Noa Noa Gold Vanilla Rum

Noa Noa Tahitian Gold Vanilla Rum-RG1-USE

Product of:  Tahiti
Aged: less than 3 years
Price: 3150CFP ($31.50) / 50cl purchased on Tahiti 
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
6-10 g/L (estimate)
Context: Flavored/Spiced Rum 
RG Rating:  8

Tasting Notes
Noa Noa Tahitian Gold Vanilla Rum is as gold in color as the name suggests, shining in my  tasting glass, with many long legs dripping. 

That metal metaphor is limited only to the visuals, as the aromas are more earthy, with smells of heavy rum, licorice and sweet floral vanilla on the nose.  Scents reminiscent of lush tropical plants and fruits (especially banana peel) offset the floral perfume of vanilla.  One sip and you know your drinking real Tahitian vanilla flavored rum. The taste is pure vanilla delight, sincerely decadent rather than overpowering.  A light body subtly spread the flavor across your palate, then the real vanilla flavor - pod and all - carry through to the end of a long, very smooth finish. 

Noa Noa Tahitian Glod Vanilla Bottle from Top-RG1

Look at a bottle of Noa Noa Tahitian Gold Vanilla Rum from top down and you see a diamond shaped bottle.  Look at it from any angle and you see a real Tahitian whole vanilla bean inside.  Real vanilla, real rum, real tasty.  There are two different species of vanilla in the world: Madagascar (Planifolia, which also called Bourbon vanilla) and Tahitian (Tahitensis).  The two are quite similar in appearance, aroma and flavor.  Tahitian vanilla is a pad of a different sort, and arguably more rare.  It is far more floral, oily, aromatically sweeter and less woody than the more commonly used Madagascar variety.  Tahiti’s vanilla pods even look slightly different, 
click here.  

Visitors to the islands of Tahiti – especially the vanilla capitals of Taha’a and Raiatea – are introduced to hypnotically sweet floral scents the moment they step off their airplane or cruise ship.  Romanticized as Bali Hai in both of the South Pacific movies, the islands exude a paradise on Earth quality in every sensory appeal.  On my first visit, the island’s beauty struck me as the Earthbound waiting room to heaven, the last place we inhabit in our final lives.  

As far as this rum goes, there isn’t another vanilla rum from French Polynesia that holds a candle to Noa Noa Tahitian Gold.   I believe it is Tahiti’s best rum, with or without the bean.  Noa Noa Gold’s main attraction isn’t the rum, it’ all about the real Tahitian flavor and the vanilla bean pod inside every bottle.  Indeed, the vanilla is probably better than the rum itself.  Whatever your opinion, Noa Noa Tahitian Gold Vanilla Rum is a must-have souvenir for any rum aficionado visiting French Polynesia.

Reviewed:  During April 2015 and September 2013 while sailing around the leeward islands of Tahiti.  The bottle reviewed in 2015 was purchased in mid-2013 and remained unopened for another year and-a-half.  The vanilla pod inside certainly continued to add flavor in that time.

© Dave Russell 2017