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Rhum Neisson Armada 88eme Anniversaire 4.4.8, 44.8% ABV

 

In 2020, @rhums_neisson celebrated its 88th anniversary with a special release - the Armada 88eme Anniversaire, or at times also referred to as the Armada 4.4.8. Now these aren’t just a handful of random numbers that Neisson had come up with, but rather a mirror-play on the date that this agricole rhum was distilled, on 8 April 2004 (8.4.4), aged for 17 years in Martinique, and then bottled on 23 October 2020 at an abv of 44.8% (the latter which explains the 4.4.8). As with most of the other rhums in the Armada series, it is a rather limited release, with 162 70cl bottles and 10 3L jereboams. And thank you again @the_rum_cartel for so generously sharing a dram of this rare liquid.



On the nose the 4.4.8 had quite a number of similarities with the Drop by Drop, with a nice depth and richness about it, and notes of hazelnut praline and sweet milk chocolates. But where they diverge is that the 4.4.8 was considerably more fruity, with a nice bit of peckham pears, ripe red apples, followed by wafts of gentle vanilla.

The palate was where things got rather interesting, where it had notes I had not come across before in Neisson’s rhums. It seemed a lot more savoury and rich, almost like coconut shavings and glutinous rice, with the traditional nuttiness present but dialled down a notch. The fruits were more pronounced in the middle, akin to red fruits, dried hawthorn berries perhaps, and hazelnut praline once again, while the finish brought about little hints of menthol, even a touch of dried plums, and a tad dry too, which probably stems from the reasonably long tropical aging.

The 4.4.8 then was a delicious rhum that was well constructed considering the layers of complexity, the myriad of tasting notes that aren’t exactly complementary, but yet somehow worked in this instance. Having this alongside the Drop by Drop, I can say with confidence that I preferred the 4.4.8 given its fruitier profile, but all other things considered, both would appear to be very good rhums in their own right.

 

Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu

  

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