Tasty, but not quite great
I donot have much experience with agricoles but this is nice. The nose has many wooden oak tones and licorice. This initial taste is grassy and typical agricole, followed by the alcohol burn which i quite like. Then that fades a bit followed by a peppery taste and the long aftertatse is licorice and some undefined spice
First time I drink a rhum agricole without this distinct flavour of grass. Quite good, touches of caramel, nuts, woody, really, not bad at all
As others have noted, there is a distinct peppery note in this agricole, and the oak is very upfront. Behind that lies the grassiness of a traditional agricole. Not as balanced as I was expecting, but I certainly wouldn't turn down a 'ti punch vieux made with this juice.
So this was an interesting and different experience as this was my first decent experience with a true Agricole rum (my experience with Barbancourt 8 Year was not pleasant). Going in armed with knowing a bit more about what to expect I found this rum to be interesting. It isn’t going to pull me away from Spanish and Bajan rums but it was a good experience. The nose is Lemons and light caramel and vanilla notes. It gives a sense of refreshment rather than warmth. The palate is oak, lemonade and some spice combination that is difficult to describe...maybe anise (?) . What I did find remarkable was the aftertaste because it wasn’t as much as an aftertaste as it was a lasting experience between the throat and nose which left a distinguished aroma or memory of fresh cut grass in the springtime. That was both unexpected and the best part of this rum. It is not as much a taste as it is an experience of the senses. Interesting.
The nose reveals just barely notes of grass, cane juice and caramelised fruit amongst a quite strong presence of oak that is diversified with some clove and ginger.
The palate leaves you wondering for just the split of a second wether it is a Calvados or a cognac brut, but then the unmistakable grassy, sweet cane juice aroma comes through. Quite long aftertaste of spice and oak with hints of caramelised apple.
It is absolutely a decent and “correct” VSOP, but aged agricoles are expensive and this is not for entry level candidates. A friend of mine with a quite well trained palate but little experience with rhum agricole was bewildered as to what he was drinking. If you want to sip an agricole I would try some XO or rare vintages. Or try to make an old fashioned with this one a couple of times, perhaps also a knickerbocker or something, before revisiting it straight.
At 86 proof it comes on a bit hotter than you would expect. To me it tastes more like a whiskey than a rum. Enjoyable neat, and a couple drops of water don’t hurt.
Nez : équilibré, jolies notes boisées et vanillées, cela évoque quelques notes pâtissières au café notamment. On retrouve l'odeur du tabac à pipe frais. C'est gourmand et prometteur.
Bouche: le boisé prend le dessus avec le tabac, les notes fruités sont franchement en retrait.
La finale est persistante, puissante avant de s'estomper sur cette agréable note de tabac.
Origine Martinique, AOC.
Time for Birka’s rumcruise 2019 at the Baltic Sea. This one was included at Ian Burrell’s “Blindtaste” Master class. It was quite easy to get it right, cause it was the only Agricole included. I think it’s quite alike the XO but with a little less of everything. So it’s maybe an even better Agricole to start with if you want to start a tour in the Agricole world.
Picture: The rums included at the blindtest.
The pallete doesn't fit in with the aromas or finish, otherwise this would be really nice! On the nose you get cherry cola, with vanilla coming out more as it airs. In the mouth however, it's just wood and grass, with a slightly hot and oily feel. I don't really know how the aromas and taste can differ so drastically, but they clearly find a way! Then on the finish, there are creamy notes of vanilla, marshmallow and raisin. Should I find myself in the mood for agricole, I would happily turn to this bottle. It's just that with so many more frankly more enjoyable non-ag rums out there, I don't see myself ever pining for agricole, which really makes the previous statement moot.