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October 13, 2011

Liquid Living Magazine

Caribbean Spirits Inc.
F. Paul Pacult’s SPIRIT JOURNAL September 2005…

“Rhum’s the word for 2006, 2007…”

“…The French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique are primary sources for these heartier rums. The main difference between the French Rhums (French for rum) and the lighter Puerto Rican rums lies in the base materials. The majority of the rhums of Martinique especially (roughly 85%) are made from pure, fresh sugar cane juice rather than molasses. These idiosyncratic rhums are called Rhum Agricoles. Because sugar cane juice is one step closer to pure sugar cane than molasses, rhum agricoles are typically much more intense, individualistic, and flavorful than many of those spawned from molasses…“

“As these rhums become more available through wider distribution in North America , I believe their popularity will grow rapidly. While they will never realistically overtake their Puerto Rican rivals in volume, rhum agricoles will nevertheless expand consumer awareness about the greater rum category. Because of their assertive characteristics, sugar cane juice rhums can be enjoyed either on the rocks with a twist of lime or as a base for cocktails. So bullish am I about rhum agricoles that I am predicting that over the next two to three years they will be the next big consumer trend in spirits…Rhum’s the Word.”

Read F. Paul Pacult’s Tasting Notes below. Subscribe to the Spirit Journal

Neisson Rhum Agricole BlancNeisson Rhum Agricole Blanc5 Stars/Highest Recommendation & Best Buy

Transparent, silvery, and impeccably clean. The frontline aroma is marvelously beany, grassy, and stalk-like; in the later sniffings the aroma turns more baked/burnt and charcoal-like, as sweetish flavors of dark caramel, chimney soot, and dark, old honey make for scrumptious inhaling. The palate entry is spectacularly honeyed, warm, and, cocoa-like; at midpalate, there’s a grassy/weedy/cane-like taste that balances the honeyed sweetness in perfect style and grace. Concludes cocoa-like, intense yet smooth, and memorably sweet. A clinic on how to make outstanding white rum from sugar cane juice.

Neisson Rhum Agricole Eleve Sous BoisNeisson Rhum Agricole Eleve Sous Bois 4 Stars/Hightly Recommended

The color is honey gold/Sauternes yellow; flawlessly clean. In the first nosings there are fabric-like aromas of synthetic, cotton, and rayon; secondary sniffings pick up vegetal scents of peas and asparagus plus a waxy/floor polish background note. The palate entry is pointed, pleasantly spirity, and lightly toffee-like; the midpalate flavor profile features dead-on tastes of cane, honey, and vanilla bean. Ends on an off-dry note that offers smooth, biscuity, and grassy flavors deep in the throat. A picture of rhum agricole elegance and understatement.

Neisson Agricole Reserve SpecialeNeisson Agricole Reserve Speciale 5 Stars/Hightest Recommendation

Gloriously bright copper color; ideal purity. The first whiffs detect agile scents of white pepper, citrus, and saddle leather; following seven minutes of air contact the bouquet ratchets up the volume in the forms of old oak, sautéed almonds, candied walnuts, old library, and distant oloroso sherry. The palate entry is rich, nutty, oaky, and long; the midpalate bursts with woody, sherried, honeyed, vanilla extract flavors that keep multiplying and deepening. Finishes opulent, fathomless, honeyed, and elegant. Holy moly.

La Favorite Coeur de Canne—Rhum Agricole BlancLa Favorite Coeur de Canne—Rhum Agricole Blanc 5 Stars/Highest Recommendation & Best Buy

The crystalline appearance is silvery and flawless. The first whiffs are confronted with rich, spirity (though neither hot nor prickly), and grassy aromas that seem melded and harmonious; it’s a wonder what another seven minutes do to the fragrance as the bouquet turns spicy/peppery, moderately oily, cucumber-like, and properly and delectably cane-line; love this cutting edge agricole perfume. Oh man, this bittersweet, raw cocoa-like rhum deftly dances on the tongue at entry and multilayered with tastes of marshmallow, refined sugar, vanilla cake frosting, and flan. Finishes divinely sweet, remarkably balanced (considering the lofty abv), grassy/floral, and even at the tail end fruity. Wow, what a classic! Yet another reason why rhum agricoles are poised to be the next wave in clear spirits.

La Favorite Rhum Agricole AmbreLa Favorite Rhum Agricole Ambre 5 Stars/Highest Recommendation

The color is pale amber/dusty gold; blemish-free purity. The curious opening bouquet reminds me of beeswax, green peppers, and uncooked broccoli; further aeration time of six minutes helps the aroma to unfold as it offers distinct scents of toasted marshmallow, light toffee, yeasty sourdough, green olives, and brine; an entire universe of disparate, yet strangely agreeable aromas in one single glass. The palate entry is semisweet, honeyed, and even a bit sherry-like; at midpalate, there’s a spirity thrust that makes the tongue prickle amidst the tastes of spice, honey, sherry, caramel, and nougat. Concludes rich, oily, concentrated, and wonderfully creamy. Another Martinique rhum god.

La Favorite Rhum Agricole VieuxLa Favorite Rhum Agricole Vieux 5 Stars/Highest Recommendation

Aged in French and American oak barrels for a minimum of three years. The brilliant bronze/tawny/deep amber color is an eyeful; ideal purity. My initial impressions of the nose are of dried red fruits and marzipan; later sniffings after aeration pick up deeper, more brandy-like aromas of oaky vanilla, rum cake, holiday fruitcake, black pepper, cigar tobacco, and a hint of nutmet. The palate entry is long, sweet and moderately oily; the midpalate boasts flavors of butter cream, dark chocolate, cream sherry, cola, citrus, and honey. Ends on a sweet caramel-like note that is opulent yet agile. Dark, oak-aged rum at its finest.