Rumaniacs Review #070 | 0482
The deeper one dives into the series of aged agricoles from Neisson, the more the similarities and differences become apparent. They all have points of commonality which speak to the philosophy of the bottler as a whole, yet also aspects of uniqueness in the smaller, more detailed ways, which individual tastings done over long periods might not make clear. Even the variations in strength create detours from the main road which only a comparison with a large sample set bring out. What this particular series emphasizes, then, is that Neisson’s aged range is quite a notable achievement, because like exactingly chose independent bottlers’ single cask expressions, there’s hardly a dog to be found in the entire lineup, and one can pretty much buy any one of them and be assured of a damned fine rum. As long as, of course, one’s tastes bend towards agricoles. Mine do, so on we go…
Colour – Amber
Strength – 43.6%
Nose – For an agricole, this is remarkably deep and flavourful, if initially somewhat round and indeterminate, because the aromas merge gently before separating again after some resting time. It reminds me of the fruitiness of a cognac mixed up with notes of a good and robust red wine….plus (not unnaturally), the tequila and briny-olive-y profile for which Neisson is renowned. Further smells of sweet soya, rye bread and in the background lurk barely noticeable hints of vanilla ice cream and caramel. Some oak in there, not enough to detract from anything, accompanied by bland fruits (bananas) and hazelnut chocolate. Plus some aromatic tobacco.
Palate – It always seems to be on the tasting that Neisson comes into its own — nosing is fun and informative, but sipping a rum is what it’s there for, right? Starts watery and a bit sharp (odd, considering its low proof point), then settles down rapidly into a bright and crisp rum of uncommon quality. First, blackcurrants, black berries, blueberries, vanilla and caramel . Then nuts, coffee, bitter chocolate and oak, tied up in a bow with licorice, Wrigley’s spearmint (very faint) and lemon zest. The successful balancing of all these seeming disparate components is really quite something.
Finish – Lingering, light and somehow quite distinct. Some citrus here, caramel, a few dark fruits, and also some tart notes – sour cream and unripe mangoes in salt. Unusual…yet it works. A good ending to a fine rhum.
Thoughts – it’s all a bit faint as a result of the low ABV, but assertive enough, complex enough, complete enough to make its own point. This thing is almost the full package. Aged rhum, well-known maison, complex tastes, terrific nose. Hard to imagine it being beat easily, even by its brothers from the same maker. It is, but not easily, and I’ll save that for another quick review that’s coming up soon.
- 1000- bottle outturn These days this rhum costs upwards of €600…ouch.
- Different label from the others we;ve looked at before…no idea why.
- WhiskyFun took a gander at a bunch of Neissons a few months back in a multi-rum session, here….he scored this one at 90. All the Rumaniacs reviews of the Neissons will be posted here. Also, my good friend Laurent from one of my favourite (and most imaginatively named) of all rum sites “The Rhums of the Man with a Stroller”, gave it a French language, unscored review (part one of a two-parter) which is well worth a read.