Whisky Live is an event that has been taking place for over 10 years now, originally used to promote this beloved malted barley nectar, it has steadily grown in size and featured other products.
ExcellenceRhum is not ExcellenceWhisky, we will only tell you about the exploits of Rum!
Whisky Live is therefore a gigantic toy store for thirsty kids – thirsty for knowledge of course!-. Every year, a few days, weeks, months before, everyone comes up with their strategy to have a good time. Some plan to taste everything over 2 days (3 for the pros), and end up running frantically from stand to stand, even if it means missing the explanations of our dear passionate speakers. Others, often old hands or young amateurs amazed by so many choices and resolved at the impossibility of “doing everything” go there at their own pace, squeezing every drop of knowledge from the experts who will provide great stories and good memories.
Fortunately for us, Whisky Live is above all dedicated to whisky and the rum part, if it is already very large, remains doable with a little organization.
Hoping to see you there next year, let's move on to the news:
La Maison Du Whisky, which organizes this show, presented its Transcontinental Rum Line volume 2. With packaging just as sophisticated as the previous one, there are new features to comment on. Guadeloupe 2013 Bonne Mère at Sainte Rose - An atypical profile, fruity, herbaceous and spicy.
The good old Worthy Park that will delight lovers of Jamaica
Fiji with its so typical juice, probably recognizable amongst thousands. LMDW may not have worked too hard on this bottling, the juice being pretty raw, but I liked it. However, if you want a little more finesse, roundness and expertise, you can place your trust in the Plantation Extreme Fiji which will, under the benevolent eye and the expert hand of Alexandre Gabriel, President and Cellar Master, stay for a while in Charente, in old cognac barrels.
Maison Ferrand and its brand Plantation, as every year, are present with a beautiful stand and above all some new products that come with a bang. We mentioned Fiji just above, you will find in the same range – extremely rare, jump at the chance – Guyana for this year. We end with the highlight of the show, the famous Jamaican distillery Long Pond, just bought by Ferrand, among others, we suspect that they must have gotten their hands on some nice juices! Thus we taste a Long Pond 2000, 17 years old, 51%, powerful, elegant, expensive (around 280 euros) and rare with 208 bottles.
We stay on the wacky stuff with a passage on the island of Reunion, with Savanna, a distillery skillfully mixing the different raw materials, fermentation techniques and aging in barrels. Savanna is known for its rums that really goes all over the place... so much so that when you taste a traditional 10 year old, you find yourself surprised to be almost disappointed by so much elegance and wisdom!
Let's remain on powerful juices:
Our schedule includes Herr and Lontan, which enjoy a longer fermentation. What a great idea to offer these 2 products in a 57% version, it seems the gods have heard the consumers. We almost always shed a little tear at each end of a sip of white lontan finished too soon!
What is this little Lontan 57 worth then? In line with the 40% but on steroides! Victoria pineapple, olive tapenade, a very fatty and lively mouth.
Very spicy, clove, nutmeg, liquorice. We find the farm side with herbaceous, earth, heady white flowers notes. A very nice length, without aggressiveness.
Let's move on to HERR 57, which made headlines last year with its aged version for the 60 years of LMDW described as "infused with haribo candies"
Incredible nose! Destabilizing! With a rare power on English candy. We find the artichoke, the black olive in the mouth with always this power on the nose, bewitching. Infinitely long length in the mouth.
Definitely 2 rums to own as soon as possible if you like the style, a real success. Some say it works very well in a cocktail with a little pineapple or kiwi syrup. Add a little acidity to it, you can go get the passion fruit syrup on colada.fr
At Savanna, they make something for everyone and we will channel our energy and place it in the latest agricole 9 year old cask strength calva finish
Silky, indulging, pretty woody nose with notes of cherry stone, red fruit, white peaches. There are very pleasant tobacco notes.
Confirmation of the flavors in the mouth, with a very present woodiness, Long and powerful finish. The finish in Calva casks brings roundness and delicacy, a very well made rum!
We stay in opulence and power with Worthy Park which bottles itself (not to be repeated at home, children). They move a little away from the cocktail range and show us that they know how to select their good juices. 2/3 rums emerge, not all of them incredible but which have the merit of existing. Special mention to Worthy Park aged in Oloroso barrels, the notes of Jamaican with the buttery flavors of Spanish. The oloroso provides structure and an exoskeleton…you will find lean cocoa on the finish.
The one aged in Marsala barrels left us unmoved, a few small notes of rum-raisin – that's good – in retro-olfaction on the finish but nothing crazy.
On the Neisson side… Neisson makes Neisson and does it well. The new XO juices are even better than the previous ones. The 105 profile aged in new barrels presents a nice roundness and warmth, all in delicacy.
Neisson has pulled out all the stops for this show with a lot of quite heterogeneous new products, there will be something for all tastes and all budgets, from 50€ to 2500€
Neisson L'esprit BIO is almost a column strength, it has been reduced by 1 to 2° depending on the performance of the Savalle column. Complex nose, very vegetal, hint of lemon. In the mouth it is unctuous, we find the cane with very fresh notes of pepper and lemony finish. Beautiful, very green, almost minty finish, a must-have white tasting rum. We are waiting for it impatiently.
The XO "Full Proof" completes the range with extra length for this beautiful well-bred eau-de-vie!
We will end with the spoiled child of the range, or rather the 4 Armada siblings, the youngest of which is from 1995 and the eldest from 1991... If you know Neisson you must already be wide-eyed and scratching your head to guess the price… Know that the juice and the beauty of the decanter are worth the price… On average 2200€ per bottle, to drink on your yacht.
When I met the founder of Karukera at the show, I wondered if he was not a studio actor who was asked to take a West Indian accent for the sake of legitimacy! A bit like an American film badly dubbed in French! I am teasing ! The two founders are very friendly and talk about their products with a desire to display passion and authenticity.
Undoubtedly better than the first batch of 2015. The 2016 brings roundness, abundant exotic fruits and incredible length. To be sublimated with a zest of lime or neat in tasting in the same way as a great tasting rum.
We pass in front of the Velier stand, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary and which has to drink champagne every time the prices soar – the risk is being permanently drunk.
If we will attend the commotion in November with the arrival of the novelties of the 70th anniversary, we have already been able to get our hands on the few novelties present on the stand.
Undoubtedly the most daring blend, a marriage of 15-year-old Guyanese, a 12-year-old Jamaican and a 1996 Caroni.
We learned the price, around 150€… We tell ourselves that it’s not expensive… and then we remember the prices of yesteryear! A good product nonetheless. 10000 Bottles planned.
We move on to Clairin Le Rocher, more accessible and reduced to a lower degree than the previous 3 -4 including the blend-, it will be appreciated by novices of this eau-de-vie from Haiti.
Let's finish with certainly one of the most anticipated bottles of this edition of the whisky live, the Bally 1999 cask strength. Little brother of the excellent – if not perfect – 1998, whose reviews were dreamy, this Bally was overall up to expectations. Some will find it slightly below the 1998, but let's not forget that if you want to set the bar too high, you end up being disappointed.
On this beautiful philosophical line, we end this article and we wish you great shopping to prepare for the end of the year. See you soon in new articles, the start of the school year promises to be intense!