Neisson Extra Vieux

Neissaon Extra Vieux

Product of:  Martinique
Aged: 8 years
Price: €31.70 on St. Bart’s
Alcohol: 45% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context:  Rhum Vieux Agricole 
RG Rating:  7

Tasting Notes 
Smooth.  Neisson Extra Vieux is a medium amber-colored rhum with a dual personality. Sniffing before sipping is recommended to get the most enjoyment out of this rare and special rum. Produced from fresh cut sugar cane juice, as per AOC regulations, this rhum exhibits a wonderful scent of vanilla and coconut, fruits and spices. That complex aromas might trick you into thinking this rhum is a pussycat. Not true, mon ami! The taste immediately tells you the is a seriously flavorful rum. Pretty yet powerful, it's subtleties are almost lost in the forward, lively eruption of all that cane rum can be once the sipping begins. 

Neisson extra Vieux needs no ice when sipping, though its immediate up front character may make you wonder if it needs to chill out before proceeding further. Keep going, and don't even think about wasting this rum in a mixed drink. Look elsewhere for a mixing rum.

Anecdotes
If you ap[preciate rhums agricole in addition to industriale rums (those distilled from molasses) then Neisson Extra Vieux is one you must try - it defines the category.  Neisson Extra Vieux is neither perfumy sweet nor overly encumbered with spices or other flavors that could mask its true nature. Rather, it is bright and energetic at first, ultimately rewarding your patience as it unfolds its toasted complexity slowly, shyly revealing its character, then saying au revoir with a delicate butterscotch kiss. Once Neisson's tames your taste buds and you become more attuned to it, this rum suggests, rather than declaring, its aftertastes. Complex to appreciate, but well worth the effort.

Neisson aged rhums remain are initially stored in new French Oak barrels to acquire a tannic structure and their oak-rlated aromas.  Some portion is also aged in American oak barrels of 195 liter capacity. Trough aging, the spirit is reduced to 45% ABV. The fmature rhum is stired for one year before bottling.

Opinion
Neisson Extra Vieux is one of those rums I reserve for evenings when I feel a slight chill and want to settle into my rocker to enjoy its initial warm, full body hug. Not a casual rum, this takes some mental preparation to journey into its complexity. You might call it high maintenance, but I prefer to think of Neisson's Extra Vieux as an opinionated rum with a delicate personality that rewards those who are willing to accommodate its idiosyncrasy. Maybe it is best seen as an occasional friend.

One of the goals of my most recent trip to the Caribbean was to find Neisson's rum. Honestly, rum alone isn't worth a trip to the Islands, but I'm sure glad I brought some back with me.

Reviewed: April and June, 2006 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017