Renegade Rum Distillery, the terroir-driven rum project based in Grenada, recently announced the August launch of a diverse new selection of four Pre-Cask white rums in the United States. An industry-challenging enterprise from Mark Reynier, the man behind the renaissance of Islay’s Bruichladdich single malt whisky and Waterford Whisky, Renegade Rum seeks to explore the effect terroir, cane variety and distillation style has on the flavor of rum.
The cane plant, rum’s primary raw ingredient, is the natural source of its flavor. Thus the land on which it grows and its microclimate determines its character. With these details in mind, Renegade Rum chose to explore the terroirs of Grenada one location and one farm, at a time – to be shared before cask ageing.
The Renegade Rum Pre-Cask Collection of rums are for spirits connoisseurs to compare and contrast original nuances, but they will also have appeal to those searching for new white spirits to create cocktails rooted in real provenance. So distinct are these cane-derived spirits that the first Pre-Cask Collection of white rums that were available in late 2021 in Europe, have already sold out with the trade and won notable awards, including Best New Rum at Vinexpo, Paris.
Renegade Rum CEO Mark Reynier says, “Even though these are among our first distillates, we have been delighted with their award-winning reception and the fact that we have commenced serious discussions around terroir, traceability and transparency in rum, adds Mark. This is a prelude, of course, to our aged rum – and we look forward to sharing our first serious studies with the world this autumn.”
Note: GSN was sent two samples for review
Single Farm Origin: Hope – On the island’s south-eastern flank, sheltered from the Atlantic Trade Winds by a narrow mangrove belt, stands this distinctive terroir. Bright, iron-red clay & pyroclastic boulders & rich, alluvial soil & its cool, high water table ensures a humid microclimate with lush cane in the driest season. For this rum they harvested the oldest of their varieties, Cain, from Mamo Field, which stands on the terroir known as Boulders. Terroir: Boulders | Variety: Cain | Pot Still
GSN’s Remarks: A fresh, grassy nose with a bright sugar cane patina. Upon tasting, the entry is crisp and warm with a somewhat sweet character, but the cane and water source used to bring the spirit down to proof are the showstoppers here. There is an initimacy and immediacy that carries you to the sunshine of the island. A very long finish leads to a slightly dry and chalky ending. Overall, this is exceptionally elegant, while at the same time authentic to its origins. Great for mixing in rum forward cocktails. GSN Rating: A+
Single Farm Origin: Lake Antoine Upper Crater Lake South – At Lake Antoine, intriguing terroirs wrap around the steep, seaward-facing slopes of a volcanic crater lake, where cane grows on granular Woburn clay loam’s sparse & dry at the summit, deep & rich at the foot’s fully exposed to the desiccating salt-laden Atlantic trade Winds. For this rum they harvested the sucrose-rich variety they call Purple Tallboy from More Field, which stands on the terroir known as Upper Crater Lake South. Terroir: Upper Crater Lake South | Variety: Purple Tallboy | Pot Still
GSN’s Remarks: Somewhat smokey entry, with a deeper, more earthy character. The sweetness is more rounded here, with a mid-palate juiciness, balanced by tight, high notes of vegetal cane. A more introspective rum that has an almost wood-like tannic edge. Quite a different experience from the Hope expression. We would tend to slowly sip this one, or add a splash of cocount water. Again, a fantastic expression that showcases the terroir and hard work that went into creating a gem of a rum. GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Renegade Rum