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Recommendable to most
Best Agricole ever tasted. It’s not what you expect when you taste an Agricole. This one has a nice nose which is not very common when it comes to Agricole. The taste is not an explosion like many other Agricoles (which I also like), instead it’s very smooth and subtil with a long and nice afterburn.
Picture: My top five shelf & My opened bottle.
After reading all the wonderful things about agricole rum from Martinique I tried to find any local/regional liquor store that carried any. In some places the clerks didn't know what agricole rum is. None of the stores had any such rums.
However this past weekend my wife and I took a little romantic weekend getaway to Panama City Beach, Florida (about a 2-hour drive from home). Whenever I am in someplace out of my region I will check out the liquor stores. In one such shop I noticed the bottle of this sitting on the top shelf behind the counter. I asked the clerk about it and she told me it had been sitting up there for a long, long time and no one showed any interest in it so the owner marked it down. Way down. In order to sell it. Under $100 actually. Definitely was not passing up on such a good deal.
I had read many glowing reviews about this rum and while I was opening the bottle my thoughts went to whether or not this rum would live up to the hype.
And then some.
This is the first, and thus far, only specified agricole rum in my collection [UPDATE: On a recent trip to New Orleans I purchased more agricole rums including other Clement rums -- reviews hopefully soon.]. It is quite smooth but drier than most in my collection. Much drier. But the complex flavors it has are remarkable. And call me crazy but it seems to be smooth AND have a bite to it at the same time (44% ABV probably explains that). Hard to explain. Since this is make from sugar cane juice rather than molasses the flavor is uniquely different. One source says the rum comes from a combination of "some liquid from the famed 1970, 1976 and 1952 vintages" while another says there are some liquid from four different years. I pick up on a smooth sweetness along with some sharpness from the oak. A little maple syrupiness to it, perhaps?
Definitely a sipping rum. To use it as a mixer would be a cryin' shame.
My taste does not run to agricoles, as thorough readers of this site will have noticed. I appreciate what the French islands are trying to do, and the others I've tried - Clement 5 Year, Barbancourt - meet clear quality standards. But, early on I decided I want to appreciate rum for its rum-ness, not its ability to taste like fine cognac.
Still, I had a chance to try the XO and it changed my mind about what an agricole rum can be (well, as it should for the $100/btl price). The off-gold color signals its difference from the products of the non-AOC islands. The bottle is magnificent, the swirl in the glass perhaps even more so. And the finish was almost perfect.
The aroma and mouth-feel, though, take me back to my cognac days. Yes, I could love this in that way. I could forget it was rum. And I'd put this among the better cognacs I've tasted, which leads me to rate this highly.
The trouble is, I don't prefer this flavor. If you enjoy cognac, this is your rum. If not, I'd avoid the agricoles and look to the molasses-based rums of other islands for excitement.
I would say it is a bit to much hold back in flavours of deep ageed oak. If the distillery could loosen them selves from being so Frenchly-"Cognac proud" and allow the master blender to find age tales and heads and other complex " impurities" only found in rhum, this blend could be a magical bestseller scoring 10.
I gave the VSOP a very strong review. This is noticeably more vibrant that the VSOP. Smoother also, with the same notes and flavor characteristics. One of the best agricole rums I have ever tried. If you like agricole you should try this.
First of all, the bottle and packaging are sublime. The nose one opening is very rich. Dried fruits, Vanilla, brown sugar, but the taste is doesn't offer as much as the nose. It falls short a little.
Romhatten. 42%. Mørk gul. Kolonnedestilleret. XO = mindst 6 år. Duft af mørk sukker, syrlige frugter. Smag af pære, grøn æble, peber, nogen sødme. Lagret på bourbon- og friske egetræsfade.
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