Friday, 28 October 2016

Review 93 - Trois Rivières Triple Millésime 1998-2000-2007

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
A very good induction into the agricole world.
My first go at a rhum from one of the legendary distilleries on Martinique.
The Trois Rivières estate has been around since 1660, but only been producing rhum from sugar cane juice since 1940.

This is the Triple Millésime composed of a blend of three of the best vintage in recent history, the 1998, the 2000 and the 2007.

So, as I said, this is typical rhum agricole made from sugar cane juice, which has been fermented for 24 hours before being distilled on a small column still.

The raw distillate has then been aged for a minimum of 7 years in a combination of french and american oak casks, before being bottled at 42% ABV and supplied with a AOC Martinique.

These days I’m not that much into long intros with mountains of more or less relevant details.

So, I will not be going deeply into the distillerys history or anything like that.

However if the history of the estate tickles your geeky nerves, hurry by the official Trois Rivieres site, and polish of your high school french.

The website is actually one of the better ones, and it delivers quite a lot of useful information.

Full disclosure: My third of a bottle was given to me by none other than Mr. Benoit Bail of The Agricole World Tour after spending several hours at his booth at a recent rum show, hogging his sidekick Jessica, who smiling and gently took us through way too many rhums in way too little time.

Thick dark grey cardboard tube with turquoise writing (I didn’t get that along with my bottle).

Somewhat typical bar room bottle, with embossed tekst near the bottom.
Faux metal necklace with the number 1660 engraved, referring to the time when the plantation was founded.

Turquoise wax seal on the top, which harbours a natural cork with a plastic stopper.

The label contains all the appropriate details, along with a short sales pitch on the back. But nothing to make your toes curl.

When you pull the cork and submit to the ever so satisfying ”pop”, and pour your self a dram, you are treated with a golden amber liquid.
In the glass it leaves nice heavy curtains subsequently spawning millions of legs.

As with most other agricoles I have tried, I am once again struck by the gentle and elegant nature of it. First impressions were quite funky though. Almost reminding me of a baby Hampden.

But as the initial funk cleared, something equally familiar emerged.

Luscious cane juice, with those typical notes og wet, grassy forest floor.

Then came the fruits. Plums, sour apples and big, juicy lemons straight from the tree.

At the very back, mild oaks, pleasant baking spices and just a little treacle.

This is beautiful and super elegant. I hope it transfers appropriately on to the palate.

At first it shows some of the same funk, as was evident on the nose.

Heavy fruitiness with lots of juicy green apples, plums and lichees, blended with some cane juice and quite a lot of tannins,

There is not much wood or any other obvious evidence of the aging, which I have found to be rather obvious in other younger agricoles.

It is light, it is tasty and its elegant. But it is lacking depth, a little balance and surprises.
It is however very approachable and easy going.

Not that long for most parts of it.

The most intense flavours fade fast, with very little fuzz.

After a few seconds it flares out just slightly, before transforming into a very long and very subtle combination of green apples and fresh cane juice, with enough tannins to leave a dry and well cleaned outdo.

Not bad at all. I could have wished for more flavours and a slower initial fade, but the whole profile of the rhum would never allow it. It’s just not that kind of rhum.

Rating and final thoughts
It’s a good rhum alright, and at the same time quite easy to forget, because of the absence of any real edge or surprises.

In a previous review I expressed an interest in trying more agricoles, and I have tried to follow that when ever the chance arose. And so far I’m glad I did.

There is no denying that agricoles brings an entirely new dimension to the rum world, and you can’t very well claim to be an enthusiast without bringing out the rhums.

The Trois Rivieres Triple Millesime is another great example of what you can get from an agricole.

A semi funky fruit bomb, with typical agricole characteristics.

Even though it has a few short comings, you should try it if you get a chance.

Usually found for Around €50, it is absolutely bonkers value for money.

I have a hard time finding a suitable competitor for it in the same price range. I have tried rums and rhums twice the price, which couldn’t even hope to compare with the Triple Millesime.

Some say that agricoles are an acquired taste, but I call that utter bull crap.

As with molasses based rum, you just have to start out right.

If you’re new to agricoles, and thought about give it a go, I would recommend this one as a great entry point.

It is pleasant, tasty and easy to approach. It shows off typical agricole flavours without going haywire with it. It is bottled at a manageable strength, which ensures that your tonsils survive the experiment. 

And at the price you could easily split it with a friend, and be done with it if the profile doesn’t suit you.

Personally, I think it hits the spot quite well and all short comings aside, it lands a…

Rating: 81/100


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