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This should be it! Dry, yet balanced and smooth. I don't care for the other agricoles I've tried and in general enjoy dry rums, but wow this is well done!
edited to add sugar test results- 6g
Nice mahogany color. Nose is butterscotch. Palate is zesty yet sweet. Finish is cinnamon. This Rhum Agricole is a winner.
As smooth and wonderful a 15 year agricole as you can get for under $50 a bottle. Magnificent!
Don't bother with the 8 Year. Drop the few extra bucks and get this. It's lightyears better than the 8 year; there's no comparison. In fact, this was the rum that started my life-long love of rum. My grandfather used to keep a bottle of this in a hidden trapdoor cabinet. One day as a teenager some 25 years ago I discovered the trapdoor and this was the first spirit I ever tried...and it blew me away. Instantly, my mind said "yes this is what you want". Yet because of my youth and the passage of time I forgot which variation of Barbancourt it was. So for many years I searched for the spirit that had started it all, but was lost. About 5 years ago I bought a bottle the 5 Star 8 Year thinking it may have been that. However to my dismay, not only was it not what I was thinking of, I disliked it intensely. So I went online and inquired. Other aficionados insisted that I must have had some old pre-earthquake Barbancourt that was no longer in production. So I lost hope. Luckily about a week ago I came across a review of this rum that sounded exactly what I remembered experiencing those many years ago. For a week I seesawed back and forth on whether to drop $50 on a rum whose younger sibling I knew I didn't like and who others insisted no longed existed. Well, my friends...I took that risk and it paid off in spades. I brought this home, unscrewed the cap, took a whiff and the memories of my grandfathers hidden cabinet came rushing back in waves. I knew I had found my long lost first love. So lets begin and lets review this rum right.
First, let's start with some facts. This is a true pure Agricole Rhum slow-aged for 15 years in French Limousin Oak Casks. It is unadulterated and the age statement is one of fact without nuance. This is not a Solera or a mix of rums with different ages. Its is a true full 15 year aged rum, so you will want to let this sit for at least 15 minutes before drinking it. If you drink this straight immediately after opening the bottle it will probably be too intense - unless you are into that kind thing.
The journey starts with the nose which is a flawless harmony of Vanilla, Sherried Oranges, Brown Figs, and old Mahogany furniture. Its almost like you are smelling French colonial history in your glass. It is marvelous and there is no other rum like it anywhere. But these mild fruit notes belie the intensity thats about to hit your palate. On the palate you get a rush of oak but not of the bourbon kind, rather more of a peppery oak like cognac. That begins to dissipate into a creamy mix of vanilla and orange peel which is both sweet and yet not at the same time. The orange peel then fades into notes of lemon, cane juice, and dates before finishing with notes of white peppercorns. While the individual notes are subtle, their combination is rather intense. The aftertaste, or finish, leaves a coolness in the mouth that I have only otherwise experienced with White Agricoles, while notes of old Mahogany furniture and Cognac linger. Finally, there is an after-essence of oranges and eggnog. The entire presentation is chest warming and at times rather intense, but it walks that line almost perfectly. This is a far, far smoother and more refined rum than its younger brothers. This rum was designed to be sipped slowly savored. If you need to dial down the intensity of it, it is almost flawless over an iceball. You probably could mix with this and make cocktails fit for King Louis, but please don't do that - that would be a waste of this gem of a sipping rum. It's almost like a fine cognac in a way, but this far better than any cognac I have ever had (though that may just be my bias for rum).
At $48 for an unaltered, untouched, true, pure fine Agricole slow-aged 15 years in Limousin oak, you will not find a better price for an aged French style rum of this quality.
*Post edit 11/2020* Coming back to this rum the intensity of the spiciness on the backend has dissipated, which was my sole concern previously. This is an almost perfect rum.
A very nice aroma in the bottle. Hints of sweetness. The flavor is wonderful with butterscotch notes and a warmth to it rather than a harsh burn. I detect some woodiness to it but not really a strong oak so I'm not sure what they aged it in although I have read they aged it in rather large barrels. A tongue tingler for certain. A very good rum. Wished they had used a cork rather than a cheap screwcap.
($63CAD) 43%ABV - I don’t usually use the box in the picture but this box is too great to exclude.
Color is acorn brown, quite a bit darker than the 8 year. Smells intensely of brown sugar and a little bit of that grassy goodness. The flavour is very similar but opens up into a much more complex party of toasted vanilla, rich nutty flavours, and just a hint of a floral note at the end. The finish is long and detailed, I really like it.
I would say this is much smoother than the 8 year. Without comparing directly, I still think $23 more for the 15 year is worth it. It is a solid rum, with enough complexity to keep you thinking. For those curious minds out there, I suggest you try it once you’ve had the 8 year. If you liked the 8 year, you’ll love this.
...this is absolutely delicious. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it on my first few sips, but I quickly appreciated its vanilla, earthy, vegetal notes that make this rhum something worthwhile. Will definitely buy again.
A sweet aroma, taste is bold but not overpowering with a smooth finish. Best served neat over rocks with a Cohiba nearby. The best with the best; truly world class!
Will never NOT have one in my house. Very interesting flavor that's almost like a Rhum agricole. Very much enjoy it.
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