Charrette – An intense period of design or planning activity. May refer to any collaborative session in which a group of desingers drafts a solution to a design problem.
But maybe, just maybe, it really just refers to a cart.
Anyway, it kinda feels a bit like self-flagellation from time to time lately. When I started with this blog I didn’t really expect to also review a lot of stuff which I do not enjoy. Nevertheless this has got a bit out of hand recently, and I don’t really know why. The need to do cross-tastings and include almost everything we can find and explore new things out of curiosity seem to be major drivers. Anyway, we do have Charrette today, which hails from La Réunion. The only rhum I had from the brand (it’s only a brand after all and they source their rums from all of La Réunions distilleries) was their Blanc, which was probably the worst Blanc I’ve ever had. So once again let me ask the question: why am I doing this to myself!? But maybe the aged expressions aren’t that bad.
Charrette Ambré (40%): We’ve got to be brave! Nose: Vanilla, a mix of aspargus and chicory, more vegetal and earthy notes, cinnamon perhaps but no matter how hard I try, there’s no way this could be borderline solid rhum. Now more salty elements and iodine perhaps. Meh. Palate: Just like the nose. Now It all starts with salt and vanilla, with the vegetal and earthy notes luring in the back. Actually it is not quite as bad as I feared as the cinnamon is a lovely nuance here. Now also green banana. It reminds me a bit of some aged Cachacas actually. With subsequent sips I must say that we’ve had a lot of worse stuff actually. Not my cup of tea but lovers of very mild and cinnamon-intense Cachacas might give this a try. The finish is short with vanilla, cinnamon and the salty notes. Okay, okay, I take it back. It is drinkable, if only barely. (58/100)
Charrette Traditionnel 3YO (40%): I take that this is older than the Ambré and if I hadn’t known better, I would have said that this is a considerably higher abv. In the nose I still find mostly the salty notes, reminiscent of a fresh sea breeze. Then the vegetal and earthy components without any of the mellow, cinnamon-like fragrances though. Instead I get more grassy vibes, which are closer to fresh-cut grass than to what many associate with Martinican agricole. The palate is spicier and sharper and I am a bit puzzled why I like this more all of a sudden. Given that it has the same abv as the Ambré, that would actually be a bad sign. What is more, it doesn’t increase the rhum’s intensity but it kinda needs this extra power nevertheless. Tastewise, there’s nothing really worth pointing out though… What a pity. Finish: Short, boozy and completely uninspiring. Oh my. So things actually did go worse. Sure, it is drinkable and some of you might even like this, but I don’t. What is more, I don’t think I will ever do Charrette again. Sorry folks but La Réunion has so much more and better to offer. (56/100)