Brand: Isautier

Origin: Maison Isautier, Saint-Pierre, Réunion, France

Still: Column

Age: 16 years

Finish: ex-Bourbon

ABV: 57%

In 1832, Laurent-Philippe– an apothecary in service to the French King Louis Philippe I– landed on Réunion with his great-nephew Louis Isautier, looking for plants with medicinal qualities. Louis's brother Charles arrived later on, and the two purchased plots of land they decided to use for growing sugarcane.

The Isautier brothers opened their distillery in 1845, which is the now oldest business on the island. Today, the Isautier brand is responsible for a number of rums and liqueurs made from both sugarcane juice and molasses bases.

This year, our friends at Velier have gone on a spree of releasing high profile rums, inclusive of this 16 year bottling of Isautier's Traditional (molasses-based) rum. The juice comes from batch #37 that was barreled in May 2006 and aged for 16 years in ex-Bourbon casks before bottling at 57% ABV in September 2022. My bottle is one of 2,035 yielded from this release.


Burnt orange, high clarity, medium viscosity


Molasses, plums, raspberries, vanilla, cooked strawberries, dates


Raspberry tart, cooked strawberries, molasses, vanilla, plum, dried pineapple, vinegar


Medium-long, fruity, savory; raspberries, molasses, oak, tobacco leaves, cherry frosting

Rating: 9/10


This is among my favorite of the rums I've had this summer. Fruity, well-aged, and full of depth at every turn. I can definitely pick up some of the notes in other Réunion rums I've had like the Bapt & Clem's Savanna, although this is definitely distinct from Savanna's offerings.

The red fruit notes like raspberry tart, strawberries, plums, and cherries are pretty well-pronounced, and the long oak maturation is expertly integrated into the overall experience. If it had to be said again, this rum is a testament that column stills can produce remarkably complex distillate, and not just near-neutral spirits.

The deliciousness of this rum makes me excited to try the sugarcane juice-based sister release of equal age. Here's to hoping we start to see more rum from Isautier make their way to America in the coming years.

Further Reading