Less than 10 years ago, you would not make me drink a single drop of agricole white rum. But I have since crossed paths with Luca Gargano and his friend, the distiller Gianni Capovilla, who showed me Rhum Rhum PMG 56%, now one of my favorite spirits. It is a delicacy with a remarkable power and aromatic precision. This agricole pot still rum uses only (undiluted) pure cane juice by the Bielle distillery.
The other revelation of recent years is the Esprit Blanc de Neisson 70%, 70% of intense pleasure produced within the last independent distillery Martinique by a purist and great whisky connoisseur, Grégory Vernant. Even sensitive palates can give it a try despite the high ABV, and this is the great strength of high quality distillates: even at extreme levels, balance and richness tame the fire of alcohol.
Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion Island… I thought I knew it all. But this was before experiencing further the talents of Luca Gargano, a worthy heir to Christopher Columbus, set out to discover Haiti and its gems: Clairins. Sajous, Vaval and Casimir are pure cane juice distillates from spontaneous fermentations, and they are like their eponymous owners: authentic and full of characters. In a sip, they reveal strong personalities, from really fruity with absolute purity (Sajous), to almost maritime freshness (Vaval), but also inimitable notes of white truffle (Casimir).
Finally, there is the youngest: Chalong Bay. This pure cane juice pot still rum has been created by a passionate and fascinating French duo, Marine Lucchini and Thibault Spithakis. It is distilled in Thailand on the island of Phuket, the original birthplace of the sugar cane. Another gem to discover.
Adapted from – THIERRY BENITAH’s selection for www.whisky.fr
Always looking for the best casks, Thierry Bénitah, CEO of La Maison du Whisky, has contributed to the recognition of Japanese whiskies with fans. Son of Georges Bénitah, founder of La Maison du Whisky, Thierry has also been promoting from the mid-2000s other fine spirits such as rum, tequila, mezcal…