Google Festival des Nouveautes, A little bag of Parisian rums

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

September 27, 2020





A little bag of Parisian rums



I’m not meaning rums made in Paris, naturally - although they make some good little ones at the Distillerie de Paris, near the Gare de l’Est – that would rather be new bottlings for Whisky Live Paris 2020 and beyond. Well, if stocks last, but not too sure when these will actually be out; I believe some are actually already available but not too sure which…  



Providence (57%, Haiti, 2020)

Providence (57%, Haiti, 2020)
This baby was batch-distilled at the very recent Distillerie de Port-au-Prince, a joint venture between Velier and Barbancourt as it seems, in December of 2019, from a mix of cane juice and cane syrup. As for the label, looks like it’s a wee tribute to those lovely old ‘Jura Whiskies’ from the 1970s. Colour: white. Nose: clairin springs to your mind, and varnish and glue to your nose. Which is actually good news here. Goes then towards olives and asparagus, good news too, and then some kind of earthier cane juice. Earthier than in Martinique, for example. I like these glue-y smells, they’re pretty regressive and remind me of my childhood. Not that that’s of any interest, I agree… With water: marzipan and glue, then roots (beet, turnip) and a small all-fruit tropical mix, the kind that you would throw into a cocktail. Touch of bananas, touch of pineapples. Mouth (neat): am I totally crazy if I claim that this reminds me of a blend of clairin and white Barbancourt? Would you even believe me? So these almost mescally olives, plus some sugary, lighter and slightly ethanoly flavours. Feels a bit like a ‘high-malt blend’. With water: more grassy and earthy cane juice. Something slightly prickly too, Suze-Schweppes? Finish: medium, grassy, with fine sour fruits. Comments: an extremely fine young white, a bit between two worlds, grassy and sweet.
SGP:362 - 83 points.



Chalong Bay ‘High Proof Batch 0001’ (57%, Thailand, 2020)

Chalong Bay ‘High Proof Batch 0001’ (57%, Thailand, 2020)
This is made in Phuket! I’ve always rather liked their white, a little less so their ‘infused’ versions, but in the old days I believe Thai law wouldn’t have allowed them to go beyond 40% vol. so this is what we had been hoping for, higher proofs… Colour: white. Nose: it’s a rather fatter, deeper spirit, perhaps a tad less complex but consequently better chiselled, with more esters as well, and more flowers. Ylang-ylang, pink bananas, a wee bit of black olive, capers, gherkins… It’s getting pretty heady over time, almost intoxicating. With water:  lovely grassy and smoky notes. Barbecued tarragon, oregano… Mouth (neat): liquorice allsorts and, well, liquorice allsorts. I like liquorice allsorts, they’re pretty regressive too. Lemon drops, tar, olives, pinch of salt, sugarcane. Not a throwaway. With water:  a little sweeter yet, but the tarry and salty foundation keeps it balanced and tight. Finish: long, salty. Perhaps a tad less clean and fresh, but that often happens in finishes. Comments: so we can’t fly to Phuket? At least we’ve got their rum. BTW Thailand’s Issan is pretty much to my liking too.
SGP:452 - 85 points.



Enmore 2002/2020 (59%, Rum Nation, cask #1700027/28/30, Islay cask finish)

Enmore 2002/2020 (59%, Rum Nation, cask #1700027/28/30, Islay cask finish)
Sure the very idea of an Islay cask finish sounds a bit strange,  but after all, we’ve seen some of those European Enmores that had been good but a little too ‘naked’ when natural, and Islays that had been finished in Demerara casks too – and that had been to my liking. Colour: straw. Nose: it’s technically rum, of course, but it’s more a meta-spirit to me, and an excellent one at that. Ink, grass juice, asparagus cooking water, ‘good’ cabbage, grapefruit, our good friends the green olives, some kind of sour/grassy smoke, wakame paste or something, certainly some pretty raw oysters, all that with a feeling of unity. This works in my book. With water: mercurochrome, so a Laphroaiggy feel. Mouth (neat): big fun and neither rum nor whisky in my book, something else. Peat coal (or very old peat), olives, more ink, petrol, salt, lime, tarmac, chewing leatherette, drinking ink at school (I find school very inspiring these days), bitter herbs aplenty… With water: salty, tarry, citron. Finish: long, tenser, tarry and salty, with the expected lemony and olive-y aftertaste. Comments: it’s true that a peater from Islay is philosophically closer to an Enmore than an Enmore to a, say Diplomatico. See what I’m trying to say? Fun and very good drop, to pour blind to your (soon to be former) friends.
SGP:463 - 88 points.



Neisson 2014/2020 ‘V.S.O.P.’ (44%, OB, LMDW, Martinique, agricole, 900 bottles)

Neisson 2014/2020 ‘V.S.O.P.’ (44%, OB, LMDW, Martinique, agricole, 900 bottles)
Neisson’s pretty expensive, but so is Macallan, while Macallan is now very far from being the Neisson of Scotch malt whisky. I know, unnecessary comments, but at least I’m sure you get my drift. Having said that I haven’t got much in my glass, so we’ll be quick and get straight to the point. Colour: gold. Nose: sublime crystallised pineapples and pine resin, mango jam, and one of those very rare Alsatian late-harvest Rieslings, such as the one Zind-Humbrecht once did on the Grand Cru Brand, a few yards away from Whiskyfun Towers. Well I think it was a Brand; what a wine! And what a Neisson! Mouth: incredibly rich and yet kind of lifted, even refreshing. Jams, pralines, salted fudge, liquorice, tar, luwak coffee, mangos… Finish: good caramel and some rancio. Comments: the nose is extraordinary, the palate of the highest order. Worth every penny – and I don’t even know about the price (that doesn’t make any sense, S.)
SGP:652 - 92 points.



Savanna 9 yo 2010/2020 (55%, OB, La Réunion, cask #1055, 804 bottles)

Savanna 9 yo 2010/2020 (55%, OB, La Réunion, cask #1055, 804 bottles)
Savanna, from the French island of La Réunion near Madagascar, has gained much traction in recent years, largely thanks, I believe, to La Maison du Whisky. They do various esterifications, not too sure about this one, which is said to be an ‘unshared cask’. Is that really ‘unshared’? Or ‘uncharred’? Whatever, let’s try the baby… Colour: gold. Nose: classic high-ester Savanna, probably even more on green and black olives than any other rum, including the Jamaicans. Some salty petrol (old shipwreck), tyres, damp cardboard, old magazines… It is really very singular. A touch of burnt raisin, it’s true that this one was matured in Armagnac casks (not simply finished). With water: olives up, green liquorice, and much more varnish. That’s funny, varnish usually rather comes with the first sniffs. No? Mouth (neat): huge, extremely olive-y, totally in line with the nose. Tar and olive juice. With water: same, but bitterer. Isn’t tar always bitter? Finish: long bitter, dry, ashy. Sucking a bicycle inner tube. Comments: I like it really a lot, it’s a rum unlike any other. It’s just that the Neisson would have crushed any rum that would have followed it anyway.
SGP:363 - 86 points.




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