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Rum Reviews

Rhum Neisson Tatanka Le Chai 2015 Full Proof 54.7% ABV


Neisson is probably the most exciting thing coming out of Martinique at the moment - and they've been around for a while! But really they're only recently begun to see the fruits of their labour - alot of it comes down to the great work Gregory Vernant.

Vernant who took over the distillery from his mother at just 23, has not only ushered the family estate into growing its cane organically, but has also chartered a course of creating both incredibly premium expressions and also increasingly releasing single barrel cask strength (or brut de fut) expressions. This has had the effect of really elevating the Neisson brand image higher each year, upscaling the otherwise traditional but somewhat dated age-based designations. And of course producing phenomenally bold, punchy and vibrant rhum agricoles.

So while it's taken awhile, Neisson is really now hitting their stride. 



Today we're going to try an expression from a very gorgeous collaboration Neisson did with Tatanka, a fellow Martinique craft company that produces traditional hand paintings on an assortment of materials - in this case, on Neisson's signature "Zepol Kare" ("square shoulders" in Creole) bottle! The series, named Tatanka, features hand painted scenes of various aspects of Martinique, some of which include the island's scenery and others highlight parts of Neisson's distillery.

The expression we have with us today is titled "Le Chai", to mean "cellar", and as you can see refers to a worker storing a barrel of rhum agricole into Neisson's ageing cellar. The rhum contained was first aged in toasted rum casks, after which it was further aged in ex-Cognac barrels, before being bottled at cask strength (brut de fut) after a total of 4 years of ageing.

Rhum Neisson Tatanka Le Chai 2015 Full Proof 54.7% ABV - Review


Tasting Notes

Color: Copper

Aroma: Fresh sherry cream - slightly nutty and yeasty, backed up by more cane juice and then leather, raisins, and walnuts.

Taste: Fresh cane juice but mellowed out and richer, it’s also slightly woody but surprisingly vibrant, with heaps of sweet sea coconut, and a peculiar nuttiness of peanut cream.

Finish: Clean, but also lush and decadent, some lingering creaminess and sweetness with a slightly nutty umami note too.


My Thoughts

Is this rhum aged in a Sherry cask? Because it’s giving strong Sherry flavours. Here it’s alittle less earthy, and brighter, with a particularly vibrant palate. It’s only on the palate as well that I find a more familiar sea coconut flavour that I typically associate with rhum agricoles. 

Overall, a rather atypical Neisson for me that I have yet to wrap my head around - perhaps its the familiarity talking but I’m still alot more aligned with the traditional Nelson profile of being earthier, sweeter and more herbal. That said, it’s definitely interesting, I’ll give it that.