Neisson 2015 French Limousin Oak Single Barrel Rhum
Our favorite of the three was distilled in 2015, aged entirely in new French Limousin Oak, and bottled at a cask strength 57% abv. Tasting next to one of the other selections aged in new American oak, it was remarkable to see the unique complexity that French oak brings out. Compared to the easygoing, mellow, sweet vanilla forward nature of American oak, the French variety is more subtle, less sweet, with a woodsy and nutty profile. The nose of the rum has a kind of soft wood and citrus character to it, backed up by tart blackberries, cream, and a hint of vanilla. It's shockingly inviting and supple for the high proof. On the palate there is a big hit of super juicy blackcurrant, like the way creme de cassis should taste, with more tart fruits, and lush cinnamon. Underneath, that grassy agricole character is still very much intact, adding a liveliness that is most welcome. The French oak really comes through on the finish, which takes the berry party and introduces a hefty dose of oak tannin and cashew nuttiness, which lingers well into your inevitable next sip. It's awfully hard to remember this stuff is 57%, it is just so juicy and inviting. A fantastic barrel from one of the great rum producers, showcasing the extent of their craft, and the divine character of Martinique's rum.