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Neisson Reserve Speciale rum

Neisson Reserve Speciale

Martinique | Agricole | 42% ABV | Column Still (1-4) Distilled

36 ratings
Tasty, but not quite great

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36 Neisson Reserve Speciale Ratings

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Mujuru ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 151 ratings
Posted 3 years ago

Nose: Old Furniture, Nail Polish Remover, Cantaloupe, Black Pepper, Custard, Vanilla
Palate: Lemonade, Black Pepper, Mint, Star Anise
Aftertaste: Tobacco, Old Furniture, Black Pepper, Marzipan, Lemony mouthfeel but dry

This rum was originally recommended to me by our very own Scott here in my search to track down the profile of a rum that I had been searching for for a long time. That rum ultimately ended up being Barbancourt 15, but Scott's description of this rum definitely made me want to try it despite having located my original target. And I can see why this ru was highly recommended for the profile notes for what ended up being Barbancourt 15. In many respects the rhum is very similar to Barbancourt 15. Both are cane juice rhums long aged in French Limousin oak. Both have the citrus and old furniture notes to them that I absolutely love. Both are very different most aged rums and yet both are extraordinarily smooth sipping rums. But while they share a similar profile, there are some differences.

So to start, this is a Martinique AOC Agricole rum tropically aged between 8-10 years in French Limousin oak and bottled at 42%. Like all AOC Agricoles, it contains no additives.

The nose on this rum is quite pungent and decadent. It is sweet and rich but also spicy. Nosing it from the glencairn I get the smell old furniture much like that found in Barbancourt 15, then a little bit of an acetone smell, which is then washed away by faint notes of Cantaloupe, and stronger notes of Black Pepper, Egg Custard, and light Vanilla. It is a complex mix of sweet, tangy, spicy and almost savory but altogether rich.

On the palate, I get a huge wash of lemonade, indeed so strong that for a brief moment it almost literally tastes like lemonade which gradually fades into notes of Black Peppercorns, Mint and light notes of Star Anise. It reminds me of a Lemonade that someone has spiced with Mint, Star Anise, and a touch of Black pepper and left out for a couple hours and then mixed with brandy - its an interesting and delightful combination. I can absolutely just keep sipping this, no need to put it down.

The finish is also interesting, and nice and also refreshing, but maybe not in way you might traditionally think of. The finish starts with the hint of plug tobacco with hints of old furniture and black pepper which give way to building notes of Marzipan and a lasting lemony mouthfeel. It leaves the mouth feeling light and refreshed with a slight hint of funkiness.

Altogether this rum is somehow fruity and rich and also spicy. It is sweet and decadent like a fine dessert; but also dry and almost tangy with notes of old furniture, marzipan, and lemonade. In many ways it is like a cognac, but it's richer and funkier than any of the cognacs I have had to date. A while back I tried the Neisson Reserve Speciale's younger brother, the Eleve Sous Bois, and my complaint then was that I liked the notes but thought they would do much better with longer aging...and well, that assessment was spot on. With 8-10 years of aging this rum is a rich, intense, decadent, spicy, unique work of art. And it was definitely worth the long wait. I will be enjoying this bottle for a while and will likely stock another.

Short description: Barbancourt 15's eccentric but sophisticated AOC cousin.

Nose: Old Furniture, Nail Polish Remover, Cantaloupe, Black Pepper, Custard, Vanilla
Palate: Lemonade, Black Pepper, Mint, Star Anise
Aftertaste: Tobacco, Old Furniture, Black Pepper, Marzipan, Lemony mouthfeel but dry

Country of Origin; Martinique

ABV: 42%

Final thoughts: Cheers Scott, for finding my definitive aged AOC Agricole of choice. This is an excellent pick.

LegallySmelf (BASIC) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 32 ratings
Posted over 3 years ago

This is a very dry rum with a great deal of oak. Unmistakably agricole with great character of age - it's worth sitting down and spending time with.

kylebrown247 (BASIC) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 2 ratings
Posted over 3 years ago

Iโ€™m just starting off down the Martinique rabbit hole and this was my first proper aged bottle Iโ€™ve bought. Iโ€™ve tried a few others, but this one is the best of them thus far. Really quite smooth, with some bourbon-y notes at first (vanilla, baking spices, etc), but followed by the unmistakable flavor of raw cane and grass. Really nice sipper, especially to introduce people to vieux agricoles.

Falcon91Wolvrn03 (PREMIUM) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 563 ratings
Posted 8 years ago

This rum is quite dry; I prefer a touch of sweetness in my rums.

Vegetal sugarcane, oak, vanilla, and pepper. Not bad, but not a great rum either, imho. Not worth the price to me of $69.99 (K&L Wines 2015).

soccerrd5 ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ | 36 ratings
Posted over 2 years ago

Had this after a Clement Blanche. Very good order, the bouquet is nice and it's smooth as well.

Bigbillyt ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 13 ratings
Posted almost 3 years ago

UPDATE of 07-26-21
Bumped this up to a 9, easily one of my top 3 rums ever, at least so far.

UPDATE of 06-17-21
As my palette has evolved I like this rhum even more, it is easily an 8.5+. My original assessment that the experience was more "bourbon like' was accurate to a point. I now see this as drinking even more like a really good brandy or cognac. The dryness, complex barrel aging notes of wood and leather combined with the citrus, vanilla and subtle cane sugar undertones are simply outstanding. I still can't believe I lucked into a couple bottles of this at a great price. This is easily one of my top 5 sipping rums now.

I really like a wide variety of styles of rum, but I was a little hesitant to spend the money on an agricole style just because of the number of folks who seem to find the flavor profile off putting.
Well, I found a good deal on a bottle of this Neisson Reserve Speciale and took a chance. Wow, the nose and the flavors are outstanding. The nose presents a nice aroma of very sweet citrus tinged alcohol initially, followed by scents of shoe polish, stone fruit and oak. The flavor profile is equally amazing with additional notes of vanilla, more oak, pepper, and a long dry finish. The whole experience, frankly, is rather bourbon like, which works for me.

Well, now that I have tried, and very much enjoyed my first rhum agricole, I can see I will be indulging in other variations. I probably goofed by spoiling my palette with such a rich expression of the style right off the bat, but such is my cross to bare, oh darn! I will have to seek out a good blanc version to try next.

As a side note, I tried this mixed with Appleton 12 year (half and Half 1 oz each), Senior Orange Curacao, some Liber orgeat and fresh lime for a Mai Tai and OH LORDY was it the BOMB-DIGGITY!

Ripr00ster ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 6 ratings
Posted 3 months ago

Went to my local bar for a rum tasting and tried this.

It's great but a little to stiff and not what I want from an agricoles. I want funky fun grassy and fresh. This is just so whiskey cask barrel forward. If your into whiskey barrels you'll love it

Cool Breeze (PREMIUM) ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 537 ratings
Posted over 1 year ago

Sampled at South Seas in Louisville. With age, the agricole aromas are muted. Rich amber in color. Toffee aroma. Big oak explosion of flavor. Finishes smokey.

ManhttanProject ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ | 21 ratings
Posted over 1 year ago

Nose: Vanilla, oak, sea foam, seaweed
Taste: Salty with a little vanilla. Thin flavor but still pleasant.
Feel: A bit thin but not very harsh.

Philippe Roquelle ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช | 57 ratings
Posted over 2 years ago

Un bon blend raffinรฉ, doux avec juste assez de punch pour me plaire.

Brand Details

Company: Neisson
Type: Agricole
Raw Material: Unknown
Brand Process: Unknown
Distillation Type: Column Still (1-4)
Name: Reserve Speciale
ABV: 42%