine. And that tropical fruit. And loads of signature Savanna rotten strawberries. Not a rum for the uninitiated. An almost perfect example of this style. [88+pts]




SAVANNA TRADITIONNEL 2003 16 Y.O. MAPUTO - 64.2%, 822 (50cl) Btls

Cask #988 Armagnac


The highest abv of the group, a massive 64.2%. Back to ex-Armagnac casks (From Darroze house). A small release of just 822 small (50cl) bottles. Very interested to see how this compares to it's sister - the lower abv Fort Dauphin. Aged for a massive 16 tropical years!

Final stop. Final tribute to its neighbours - Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.

Aged initially in ex-cognac barrels, as is common with French island rums. And latterly in these wonderful ex-Armagnac casks. Part of the growing collaboration with Darroze.

A traditional molasses based rum, produced using a column still.


Eyes: Exceptional dark golden tea. Thick and gloopy


Nose: For the first time, the alcohol is standing out. Not a surprise at over 64%. A big rich deep woody, spicy rum. The signature Savanna nose is there at first but doesn't hang around for long. A really clean inviting nose. Big oak, layers of fruit. with a background of salty, spicy varnish,


Mouth: A big warm spicy oaky one. Raisins, and raisined fruit generally. Cognac. And the Armagnac. Very concentrated. The longest finish of the group. Very spicy. Some caramel. A hefty rum. Very tasty. Maybe not quite as interesting as the Madras but an exceptional rum [88pts]



A very interesting tasting. Some super unique and special bottles. I really love the Grand Arome Chai Humide style - will keep an eye out for these. The Madras & Maputo are really great rums if you can find them at a reasonable price.





373 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All