Rumaniacs Review #051
Today we amble on over to Martinique, where Neisson is to be found: I have four of these fascinating AOC rhums to play with, and here’s the first of them to sate the intangible palate and add to the historical record.
Neisson is, in my own opinion, one of the most singular makers of agricole rhum on Martinique, and I’ve used words like “fascinating”, “unusual” and “distinctive” to describe their remarkable products…there’s always something slightly off kilter in them, some cheerful, almost whimsical, sort of “essayons de cette façon,” or “leh we try dis” approach. I’m not entirely convinced this makes them world beaters in every instance and iteration…but you’ll always know one when you try it, and perhaps that’s the aim all along.
Colour – Orange-Gold
Strength – 45%
Nose – Yoghurt and sour cream, sharp apple cider, fruit, and buttered green peas (I could not make this up if I tried). It’s a nice nose, however, with just a tinge of olives in brine, some vanilla, marmalade, and bitter coffee. How this all comes together is a mystery, but it does work…in its own way.
Palate – Winey, just a bit thin, quite warm. Where’s the grassy and herbal stuff agricoles are supposed to have? Let it wait, add a touch of water, and there it is: sugar cane sap, light vanilla and lemon ice cream, and is that some wasabi lurking in the background? Sure it is. Sour cream, some red grapes, red guavas wrap up the show. Definitely not a standard agricole, so I’m going to add “intriguing” to the vocabulary as well.
Finish – Medium short, less impressive. Green grass, brine, vanilla, herbs, some oakiness (not much) and the musky brininess comes back to say a flashing goodbye.
Thoughts – Takes some getting used to. As a personal thing, too many tequila-like notes don’t enthuse me, but once this meanders off the gradually unfolding of the rhum is remarkable, so apply some patience in assessing it as a sipping spirit.
Other Rumaniacs reviews of this rhum can be found in the website