Google Neisson and aperitif

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

July 19, 2020


Neisson and apéritif

It was national holiday in France this week – I mean, not all week mind you, just on July 14 - but I forgot to do a ‘French whisky’ session, for no reasons that I could explain. Let’s try to make up for that and have a few good, or possibly super-good French rums!

Habitation Clément 4 yo ‘VSOP’ (52%, OB, Martinique, agricole, Private Cask Selection, Belgium’s Ambassador Selection, 2011 bottles)

Habitation Clément 4 yo ‘VSOP’ (52%, OB, Martinique, agricole, Private Cask Selection, Belgium’s Ambassador Selection, 2011 bottles) Four stars and a half
It’s really nice that they would do ‘national selections’, just like the Cubans do with their cigars and their Edicion Limitada. Or the crazy disruptors at Waterford in Ireland. By the way, this is 100% blue cane. Colour: full gold. Nose: all on honeysuckle, dandelions, cinnamon rolls (sweet oak), bananas flambéed, barley sugar (yep), eucalyptus, liquorice and aniseed. There’s much more happening than in other Cléments as far as I can remember, and while I find this pretty ‘modern’, I find it rather superb this far. Awesome aromatic floral/herbal style. With water: menthol, ylang-ylang and wisteria! Mouth (neat): oh so good! Aniseed, lavender sweets, citric hops, gingerbread and artisanal banana and pineapple liqueurs, all that with a rich, oily profile. Almost decadent. With water: touches of earthy and pine-y oak, more gingerbread, heather honey, triple-sec, Mandarine Impériale (a Belgian thing, no wonder)… Finish: rather long, sweeter, very fruity, yet never cloying. They may have used pinewood (indeed I am joking). Pepper, earthy menthol and liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: this is proper ‘new’ rum, without any swindles or silly mixtures. Very well done and well selected; mind you, 4 years.
SGP:661 - 89 points.

Yeah there, go climb over that one. Unless we go straight to the top of Martinique, with kings of white and aged rhums…

Neisson ‘Bio’ (52.5%, OB, Martinique, organic, +/-2020)

Neisson ‘Bio’ (52.5%, OB, Martinique, organic, +/-2020) Four stars
I won’t tell you what I think of Neisson. Well, I will, they make the greatest rums while keeping quiet, which is pretty much unseen in the rum world, if you ask me. No? Colour: white. Nose: oh to resist this pure, emphatic, clean spirit! How do they do that? Plantains, fresh litchis, bits of tar, bits of rubber, lemon, fresh cane juice, lilies, peonies, wisteria this time again… This is pure eau-de-vie de canne, complex and delicate. Oh to not down the whole glass straight way, Kurt-Russel-style… With water: grassier and more on sugar cane. Some expurgated description, you see. Mouth (neat): incredibly fruity, fresh, profound… I’m finding green bananas this time, these wee white pineapples – forgot their name – plus this lovely rubbery/salty touch yet again, some oils for sure, hints of violets (as sweets), various tropical fruits, and only a tiny rooty side, perhaps on beets (which would take the biscuits, historically speaking). With water: oh, pears! Other than that, the rooty side grew up and we shan’t complain. Gentian, hurray! Finish: long, superb, clean, with a touch of cane sugar, muscovado-style. Pears and bananas too. Mint in the aftertaste. Comments: a tad fruitier and less grassy/herbal than expected, but just as awesome. Impressive white.
SGP:641 - 87 points.

Neisson 12 yo 2005 (49.7%, OB, Martinique, +/-2018)

Neisson 12 yo 2005 (49.7%, OB, Martinique, +/-2018) Five stars
Last time I tried another expression of the 12 I thought we were in Pappy territories. But that was under Obama… Colour: amber. Nose: extraordinary, literally. Touches of orange cake, mocha and cappuccino, then mint and liquorice, earths, tobacco, some kind of earthy marmalade, a touch of toasted oak, barbecued bananas an soft corn… Water isn’t obligatory, but for the sake of research… With water: a superb earthiness, humus, damp nuts, a drop of soy sauce… and then the richest, most emphatic kind of tropical jam there ever was. Pick your fruits. Mouth (neat): huge, on some kind of spicy fudge, liquorice, a little pepper, roasted pecans and walnuts, a touch of salt, a hint of sour wood perhaps… With water: classic agricole, on liquorice covering ripe bananas, pineapples, mangos and papayas. Touch of salt, touch of tar. Finish: long, a tad fermentary or ‘bacterial’, which is very cool mind you. Just don’t tell your Covid officer. More oak in the aftertaste. Comments: very excellent, as expected. While the Clément was not!
SGP:661 - 90 points.

Neisson 15 yo (48%, OB, Martinique, +/-2019)

Neisson 15 yo (48%, OB, Martinique, +/-2019) Five stars
Colour: orangey amber. No, no caramel, come on! Nose: explosive, rich, extremely aromatic, with this little varnishy side that hints at bourbon. Loads of Jaffa cakes (chocolate, sponge cake, marmalade), pineapple jam, Sauternes, whiff of pipe smoke, gorse, a touch of celeriac, butterscotch, fudge, sour sauces (something Thai), then a whole sack of prunes… In French we say ‘c’est de la bombe’. With water: moss, earth, nail polish, chocolate cake, drop of acetone, soy sauce, old teas, Jamaican coffee…Oh the complexity of it, never, ever have it without water. It’s becoming epic once watered down. Chamomile! Mouth (neat): Neisson handles oak very well – because this is pretty oaky, in a sweet and spicy way. Loads of ginger, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, but also pineapple and banana jam, roots (pickled parsnips), chilis… High extraction here, but the distillate is keeping control. Mind you, it is Neisson. With water:  lemon grass, lime juice, cane juice, gingerbread made with Melipona honey. More about that another day. Finish: long, rich, and yet vibrant and fresh. With this thing I’m often finding in Neisson, stewed mango. Or mango jam. Stuff like that. Also natural vanilla and a ton of tarry liquorice. Comments: grand cru of rum. Te quiero bang bang bang, as the Gypsy Kings would have said.
SGP:651 - 92 points.

Neisson ‘XO Full Proof’ (50.8%, OB, Martinique, +/-2019) Five stars
A blend of 2005 and 2007, so around 11-12 years of age. Prices are relatively moderate (last time I’ve checked) given the name, that’s probably the lack of age statement. With rum too, no numbers, no proper deal – well that’s what many believe, and that’s why so many makers are using fake numbers. Like, Solera… 22! Colour: full gold. Nose: butterscotch favoured with cane juice, plus liquorice and dried mushrooms. Porcinis. Also the usual tarry side, a little menthol, a touch of seawater, and some proper chocolate. Please drop palm oil. With water: really very butterscotchy. Works a treat here. Mouth (neat): amazing. Varnish or even vegetal glue, mint, liquorice and chocolate at first – believe me that’s a statement – then a lot of cane juice, with assorted spices and that thing that I often find in the best agricoles and that should’t quite be there: agave. Love that, personally. With water: tenser, more ‘aguardiente-y’, earthy, rooty, agave-y, salty… Totally excellent. Finish: long, rooty, grassier yet. Some citrus-led fruitcake in the aftertaste. Comments: don’t we all dream of some kind of infinite supply of Neisson? They should do subscriptions, after all some people even subscribe to steaks. I think there were ‘higher esters’ in this cuvée, but I’m probably totally wrong.
SGP:562 - 91 points.

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