Neisson XO Cuvee Du 3eme Millenaire

Neisson XO

Product of:  Martinique
Aged: 10 years
Price: €80.00 on St. Bart’s
Alcohol: 45% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context:  Rhum Vieux Agricole 
RG Rating:  10

Tasting Notes
Extremely Smooth.  A color that is pure gold (and perhaps lighter than you’d expect from a rhum that spent 10 years in oak) might give you a clue to the remainder of the Neisson XO experince.  Aromas begin predominantly with oak, vanilla, brown sugar and caramel in equally delectable measures, followed by subtle and complex hints of dried fruit, banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, nuts, clove, and sweet roasted cumin.  All are carried aloft by a supremely inviting alcohol aroma. Neisson XO’s is a beautifully balanced gallery of scents. The Initial taste approaches sweet, then evolves quickly to a mildly earthy cane flavor, substantial in character, while a buttery brown sugar foundation supports the complex flavors from the aroma. A medium body – in-step with the aromas, and more substantial than the color would indicate – strikes that dynamic balance of feminine appeal / masculine delivery characteristic of fine aged agricole rhum, which is physically expressed in the shape of the decanter.  A full flavored finish with undertones of nuts lingers just long and sweet enough until you prepare for another sip.

An elegant commemorative decanter celebrates the new millenium, certainly collectible and on par with custom bottles used by other rum distillers for ultra products. Very French, the bottle mixes feminine shapeliness with masculine angles and “Zepol Karé” (creole for square shoulders).  Notable too is the glass-topped cork, more reminiscent of a crown than a cap.  This is packaging meant to honor, grace, impress; and is best exhibited with color (read: don’t deplete the bottle). 

Neisson rhums are distilled from cane grown on 85 acre premises and distilled in copper column still to an alcohol content of 65-75%, the ABV that is required of Martinbique AOC agricole specifications and lower than most industrielle rums.  Neisson distillery began operation in 1932.

One of the finest aromas of any rhum or rum I have ever experienced; one long sniff properly transports you to Neisson’s stone aging cave.  As I sipped Neisson’s extrordinary Cuvee Du 3eme Millenaire XO for the first time, I wondered if the XO meant “Extra Old” or simply an abbreviation for “hug and kiss.”  Either way, the recipient of this rum is fortunate indeed. Beautiful to observe and behold, captivating to sniff and drink, with XO Neisson has delivered a respectfully noble rum to usher in all the hope of the 21st Century.

Reviewed:  July 2009 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017