Just a simple and straightforward tasting session today, with a current Blanc and an older vintage by La Mauny.
La Mauny Ter Rouj (45%): The red soil. Apparently they ran special fermentations for this batch, which pays homage to the red-coloured soil near the land where their sugar cane is grown. Nose: Fruity, spicy, and relatively sharp – blindly I would have called more than 45%! I’d describe the profile as a mix of papaya, pepper, chili, sugar cane (yeah…), red paprika and mineral notes. Good, yet unspectacular at the same time, but it doesn’t always have to go lights out, no!? Palate: Not as sharp as the nose but somehow still sharper than I think it should be. Flavourwise, it is relatively mellow and balanced though, with vanilla, kiwi, oranges and once again this whiff of chili. The similarities with the nose aren’t very big, which is a real plus here. Finish: Short and meaty with soil, mineral notes but also kinda flowery in a sense. It’s maybe actually the best part of the Rhum after all. It’s not bad, sure, yet it is not a product I’d go and chase. I think I prefer the stanrdard Blanc, even. (78/100)
La Mauny Millésimé 1979 (43%): The oldest La Mauny I know. Nose: I am inclined to say that this is typical La Mauny, even though more than 30 years separate this bottling from the next oldest vintages I’ve had. It is very rich and woody, with oak, walnuts, banana chips, oily notes, chestnut, unripe cherries and a hint of papaya perhaps. After a while also sweeter, almost syrupy notes of red fruits. The nose is really, really good! Palate: Ultra smooth with a very dense and almost syrupy texture. The Rhum has the drinkability of a 43% bottling but the depth, texture and intensity of a full proof one. It is a mix between the sweet and woody, with a hint of bitter and fruity notes. Sweet cherries, grenadine and raspberries make the start and are followed by oak, papaya, the nuts from the nose and something closer to coffee. Especially those slightly bitter notes towards the end are essential here to balance out the sweeter nuances, which works very well in my opinion. Finish: Medium long with woody and bitter notes, a few spices from the cask and definitely the nuts again. Here and there a few of the sweeter, more fruity notes pop up though. A fine Rhum, which makes me wonder why La Mauny didn’t release more vintage bottlings like its bigger brother Trois Rivières for example. (88/100)