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Rum Reviews

Neisson Dekolaj Rhum Agricole Blanc Clos Godinot Single Plot Cuvée, 52.5% ABV

 

Dekolaj refers to the first rum in the morning, where in Martinique tradition, it is taken neat and chased after by a gulp of fresh krazé water - I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure what krazé water is, but I'll give it a go, never say never and all that.

Neisson, which has been having a real moment in large part thanks to the tireless efforts of third-generation owner Gregory Vernant - the distillery remains a rarity in that it is family-owned, and if you thought Gregory's efforts were a recent phenomenon, the man has been at it for decades! It's truly inspiring and incredible Neisson's dedication to raising the Martinique flag high in the world of rhum agricoles.

 

Gregory Vernant, at the helm of Neisson in Martinique. (Image Source: Whisky Mag)

 

A big part of what Gregory has done is to continuously push the estate to produce ever higher quality and artisanal fresh pressed sugarcane juice rhums (unlike traditional rums which are made from molasses) - this has seen Neisson go super-aged and also biodynamic, as well as producing a number of single casks and also using exotic cask finishes, all of which to allow fans to appreciate the local terroir.

| Read: Talking Rhums, Terroir and Cultural Diversity in Martinique with Neisson Rhum's Grégory Vernant

 

The Clos Godinot plot! (Image Source: Neisson)

 

And now, we have something even more fascinating - the first single plot cuvee from Neisson!

Located in Carbet, where Neisson Distillery resides, at an altitude of 245 meters, lies one of the distillery's most prized estates - the Clos Godinot. The sugarcane fields at Clos Godinot are steep (at a 35 degree angle), high altitude, and are exposed to big temperature swings - this allows the sugarcane to achieve high sugar content of 27 brix (whereas the average Martinique brix sugar level achieved is 18). If you've followed Neisson for some time, you'll have heard mention of how much the distillery loves the Clos Godinot plot - so it's entirely intriguing to finally get a singular and pure taste of what the terroir offers, no distractions, just pure cane juice rhum without any cask influence.

The freshly pressed sugarcane juice is fermented for fairly long at 4-5 days (which is the maximum allowed by Martinique's AOC designation that strictly governs the standards for what can be labelled as Martinique rhum agricole), and then distilled using a Creole column still (also a Martinique AOC requirement), before being bottled unaged at 52.5% ABV.

Neisson Dekolaj Rhum Agricole Blanc Clos Godinot Single Plot Cuvée, 52.5% ABV - Review

 

Tasting Notes

Color: Water

Aroma: Bright and concentrated vegetal cane notes - not punchy, acrid or petrolic - it's very aromatic but at the same time maintains a mellowness. It's almost light sweet, and with a good richness to it. Some lighter surrounding notes of fresh soil, Evian mineral water, clay, as well as some black pepper and vanilla fondant.

Taste: Punchier here, but no Muhammad Ali. It's got a good richness and something much more surprising here - it almost feels lightly aged. It's got those brown sugar soup, herbal jelly, grassiness, that typically comes with amber rhum agricoles - it's light and lifted, nothing dense or concentrated. A very nice island vibe, how does this feel aged?! It's got such a good depth, richness and mellowness. Some light diesel and industrial notes, vanilla syrup and fondant notes too, on an oilier texture.

Finish: More grassiness here and that rich and sweet herbal jelly and brown sugar, more cane concentrate, sea coconut, black pepper, that light oiliness persists as does the intensity and richness. Very nice power that sustains all the way till the finish - long finish!

  

My Thoughts

Thoroughly impressive - I find this so unique for obvious reasons. How does this taste aged? If I tasted this blind, I would've thought it was aged for 4-5 years, with those lifted grassy, herbal and sweet flavours. Very elegant, with such incredible depth and richness, as well as being mellow and vibrant - it's all the best things about rhum agricoles without the high toned harshness, or sometimes overly punchy and chemical acetone fumes bite, this ain't no nail polish remover. It's elegant, complex, such beautiful flavours, yet at the same time it's still got its youthfulness and energy in the best possible way.

Still can't get over how this tastes aged. Superb!

 

Kanpai!

  

 

@111hotpot