Traditional Agricole Rum: From a traditional column still using cane juice.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 45% ABV @ 20°
Neisson has been producing fine agricultural rhum in Martinique since its inception in 1931 with the use of a copper continuous column still.
The edition I am writing about today, Cuvée du 3ème Millenaire was first produced in 1999 marking the start of the new millennium. 2,000 bottles or so per year are produced of this special rhum and presented in a fine decanter-style bottle. Neisson blend together ten of their very best barrels of their XO rhums (minimum of six years of ageing in barrels of no more than 650l). The blend then undergoes an additional ageing period with the final blend generally being around ten to 15 years old in total, although there is no official age statement or declaration.
Being a big fan of Neisson’s rhums I tracked down a bottle of this to put it through its paces and see how it tastes.
Neisson Cuvée du 3ème Millenaire is a Traditional Agricole Rum:
From a traditional column still using cane juice.
Presented in a simple outer box with just Rhum Neisson written on it, within is a superb looking decanter style bottle. The bottled has etched writing on it and a premium natural cork stopper making it look pretty smart. But, as with the outer box, the bottle has very little on it regarding the rhum or its creation.
In the glass, the rhum is a medium to dark amber with thick, quick legs on the sides of my glass.
The initial aroma is actually like a cough sweet or a sore throat capsule such as a Strepsyl. There is an abundance of menthol and eucalyptus. Getting beyond this, there is dusty old oak and red cherries. As can be the case with many fine rhums, leave it in the glass for a few minutes and it improves – like allowing a fine old wine to breathe. In this case, orchard fruit notes appear – apples, pears and oranges specifically. There is also aniseed and burnt caramel.
Taste, Initial-middle 35/40
Dry oak, slightly sweet fruits and super smooth on entry. The rhum has a good body alongside opening notes of glacée cherries – it almost tastes as if a few drops of the glacée cherry liquid has been blended in too.
The gentle oak influence continues through the mid palate accompanied by some developing spice.
Taste, Middle/Throat 36/40
From the mid to rear of the palate, the spicy notes develop and in particular black pepper is present. The oak influence grows too accompanied by what have now become ripe red cherries. In fact multiple tastes reveal more of a fruity influence, especially when one or two drops of water are added.
The finish is superb, dry and rounded. More oak, but it does not dominate. Instead, a dryness builds accompanied by freshly milled black pepper. Some mildly spiced dried fruits complete the superb ensemble that lingers three or four minutes after swallowing.
As I often find, aged agricoles can be absolutely incredible and this is a great example of what careful oak ageing can do to finely distilled cane juice.
This is one of those drinks that you will sip and savour, and it certainly is not one for mixing. Leave the rhum in the glass for ten to 15 minutes and literally add one or two drops of water and the patience will reward your palate.
I expect a rhum of such age and quality to attract a premium price. But, there is better value in some of the other Neisson expressions. The Neisson Profil 105 is a great example. But for something that little bit more special, if you have cash burning a hole in your pocket, this is great stuff.
Review No. 157
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn/Finish Out of 7