Neisson Rhum Agricole Vieux 12 Ans d'Age (12 years)
Background: my first rhum agricole. What else to start with but the Rolls-Royce of rum brands? EDIT: This is a blend of distillates from 2004, I believe.
Nose: chinese herbal tea; charred wood; baked apples; cinnamon and nutmeg; it gets more savoury as you probe deeper -- there are scents of coriander, cumin, and even curry leaves; the base notes are even more peculiar; we are talking about a combination of soy sauce and ground peanuts, brine and red meat (think aburi tuna), and an earthy, herbal note (cordyceps, perhaps).
Palate: ginger candy -- sweet, spicy and chewy; mint sweets; Chinese herbal tea, the bitter kind; briny and savoury, evocative of olive tapenade and mushroom jus; Chinese tonic soup; satay sauce; roasted peanuts.
Finish: rather long and intense; the mint sweets come back; wood tannins make an appearance alongside sugarcane juice; tobacco; toasted malt; liquorice and sweetened black tea accompany the menthol throughout the aftertaste.
Conclusion: the hype is real. I get why Neisson can charge the prices they do. What a fantastic brown spirit, and what a fantastic OB. Having a fresher side, like more fruitiness, would push this past 90. But as it stands, it is still really good.
Score (assuming a normal distribution with mean 50): 87/100
Image Courtesy of u/zoorado.
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