By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
You may ask why I'd ever buy two casks of rhum from the same distillery only a year apart. If you've read my review of the 2005 cask you'll know how I feel about these and the 13 no second hand version of the 14 yo. The reason I selected this casks in addition to the other one is because their both delicious and distinct. Also, we just can't have enough of this stuff, it's absolutely worth every dollar. Yes it's "expensive" rum, but nobody blinks an eye at spending $150 on a 12 year old rye made in Canada these days! There isn't an American whisky on the market today with as much character and depth as these special rhums. This is made from a single harvest and distilled the old way. They can't make industrial quantities of this product even if they wanted to. The fact that we're able to offer cask strength single barrels at all is shocking, as we've never had an opportunity to sell old Agricole before. The few times we get access to vintage agricole in this country it tends cost several hundred dollars even for a 10 or 15 year old expression. So that's why a bought two. Also, this one is aged in casks that previously held Cognac where as the other goes direct in to french oak, likely used previously at the distillery. And the cognac makes a big difference, adding exceptional layers of sweet and savory flavors on top of the already complex rhum. The nose is oak almost into the bourbon/armagnac territory. To be honest this is one of the best cross over rhums we've ever had. Not as briny and wild as the 2005, instead complex aromas of exotic wood, old biker jacket and the Harley engine to go along with it. Sweet stewed fruit, candied orange peel, robust and savory. On the palate, its nearly tangy, but balanced by unending exotic spices. Again it loves water and now we have extremely fancy green teas and wild honey. Subtle smokiness from the oak and hints of fresh rubber -racing tires? An unabashed powerhouse and easily one of my favorite spirits of any kind in the store. Rhum people should grab both vintages, everyone else should snag the 2006 first.