Trois Rivières vintages from the 1970s and 1980s today. They should all be around ten to twelve years old but I do not have the exact numbers for all of the bottlings. But that’s of secondary concern, as there should be one or two real gems among them, at least.
Trois Rivières 1986 10YO (45%): Nose: Nice! It is sweet and fruity with mango, cherries, lots of vanilla, tonka, strawberries even, some wood, simple syrup, macadamia nuts and deeper in the glass even some herbs. I really love this sweetness in the nose, but I hope that the palate will be a bit drier. Palate: It is. Still sweet, but more than tolerable. I’d describe it as ripe fruits and picking out any specific ones wouldn’t do the Rhum much justice I think. A rum pot with overproof Jamaican Rum would be a good description, I think. Thick sugar crystals, cherry tomatoes and a few herbs are additional notes that I am clearly picking up. A really, really great one. Finish: “Thin”, fragile but not short and rather complex actually. The aromas come and go but it is tough getting hold of them. For me, that’s always an indicator of a great Rum and here it isn’t any different. It definitely set the bar pretty high and I wonder what else we are about to get. (89/100)
Trois Rivières 1982 (45%): Nose: Slightly less fruity than the 1986 but we still get a potpourri of tropical (stone) fruits, bananas, cinnamon, oak, vanilla, sour cherries, hints of red grapes and even some wood varnish. It is kinda all over the place but I think that this is one that should really settle down somewhere. Let’s see; palate: Apples, sugar cane and cinnamon are my first impressions, while apricot, oak and broccoli are definitely in the mix as well. It is a really straightforward profile that is nicely placed between fruity, spicy and vegetal, which is a rare sight. Finish: Quite long with wood and spices. Here and there herbs, cola and more nuts. It is a really good one, just one that isn’t special in any regard besides the mentioned balance of the flavour camps. (85/100)
Trois Rivières 1980 10YO (45%): Nose: Oh dear, this is lovely and ideally placed between glue, cherry, overripe strawberry, chocolate, a wild mix of just as wild herbs, wood, slightly musty notes (in the good sense) and some “creamy” impressions which I think drive the texture. This smells incredibly thick and full and if the palate is only half as good, it is still going to be a proper treat. Palate: This one does it all. We get a (non-sweet) desert with slightly bitter chocolate, whipped cream, a strawberry on top and some cherry juice mixed in. After that a good Espresso with wood sticks and spices. Wow! What more can you ask for? It is clearly not perfect, but one of the best juice based Rhums I’ve ever had I think. It is incredible how balanced this is, despite its complexity. Finish: Long with rich chocolate, marzipan, dark cherries and quite some wood. Did we already find a winner? I think it is going to pretty freaking hard to beat this one. (91/100)
Trois Rivières 1979 (45%): That was amazing. On with the 1970s. Nose: Quite fruity and almost on the same level as the 1980, even though its profile is quite different. Apples and peaches make the start but dry oranges, tangerine and spices from the cask (pepper, nutmeg) are soon to follow. With more time, it is becoming exceedingly drier and we shift from a profile that has been dominated by the fruits to one that is shaped much more by the barrel. A really cool transformation and a perfect example of why you should give these Rums the time they need. Palate: Quite spicy with pepper, cinnamon, vanilla and oak. Then a mix of pears and apples and behind that, the oils of juicy oranges as well as their bitters. With the third sip also more sweet and fruity notes, which really help the Rhum. Finish: Medium long, with the spices, first and foremost. The nose was incredibly nice, the palate just very good. At the end of the day, both impressions last for us. (88/100)
Trois Rivières 1977 (45%): Nose: Compared to what we’ve just had, this one is really flat and boring. Some hay, grains, wood, spices here and there, but not much of what was so exciting about the previous ones. Too bad, really. After a while we get a whiff of grenadine, vanilla and a few nuts perhaps, which kinda rescues the nose here. Crucially, it is getting a tad sweeter, I feel, but probably that’s just my mind playing tricks on me. Anyway, as I’ve said before: These Rhums need time. Palate: Quite sweet and mellow with corn, oak, sugar, apples and cauliflower perhaps. Unlike the others, it is closer to these vegetal Agricoles that I do not really have a weakness for but that doesn’t mean that it is bad at all. Unfortunately, subsequent sips do not really add much, neither for the better, nor for the worse. Finish: Sweet, short, and slightly fragile. The few nice elements that are there really seem to break down immediately. While we do not love it as much, it is still a well-made Rhum, albeit one with a few minor flaws and a flavour profile that doesn’t really suit our personal palate. (81/100)