It was a truly remarkable evening yesterday as we were hosted by @gregory.neisson at @restaurantjagsg for an excellent six-course dinner pairing curated specially by Chef @jeremygillon himself with @rhums_neisson, and to celebrate the launch of Neisson’s latest flagship release - the Zetwal!
The Zetwal, which means Star in Creole, is a blend of agricole rhums from the 2000, 2005, 2012 and 2013 vintages, distilled from Neisson’s savalle creole column still, bottled in 2023 with a slight dilution down to 49.4% abv.
On the nose, the Zetwal was impeccably elegant, proving that the decision to dilute it ever so slightly was indeed the right one. Alongside that were notes of citrus orange, hazelnut pralines and milk chocolates, which to me are always the mark of a great agricole rhum. And as it developed, a light freshness and mint began to emerge, with a little hint of savouriness, slight herbs such as thyme, and a touch of cantaloupe at the end.
The palate was soft, subtle, and syrupy, and as before, presented itself with unique elegance. It was gentle in its balance, with its fruity character immediately showing, citrus again coupled with red fruits, perhaps a hint of dried red dates. Its agricole character was unmistakable too, that grassiness that comes along with a nectar-like sweetness, and then interestingly it became rather juicy towards the finish, something I have not found in Neisson rhums previously, and which I thought gave the Zetwal a little extra in the complexity department. The finish was long, and one that carried on with soft, florals and nectar-like notes which I thought was a nice elegant touch to end with.
The Zetwal thus once again showcases the best of Neisson’s rhums, particularly in the areas of blending and cask management, which I am sure Gregory would be able to deliver a whole lecture of the peculiarities of handling and treating french oak casks in accordance to AOC and organic rhum guidelines. And all that effort has resulted in a rhum that itself, I think, will become eponymous with elegance, and a fitting masterpiece to add to its storied line-up of exquisite rhums.
Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu
Your occasional rum addict!