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Tasty, but not quite great
There are much better Depaz rums than this one, but this is the only one I can find locally. Definite sugar cane smell and taste.
Elements of grass, oak, and honey. Perfectly balanced with a natural underlying sweetness, so while it’s definitely more dry proving it’s an agricole, it is also an undisputed rum. Floral notes too. What makes this one so great is the combination of these complexities with all being present, with none dominating any other, and a super-smooth drinkability which almost makes you forget it’s a spirit. Must be the blue cane; I’ve never had an agricole quite like this one.
Sadly, this ambitious U.S. release is no longer produced, and was available at a time when practically nobody in North America was drinking agricole rum - hence the slightly subdued profile. However, having said that, this rum works wonders in the mix and proved to be a fantastic all-rounder with an above-average taste and mixability factor. On the nose, there's subtle, light grassiness with twangs of oak wood and a certain undercurrent of earthiness to it. On the plate, it may seem soft for 90 proof, but the mid opens up with some subtle peppery spice and woody earthiness which is quite pleasant. Finish is dry and lingering with a touch of black pepper. In the mix, it totally shines - makes a fabulous Daiquiri or Ti Punch and slowly evolves into a very characterful and complex number with a great body and balance of flavors - particularly on the finish where the earthy, grassy, barrel-like notes push through and integrate well. I really miss this rum and thought the blend was (and still is) a perfect introduction to the agricole style for Americans. If you happen to see an old bottle on the shelf (list price was $40) snap it up!
Hash and unbalanced. Surprisingly from a maker with many different options. Undrinkable neat, unfriendly on the rocks, unfortunately harsh even with coke.
When I had this my notes were sharp and ricey. At the time I assumed better as a mixer. Had it alongside flor de Caña 7 year. My palate has evolved some so I’ll try it again and maybe my rating will change.
Perusing through all of my ratings for rhum agricoles, it seemed like an impossibility to pair great taste with a decent price. Most of the ones that I have yet to try are seriously overpriced. Many months ago, I remember looking up reviews on this one, but it was nowhere to be found on liquor store shelves in my area. Well today, I ran across a bottle of this for only $31 and figured that it could rate as a 7 at best.
I poured a half ounce into the snifter and let it breathe for a while. The aroma is very unique, possibly from the rare blue cane used to distill it. The taste is super smooth and buttery and is one of those rums that it would be all too easy to consume the whole bottle neat. My goodness, this stuff is close to heaven! It makes a great Mai Tai when perfectly paired to Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican rum (or other favorite Jamaican), but why waste it as a mixer. However, it is cheap enough to do such a thing and not feel guilty.
This leads to another question. If this lesser known brand from Martinique beats the taste out of the other ones and is priced this low, how much are those other brands ripping everyone off? I am so glad that I did not abandon my search for a great rhum agricole at a sensible price.
Update February 13, 2019: Out of the 10 Martinquan rhum agricoles that I have tried, this is the only one deserving of my rating of an 8. This also includes going up against 3 from Haiti, 2 from Louisiana and 1 from Florida.
Update August 29, 2019: I tried to buy another bottle of this from the same merchant that I got my first bottle from. I was told that I had gotten that bottle on clearance, which is why it was so cheap. They will not stock it anymore. So this was a once in a lifetime treat. If you do find a bottle of this, it is the best rhum agricole for adding to Appleton Reserve Blend and Clement Creole Shrub to make the perfect Mai Tai. If you can't find this rhum, then Rhum J.M. VO is the next best bet.
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