Whole cane and nothing but the cane.Without compromise, apology or regret.
Brought to us all by the people behind Bruichladdich Scotch and Waterford Irish Whisky (Of which we have numerous reviews of the various expressions), Renegade Rum Distillery produces a number of rum expressions. All of them are Grown, Harvested, Milled, Distilled, and Bottled By the Renegade Rum Distillery in Grenada, Windward Islands.
This very particular rum is their Renegade Cane Rum Pre-Cask Single Farm Origin “Nursery” From the Upper La Calome Valley in the big pumps field. The soil is a mix of Hartman and Woburn clay loam soils and a profusion of volcanic boulders. Somewhat similar to Borderies or Maritime Cognac soil areas (?) The sucrose-rich cane is the Yellow Lady Cane Variety distilled in their Adam Pot Still. The whole idea of this project is to give the customer an unadulterated straight from the field, no wood or other dumbing down, straight up and full-on terroir experience of a rum.
In this they have accomplished a singular achievement.
As an internationally known spirit and, in particular, rum judge ( not to mention enthusiast ) I have seen and tasted 100’s of rums, been to a lot of distilleries, and can count many distillers, blenders, brokers, and friends. I can say a lot about rum and how it is made.
I will try not to bore most of my readers with a long exposition on the rum industry and the many possible negative things that could be leveled about how the bulk of rum is made commercially. I’ll leave that to for another time. Suffice it to say that most mass-produced rum is at the level of cheap blended whiskey or worse – a soulless commodity made as cheaply as possible and just this side of legal in terms of what they can get away with. Not to mention there are a lot more laws regarding whisky than rum if that clarifies things a bit. It is essentially a commodity that is bulk produced and produced as cheaply as possible, with all manner of additives, color sugars, and techniques with cost the overriding decision makers in most cases.
This rum is on the other side of the rum spectrum, much in the same and in the same spirit as Bruichladdich Scotch and Waterford Irish Whisky are. Extreme exemplars of terroir, obsessive detail and dedication to best possible techniques, relentless innovation, and not a little magic.Everything that can be analyzed and perfected, every detail/technique tweaked, and quality control that can be utilized they seem to be on it.
The goal was to produce an unrelenting and unapologetic example of a, let us say, pure strain/exemplar/etude of a very particular type of rum in its purest, virginal form, untouched by anything that would otherwise modify, obscure, or accentuate the original distillate.
It is not for everyone. Hell, it’s not for most people; it is only for people who wish to experience a rum without compromise to be singular in every aspect and made as scrupulously as possible to personify its origins.
On to the usual type of review and breakdown on what we thought….
Notes: This is part of a portfolio by Renegade Rum. We hope to be writing up some of their other offerings soon.
Appearance: Clear as liquid glass with no impurities whatsoever or separation of any components. Nicely oily and full-bodied when pouring. On swirling, it leaves a medium to heavy coating on the glass, forming a persistent edgeline that slowly recesses with a few legs and a few droplets. Very cohesive stuff.
First Impression: Heavy cane notes with massive cane/grass/vegetation notes and some funk. Reminiscent but distinct from Jamaica Clairin or other Jamaican rum ( that has not been adulterated to death – few as those are nowadays..
A whisper of sweetness, some base alkali notes, and heavy minerality in the nose let you know this is not something tailored for fear of flavor rum.
Taste: Very cane/grass-like notes with just a touch of sweetness and some massive minerality backing it up with some dry citrus and herbal notes coming through; nicely drying finish with a touch of alkali and minerals interweaving with a pleasant heat and herbal, almost peat and heather notes.
Drinks: Appreciate this rum in a good-tasting glass first to appreciate it as an examplar of a white rum, particularly from Grenada and the cane ( and still among many other things) it came from.
After that, it shines nicely in any rum cocktail that calls for a white rum, especially the simpler ones – don’t drown it in some sticky mess or use cheap ingredients or mixers. Respect the rum.
Bottle: Nice high-grade type glass with a weighted top decanter bottom. Starts oval at the bottom increasingly morphing towards angular then terminates in a square slightly rounded shoulder with a two-finger height neck.
Other: You have to look at this link Which is the relentlessly and lovingly detailed genealogy of this rum and every aspect imaginable about it.
Final Thoughts: An excellent rum for those seeking singular rum expression to explore and savor.
Like its Sisters (Bruichladdich And Waterford Whisky) this website reflects the passion, obsession, and a touch of madness when it comes to the sheer beauty, quality, and loving attention to detail that make ALL their websites the standards that others should be judged by. Not only does it contain a massive amount of information, but it is also well laid out, easy and logical to follow, and leaves no detail unexplored. Very few spirits could withstand such a detailed telling or examination of all its aspects.
Highly recommend for both the information, and also as an outstanding example of a website to aspire too.