Rum is a spirit made from sugar cane or by-products of the sugar industry. Originating in the Americas, this alcohol is produced by fermentation and then distillation. Its percentage of alcohol can vary considerably, but it must be at least 37.5%.
Sometimes translucent, sometimes amber, sometimes brown, this eau de vie forms the basis of many cocktails.
Taste Island Signature Rums
With four vintages from Mauritius, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, the colourful "Island Signature" collection presents rums of incredible freshness that reflect the unique character of their land of origin.
In the greatest French tradition, each of these "Grands Crus" is the result of a complex blend of different distilleries, revealing the organoleptic map of rum's great origins.
These rums offer a perfect balance of elegance, complexity and richness.
- Anacaona, icon of the mythology of the Antilles, is a true tribute to the elegance of the Caribbean woman. With great finesse, this elegant rum surprises with its precision and fragile balance.
- Tierra Madre, tribute to the providential “Mother Nature”, typically reflects the excellence of Guatemalan rums. The climate, the volcanic soils and a slow maturation of the brandies bring to this rum elegance and tonicity.
- Yellow Snake, name of the python endemic to Jamaica, this rum reveals all the subtlety the power and the singularity of the sugar cane brandies from a mythical island whose name evokes the great pirates based in Port Royal.
- Turquoise Bay, a reference to a bay in Mauritius, reconciles the clever balance of rums from pure sugar cane juice with molasses rums. At the first sip, it is all the sweetness and the perfumes of the island which embraces the palate, sweet and delicious spices accompany and prolong this tasting.
All rums in the Island Signature Collection feature a particularly complex blend. This «French Touch» that we claim is the secular know-how, making the reputation of France in alcohol in general and in rums in particular.
How is rum made?
Rum is made either directly from pressed cane juice (or vesou), or from molasses, the residue from the sugar industry.
Molasses, with its high sugar concentration, also has the advantage of being preserved at low temperatures. Over 90% of the world's rum production is made from molasses, both to make use of this waste product from the sugar industry for which no other use is known, and because molasses keeps well.
1st method, agricultural rum
The vesou (fresh cane juice) is fermented for 2-3 days, generally with wild yeasts in the purest tradition (Haiti), or industrial yeasts (well, wild+industrial in this case, as yeasts are found everywhere in the ambient air). The resulting wine or must is then distilled, at 5-6° proof. This yields just under 100 liters of 55° rum per ton of cane.
The main characteristic of rhum agricole, a genuine cane brandy, is its freshness, which rises to the nostrils as soon as the nose approaches the glass.
2nd way, molasses or sugar mill rum
Before discussing molasses rum, it's important to understand how sugar is made.
Instead of fermenting, as in the case of rhum agricole, the cane juice is immediately heated until it forms sugar crystals. The water evaporates, and the solid, unprocessed residue, also high in sugar content, is called molasses.
The molasses can then be transported to another distillery, possibly in temperate latitudes such as New England in the 18th century, or processed on site in the rum/distillery attached to the sugar refinery.
The molasses is then diluted with water, fermented for a period ranging from 24 hours for light rums intended as a neutral base for cocktails, to 12 days for "grand arôme" type rums (a specialty of the Galion sugar factory in Martinique) intended for cooking or for blending with other, less aromatic rums, or for drinking as is, as in the case of Jamaican rums.
After these various stages, the resulting wine is distilled to produce molasses rum.
More anecdotally, rum can also be produced from battery syrup, cane honey or cane syrup (Botran, for example).
For both agricultural and artisanal rums, you can use a "Jamaica"-type still, which reuses heads (80°) and tails (5-8°) from previous distillations, or a column still (single or double).
Aging in tropical latitudes, such as the Caribbean, is particularly demanding, as the proportion of angels is much higher there than in Scotland or France, for example (around 7%/year vs. 1-2% in temperate latitudes).
Rum can be bottled as it comes out of the still, but after a few weeks in brewing vats to make it more harmonious: this is white rum (85% of world production).
It can also, of course, be aged in casks.