Extremely Smooth. Takamaka Bay Vesou has an absence of color, it’s crystal clear. In the glass, many short little legs develop, but are reluctant to show any real length. Instead, the legs taper into thin air. Then the real beauty arrives in the form of a tropical floral bouquet. It is one of the most inviting introductions to a rum I’ve ever experienced. Pulling the cork brought unmistakeable scents of Plumeria (Frangipani). Sniff, and the single best word for the aromas is: Mild. Everything on the nose is a pleasant balance of clean subtle scents, presenting sweetness, butter, delicate alcohol and a balance of grassy agricole style rhum mixed with a hint of pot still oomph. This is a delicate rum. Vesou is simply beautiful to sip, the pot still flavors mix perfectly with the sweet taste of vegetal sugarcane. A few drops of water open this shy flower up considerably; drying it, enhancing both the agricole and molasses characteristics, plus rounding and softening the rum. There are some extremely subtle flavors present too, such as pineapple-lemon-banana, and mild anise so typical of rhums agricole. A soft, lightweight body has the rum fairly dancing on your tongue. The finish is dry and warming, ending mid-throat with an agricole-style pinch to remind you of its DNA, then fades quickly.
Takamaka Bay Vesou is a unique blend of 70% Premium White Rum and 30% Agricole Rhum Blanc. The name Vesou comes from the French word for the juice squeezed from sugarcane. Takamaka Bay rums are popular in the Seychelles and exported to the Middle East, and increasingly to Asia-Pacific and European markets. However, availability is a long shot for Americans. The USA is its usual problem of 50 different sorts.
Sophisticated, delectable, Takamaka Bay Vesou rum is extremely interesting. I can’t think of another spirit that blends rhum agricole with pot- and column-distilled unaged white rum. The results are worth tasting and experimenting with in a variety of bright cocktails that enhance it’s subtle character and discrete flavors.
It’s rare to find a white rum that works better as sipper than a mixer. And among the few that exist, they are pretty big on vanilla as a result of a few years of aging, with the barrel color removed by filtration. Takamaka Bay Vesou is different in a great way: it’s so subtle that most cocktails would bury its flavors beyond recognition. Instead, take it neat. Takamaka Bay Vesou is a unique joy to sip.
Reviewed: February 2013 at The Rum Gallery, and June 20012 at Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco with Jarlath Archer, Takamaka Bay’s representative, and the bar’s owner Martin Cate.