Google A few white rums

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

June 26, 2022


  A word of caution
Let me please remind you that my humble assessments of any spirits are done from the point of view of a malt whisky enthusiast who, what's more, is aboslutely not an expert in rum, brandy, tequila, vodka, gin or any other spirits. Thank you – and peace!


A few white rums

This after rather poorly chosen white tequilas last week. People would tend to believe that white rums, while note not all unaged, would be fresher, if not lighter, and handle ice much better than 'golden', 'brown', 'anejos', 'aged rums', whatever. Which sometimes leads to insane consumptions and, as a consequence, rather strange behaviours in public. Including wearing Hawaiian shirts, or pink, orange and yellow. Together.


Trois Rivières 'Cannes Brûlées' (43%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-2020)

Trois Rivières 'Cannes Brûlées' (43%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-2020) Four stars
interestingly, this one is not totally white, but I doubt it was aged. It is a single-varietal rhum (rozeau cane) from a single location, where they have burnt the canes before the harvest, which is an old method that was used to get rid of leaves… and snakes. It is said that it was making the rums slightly smoky, let's see (hope they haven't finished this in ex-Laphroaig wood – yes some do that in the Caribbean)…  Colour: very, very pale white wine. Nose: oh, some mezcaly rum. Olives, brine, faint smoke indeed (charcoal), seawater, capers, then damp chalk and plaster. A very pleasant surprise, I would suppose you could make some kind of rum margarita with this. Mouth: dry, simpler, but clearly salty and smoky. Some lime and, indeed, a wee feeling of 'peat'. Extremely intriguing… Finish: medium, with similar flavours. Grilled bacon in the aftertaste. Comments: surprise surprise! It would be funny to try to burn barley too, but I doubt you could then malt it. Nah, forget.
SGP:462 - 85 points.

Bologne 'Black Cane' (50%, OB, Guadeloupe, agricole, +/-2020)

Bologne 'Black Cane' (50%, OB, Guadeloupe, agricole, +/-2020) Two stars and a half
Why write it in English and not in French? Wouldn't 'Canne Noire' be understandable too? Colour: rock crystal. Right. Nose: this one's very fresh indeed, without any 'mezcalness' of course, and rather on pure fresh cane juice. I just couldn't even consider spotting the differences between black cane, blue cane, grey cane or else, but indeed this is very soft and a notch grassy. With water: brings out a little medicinal alcohol, or raw apple spirit 'burnt' at 85% vol. or more. Also whiffs of shoe polish and plasticine. Mouth (neat): very sweet. Lime liqueur and touches of earth, as well as plain sugarcane. With water: good but not sure this one's meant to be sipped like this. Cane syrup. Finish: a little short, sugary and grassy. Comments: there was much more oomph and body in the Trois Rivières. Perhaps only for ti' punch? Now it is not even very caney…

SGP:641 - 77 points.

Rhum Charrette (49%, OB, La Réunion, +/-2022)

Rhum Charrette (49%, OB, La Réunion, +/-2022) Three stars
We're in the Indian ocean this time. Many people in France are using Charrette when they make cocktails, it's got a pretty good reputation (and it's sometimes said to be 'fast', see what I mean…) Colour: white as white water. Nose: pure cane juice, even if this is actually 'rhum traditionnel', so made with molasses. Sometimes also called 'rhum de sucrerie', or 'rhum industriel', which is not very appealing, we agree. Nice earthiness, with some lime as well, touches of fennel, celery… Mouth: very all right, with rather a lot happening, more lime, roots, earth, touches of lavender. Now it would also tend to become a little burning, hot… Finish: medium, a tad more alcoholy, but the lime and fennel are back in the aftertaste. Comments: serious rum. Never overlook these just because they're dirt cheap – I think I paid approx.. 15€ for a 100cl bottle. Which is, we agree, dearer than US$2  for a bottle of some excellent Cuban artisanal aguardiente (true story).

SGP:651 - 80 points.

Clément 'Canne Bleue 2019' (50%, OB, Martinique, agricole, 2020)

Clément 'Canne Bleue 2019' (50%, OB, Martinique, agricole, 2020) Three stars
Always a lot of hoopla around these vintaged bottles but the ones I could already try have been a little underwhelming. Let's check this one… Colour: very white. Nose: well, this is nicer than I was expecting, rather earthier and thicker, with a lot of caney aromas, plus touches of violets and liquorice, plus some fresh putty. Now it is not very long on the nose and would tend to lose steam… With water: a saltiness, some brine, seawater… Well, this vintage was much better than earlier ones, as I remember those. Lemon and cucumber in the background. Mouth (neat): yes, good! A little sweet but with good rootiness, cane, and aniseed plus affiliated flavours (dill etcetera). With water: does not fall apart at all, even if it would tend to become a little sugary. Finish: medium, softer, but with good sugarcane, orange juice rather than lemon, and a drop of seawater in the aftertaste. Comments: I know this won't make any sense, but 'I'm glad I'm liking it'.

SGP:651 - 81 points.

La Favorite 'Rivière Bel'Air récolte 2020' (53%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-2020)

La Favorite 'Rivière Bel'Air récolte 2020' (53%, OB, Martinique, agricole, +/-2020) Four stars and a half
This is pure red cane as well as single-plot rhum. The place is called, as you've guessed it, Rivière Bel'Air. Colour: white as the whitest diamond (that'll do, S.) Nose: this one's more perfumy and floral. Violets and ylang-ylang, vetiver, celeriac in the back, yuzu, oyster plant, perhaps borage… Would become more and more citrusy over time. In short, more yuzu. Tiny whiffs of, say Dove. With water: Woolite, washing powder… I know, sounds odd but it is lovely. Mouth (neat): very much to my liking, with a lot of expression and assertiveness (whaaat?) Wonderful small citrus, even more yuzu, kumbawa, lime… All that covered with drizzlings of pure sugarcane syrup. I'm finding this luminous. With water: doesn't get too sugary this time, yuzu and lime are standing guard. Finish: medium, fresh, rooty and citrusy, with touches of earth and tar (hurray). Comments: probably as good as white rum can be but keep watching your bottles or they will evaporate in a flash, for no reasons.
SGP:661 - 88 points.

A1710 'La Perle 2019' (54.5%, OB, Martinique, agricole, 761 bottles, +/-2020)

A1710 'La Perle 2019' (54.5%, OB, Martinique, agricole, 761 bottles, +/-2020) Three stars and a half
This is single-varietal, single-estate rum, made in both a colonne créole and a wee Charentais still (cognac). I think A1710 is a new distillery. Colour: as white as Tom Cruise's teeth (S., that's enough!) Nose: certainly different, rather more on vegetables and even meats, as if some very different yeasts have been in use. Very curious notes of manioc, plantain bananas, asparagus, samphires, olives… Intriguing, very intriguing, more fermentary than the others. Old hay. With water: brakes and new Tupperware stuff, a little coriander (leaves). Mouth (neat): certainly salty and fermentary. Some bananas – for the first time today -  and, well, even more bananas. Banana wine. With water: careful with water. Salted bananas and pears, that's what I'm getting. Or some kinds of chutneys? Finish: rather long, with the same molecules at the helm. Comments: very interesting distillate, very different. We'll try to check it more often.
SGP:641 - 84 points.

Longueteau 'Constellation' (57.5%, OB, Guadeloupe, agricole, 2018)

Longueteau 'Constellation' (57.5%, OB, Guadeloupe, agricole, 2018) Four stars
This one was released to celebrate the 40 years of the Route du Rhum, a fantastic race that goes from Saint-Malo in Brittany to Pointe-à-Pitre, the largest city in Guadeloupe. Colour: white. Nose: plain and pure cane juice, with just a drop of diesel oil. That's what I've always enjoyed in white Longueteau, with this slightly more rustic and grassy side after the Martiniquais. Some awesome absinth, liquorice and olives coming out too. With water: no changes, just a little more lemon zests and a hint of juniper. Mouth (neat): oily, a little, cough, strong, but this liquorice and the touches of aniseed would just work. With water: williams pears popping out, other than that, we have olives, brine, petrol, crushed anchovies, aniseed, liquorice… Finish: same flavours in the very long finish. A curious feeling of salty pastis in the aftertaste. Comments: top white agricole, with a gorgeous fatness.

SGP:562 - 87 points.

Good, I think we've had enough French ones, let's move to pastures new…

Monymusk 'Overproof White Rum' (63%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2020)

Monymusk 'Overproof White Rum' (63%, OB, Jamaica, +/-2020) Three stars
Let's not let this one kill us! It's made by National Rums of Jamaica and says it was 'triple distilled', so ex-pot still, and from a blend of molasses and cane juice as I understand it. Colour: white as a sheet. Nose: I think they have used some dunder in there, but I'm finding this bizarrely gentle, even soft, with several ripe fruits and rather flowers, especially wisteria, also geranium flowers (I keep insisting, no stems and no leaves). Imagine I'm even finding a little limoncello. Intriguing and very far from what compadres Hampden or WP are doing with their whites. With water: a little petrol indeed, leaves, seaweed, a drop of liquid soap – I won't mention hand sanitizer – and cane juice plus bananas. Not a high-ester Jamaican. Mouth (neat): burns you a little bit. Tough, when undiluted, although you would rather detect soft fruits and even sugars, icing sugar and all that. Quick, with water: closer to cane juice, with also drops of tequila and banana liqueur. A little brine and lime juice too. Finish: rather long, a little more 'Jamaican' at this point, you do feel a little dunder indeed. Comments: all right, a very good white, even if it's perhaps a little, say bipolar.

SGP:652 - 80 points.

Renegade 'Pre cask Old Bacolet 2020' (50%, OB, Grenada)

Renegade 'Pre cask Old Bacolet 2020' (50%, OB, Grenada)
As they do at sister Distillery Waterford in Ireland, a lot of details are given. This is single farm (Old Bacolet) and even single field (Josh), single harvest (2020), single varietal (Cain cane) and all distilled in pot stills. For some reason that I may explain later, I shall not score these babies and will just try to describe them, thanks for your understanding. Colour: white. Nose: a rather petroly cane, some elderflowers perhaps, a little paraffin and broom, some overripe, brown bananas, fermented damsons (you believe me on that)... With water: brine, brake fluid, plus a little sake. Mouth (neat): it's a fat spirit, just like brother Waterford. Should be the pot stills. Other than that, I find that it's rather got a little bit of several known styles as far as textured rums go, something agricole, something Jamaican, even something from La Réunion, or even from Demerara. It's very intriguing that it would be some kind of synthesis. With water: clearly agricole-style now, even if this is ex-pot still and not colonne créole. Freshness and texture. Finish: medium to long, still with a feeling of 'synthesis'. Fish cooked in pastis in the aftertaste. Comments: another meaning of that old expression, self-blend. Which is funny as this is the exact opposite of a blend.

Renegade 'Pre cask Pearls 2021' (50%, OB, Grenada)

Renegade 'Pre cask Pearls 2021' (50%, OB, Grenada)
Farm is Pearls, field is Grapefruit, varietal is Yellow Lady, and of course this is ex-pot stills again. It is a funny feeling to do exactly what we've already been doing at Bruichladdich twenty years ago, trying to compare new makes from different farms and terroirs. Colour: white. Nose: the difference are huge, but the style is the same. I would say that variations would be more obvious than with whiskies such as Bruichladdich or Waterford. Long story short, petrol and rotting bananas up, definition higher, some parsley and coriander appearing, yet complexity a little lower. And strawberries! Water not needed. Mouth (neat): seemingly closer to the Bacolet, but I won't keep playing the 'find the differences' game or I'll down a litre of each and keep hesitating… Finish: rather long, perhaps a little smokier? Comments: one day someone will smoke sugarcanes, but you have to do that on location as they just wouldn't travel – and cane juice is even worse. What's more, rather funnily, I find these closer to Islay than Waterford is.

Let's quickly try a few more…

Renegade 'Pre cask Dunfermline 2020' (50%, OB, Grenada)

Renegade 'Pre cask Dunfermline 2020' (50%, OB, Grenada)
Red cane this time. This one's much more different, with some kind of waxy sulphur (good), white asparagus and green tea, white truffles, fennel seeds, borage… The palate is rather thick, with some salted liquorice (salmiak) and a blend of manzanilla with sake, plus late-harvest pinot gris. Absolutely. No, really. Not totally my favourite nose, but probably my favourite palate this far.


Renegade 'Pre cask New Bacolet 2021' (50%, OB, Grenada)

Renegade 'Pre cask New Bacolet 2021' (50%, OB, Grenada)
Red cane this time again (Lacalome red). Back to the more 'regular' style. What's extremely troubling is that these are all pretty different when you first quick-nose them, while they would then converge. That's why the best method remains to 'quick-sniff' and to never, ever keep your nose over or in your glass for more than one second or two in a row, because your brain will instantly start to filter/enhance what you get. What I mean is that when tasting spirits, you really need to trick your own brain so that it doesn't trick you. Anyway, there's actually more gasoline in this nose. Fresh palate, salty and lemony, with many herbs, angelica, wild carrot, wormwood… 


Last one…

Renegade 'Pre cask Dunfermline 2020 column' (50%, OB, Grenada)

Renegade 'Pre cask Dunfermline 2020 column' (50%, OB, Grenada)
Indeed you could believe we already quick-tried this one but this time it's been distilled in a column still, while the other Dunfermline was ex-pot-still. This is also another field (Skeans) but the 'terroir' is just the same. It's called Mango Lane; indeed Sir Paul could write a song… Well, the nose here explains why pot stills are so vastly superior, unless you've got real short columns and/or shunt the plates. All right, it's a delicate nose, rather floral and gently perfumy, with many small herbs, flowers and teas, but in my book the robust and rustic pot still version works better. That's not exactly the same on the palate, where differences are a little less obvious. You lose oils, you win fruits and sweetness, plus sweet roots, even beets (that's the last straw) and salsify. Nothing is obvious in these matters.


Good, I've been keeping all these Renegades for a good twelve months to let them settle down and find their equilibrium. Right, their balance. To be totally honest, just like a good Bordeaux, they were first a little closed and 'jumbled-over' at the same time, and that's why I had decided to give then at least ten months of rest. Not the worst idea I've ever had (hum-hum), but I'll say no more.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all rums we've tasted so far







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