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Today I got a sample of a cheap Agricole from HSE. Just 40€ in Germany at 45%.
I don't expect much, but let's see.
Nose: Sugar cane, grassy notes, wood (the cask influence is quite strong). The smell is very intensive and saturated for 45%. Peppery notes with some salty fruits, like star fruit, apples and apricots. Some orange zests. I would guess it's a JM or a more expensive agricole like Neisson/La Mauny. 80 to 100 Euro smell.
Taste: Diluted start with some sweetness, sugar cane, peppery melon, grassy aromas. It tingels in the mouth like sparkling water. In the middle when it became warm I get a lot of dry orange zests, then exotic fruits like star fruit with apricot jam, cask influence (wood with tobacco).
Wohoho, very good, at only 45% and for 40 Euro? I'm impressed, very impressed.
The finish is spicy, grassy aromas, fruits, slightly pepper, orange zests, wood, tobacco, sugar cane.
Conclusion: This was a very unexpected surprice. Holy Moly, what a great quality for the price.
It's complex, intensive, saturated and rich. Yes, the dilution is noticeable in the initial taste.
But at the price of 40 Euro... even if you don't like Agricole, this one is very good.
It earns 90 points. I haven't been so surprised by a cheap rhum in a long time.
Value 42 Euro: +5/5
Great rhum agricole aged in bourbon casks. Not super complex so it could be a six overall, but given the low price I add two bottles easily. This bottle has also earned medals in the French Concours général agricole.
A sweet scent of aged rum strike you first, with caramel and dried fruits, taken over by charred oak, toast and butter.
On the palate it is a bit astringent as all middle aged agricoles tend to be — a characteristic it shares with modern cognacs bruts. Grass and oak but also abricot and vanilla. Long finish with some bitterness but also abricot, peach and spice — and the unmistakable bourbon flavour framing it in. Very interesting combination because I tend to find bourbon too sweet but this is a dry rum.
HSE Très vieux VSOP offers excellent value for your money. Try it in a ti’punch, or any tiki cocktail with pineapple or enjoy neat unless you are sugarholic. The charred character from the bourbon casks matches pineapple very well if a neat agricole is too much for you.
Smell: dried fruits, and orange, herbs, spice, barrels and caramel.
Taste: raisins, sitrus and marmalade, caramel and vanilla, good mouthfeel.
Nice amber in the glass with a very grassy and delicate nose. Notes of green apples, unripe peaches, cask and a hint of vanilla rise from the glass.
The taste is very potent with notes of woodchips and tobacco leafs. It’s quite tannic but refined none the less, with a long soothing finish. A nice and manly rum apropriately enjoyed infront of a fire. It stays a big seven for me as the taste cant quite follow the nose.
Très riche et très fort en bouche. Laissez le précieux liquide quelques minutes dans votre verre avant de commencer la dégustation car il a une très forte odeur d'alcool!
Alkohol: 45 %
Aroma: Hutná, bohatá vůně. Cedr, broušená kůže, kakao, exotické dřevo, perník, tmavá čokoláda, kadidlo - vánoční františek. (90 b)
Chuť: Sice suchý, ale zároveň bohatý. Propolis, cedr, staré dřevo, pikantní kyselkavost, exotická dřevitost, hřebíček. Dlouhá, vyzrále působící dochuť. (88 b)
Shrnutí: Ochutnán s kamarádem na naší srpnové degustační akci. Tento HSE mi hodně sedl a přemýšlím, kdy jsem naposledy měl tak dobrý agricole.
Cocoa, caramel and gentle vanilla touch in aroma, the body is mix of cocoa, barrel, etc (none of them is significant), very decent tail.
I get the whisky barrel smell right away.
& then the flavor is also very similar. But it’s smooth and clean. Not too smokey. It’s really nice after sip or two, it gets complex with mint, spice & the flan marshmallow etc
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