Doorly's XO

raw material

Raw material:

molasses

distillation

Distillation:

twin column continuous still, classic pot/double retort

aging

Aging:

five years in ex-bourbon and one to three in ex-sherry casks

sugar added

Sugar added:

no

alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume:

43%

additives

Additives:

no

Pretext

Richard Seale, ardent supporter of implementation of Barbadian geographical indication (GI), mentions reversal of the colonial economic model. Let's turn towards history as a life's teacher to reveal the bond between the present and the past.


The British set up a colony in Barbados (1627) and grubbed up the island thoroughly for sugarcane cultivation. Then they forced Africans to work. Backbreaking work on plantations resulted in high mortality hence appeared the need for a stable supply chain… of free labor force. In which quantity? Several hundred thousand souls.


Sugar was a highly desirable and extremely scarce commodity on European markets those days. The plantation landlords made fortunes same as the Europe's courts gaining the necessary funds for further imperial expansion. Barbados has been remodeled into a slave society fueling the British mercantile economy. It remained that way for two centuries; until Europeans found a cheaper source of sugar - the homely beetroot. So much the worse for Barbados, a country entirely based on the sugarcane monoculture.


After the macro level, let's take a look at the mesoscale. In 1906, under the pretext of sealing the tax system, the Rum Duty Act was passed, according to which Barbadian distilleries can only sell rum in bulk. Numerous bottlers filled a market gap. They buy, blend and bottle rum under its own brand, like Martin Doorly & Co (founded in 1920) or R.L.  Seale (in 1926). The former stands out in quality and exports rum abroad, the latter targets the domestic market and gradually acquires competitors (ESA Field, Alleyne Arthur).


And now let's move on to the microscale, the individual perspective. Richard joined the R.L. Seale family business in 1993; the same year of the Doorly's brand acquisition. The Foursquare property after the 17th-century sugar factory was bought the very next year. Richard started own distillation in 1996 and thus transformed from the merchant blender into a full-fledged manufacturer.


Okay, let's go back to the ghost of (post-) colonialism mentioned before. Richard Seale believes in the legitimacy and effectiveness of establishing Geographical Indication. After all, binding all production processes with the place of origin will support the Barbados economy. Otherwise déjà vu will materialize and the profits will be transferred abroad again.


There is one more thing. Richard has funded ($320,000) scholarships for researchers studying the topic "Barbados Industrial Heritage: The History of Sugar and Rum". The findings will be used to support the island’s application for recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage. The founder cares about objectivity hence the research will be conducted by the 'Department of History and Philosophy' of the Jamaican University of the West Indies to make it independent from any specific corporate interest.


And finally, at the 55th anniversary of its independence (1966), Barbados denied allegiance to British Queen Elizabeth II and proclaimed itself a republic. At the ceremony, the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley proclaimed Rihanna a national hero and wished her, herself, the inhabitants: “May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation by your works, by your actions and to do credit wherever you shall go”.

Procedure

At the dawn of the new millennium Richard Seale created Doorly's XO (2000/2001), which faced international success and put its creator on the spotlight.


Most of Foursquare's molasses is imported from Guyana and undergo two-stage fermentation using South African yeast. The resulting rum is a blend coming mostly from a twin column continuous still, although with an important pot component (classic pot / double retort). Blending occurs before pouring into barrels. The XO is the only variant of the Doorly's line without an age declaration.


In doing so, the manufacturer gets some breathing space and I get it. Furthermore, Richard Seale enjoys an unblemished reputation. Nevertheless, it has to be checked: the XO designation in the cognac world means a minimum aging of six years. The Doorly's XO matures first five years in ex-bourbon casks (after Jack Daniel's), and then one to three years in ex-sherry casks (oloroso from Jerez de la Frontera). The condition is met.

Aroma
Bouquet was not officially specifed.
Pomergranate, rose attar, apricot sprinkled with lime. Oaky in background.
— as examined by RumExam
Taste
Bouquet was not officially specifed.
Bitter walnut, peppery and coffee. Cinnamon toffee and grapefruit zest.
— as examined by RumExam
Afterburn
Bouquet was not officially specifed.
Bitter oak.
— as examined by RumExam

Owner

Manufacturer:

R.L. Seale & Company Ltd

Price approx:

35

Origins

Terroir:

Barbados

Regulations:

Authentic Caribbean Rum (ACR)

Classification

Style:

british, bajan

Gargano:

single traditional blended rum
⁖Reviewed on: January 1st, 2022