Occurring every year in a row, the Rhum Fest of Paris, the essential Rum event, is usually taking over the Parc Floral of Vincennes in Spring, with an even larger exhibition area to celebrate the arrival of Rum within its phase of maturity. A premium event by sponsored by the Rum Porter magazine.
At this Rhum Fest, where are welcomed 50 exhibitors, 40 animation sessions, 2500 individual visitors and 2800 professionals, it’s always the occasion to discover the legendary brands but also the last trends. This fair remains for professionals, in order to favor the comfort and the fluidity of the visitors, plus to make them live an optimal Rum tasting experience, in the best conditions, through limiting the number of entries. Plus, each year the Rum brands are competing within the biggest Rum contest of the World, so-called the Rhum Fest Awards, where 350 samples are tested by a jury composed of 60 professionals.
Then, we will have a further look below about some of the French actors of this wide Rum galaxy, whether their cane juice arises from different sides of the Planet. Just to prove that Rum has no borders and is renewing all the time! By Alex Plato
Pursuing our exotic journey, we are pleased to announce the release of the latest creation from Plantation Rum! This Maison Ferrand‘s property is glad to hose your favorite nearest department store, with this exotic wave of flavors, arising straight from the Pacific Ocean! Kindly baptized Isle of Fiji, this singular amber Rum has been imagined in tribute to the heavenly landscapes of these illustrious and so distant Fiji Islands, deeply anchored in the Polynesian Archipelago 🇫🇯
Indeed, you surely keep a sunny picture in your mind within their pristine lagoons and their lush jungles, this Isle of Fiji tenderly created by Plantation Rum tends to reflect the beauty of this postcard from faraway, as an ode to the beauty of the local endemic fauna and flora. For instance, a particular attention has been paid to the Fiji native iguana Fiji is highlighted in the azure blue packaging of the bottle, surrounded by natural barrel strings, reminiscent of the local lagoons (photo credits: Jokes Brew).
With this original creation, the Maison Ferrand, led since 1989 by the Master Blender named Alexandre Gabriel, wished to offer a premium Rum with a powerful personality, to the mainstream market. This is not the first time that this French independent distillery, famous for its various inspired spirits, initiated such an avant-garde synergy. Already strong with its own brands, declined in many specialities, as proves the essences developed by Plantation Rum, but also Ferrand Cognac and Gin Citadelle (have a look on our other article). It’s true that this laboratory of gustatory ideas has not stopped to surprise us!
Especially here, where their distinctive know-how is identifiable in the distillation process of this Rum, since their original double aging signature, paired with a certain Fijian tradition, generated a Rum enriched with warm notes of exotic fruits and raisin. Indeed, this double tropical and continental aging method is not innovative for a Rum, but here it’s the fruit of ancestral techniques and a local sugar cane. Moreover, this juice is enhanced by one of the purest waters of the world, doubled by a real volcanic rooted terroir, resulting in a very high quality sugar cane. For you information, all the processing stages are operated by craftsmen, since canes are cut by hand, before being crushed in old sugar mills (photo credits: Just Rum With It).
Furthermore, the Isle of Fiji Rum is first aged, between 2 and 3 years, in Bourbon barrels, basically in a hot and humid tropical climate. These parameters accelerate the aging process and offer to this elixir a notable complexity, completed with its inner exotic accents. Then, the ensemble follows its journey to reach Cognac (in France), in order to accomplish its ultimate aging stage, this time under more continental conditions, in the proper Maison Ferrand oak barrels. This last period, common to all the other Plantation Rums, provides here the homemade and unique character.
Regarding its smell, you could easily feel its intense notes of molasses and pear at first sight, followed by more fruity notes, several evocations of apple, banana, gooseberry, and even a wedding between the spicy nutmeg and vanilla, underlined into a smoky undertone, at the end. Once in your palate, a coherent round and gourmet taste, starts with notes of vanilla, plus honey before leaving room for a cocktail of exotic fruits, composed of ginger, plum and coconut. Soft like the Fijian sun, this suave amber Rum displays then intense fruity aromas, along hints of spices and on top of that, a touch of smokey caramel. You would be amazed by its lush finish, ending on a smooth dried banana and some allspice suggestions (photo credits: Maison Ferrand).
By the way, Plantation Rum advises you to enjoy it wether pure or in a cocktail of coconut water and a dash of lemon juice, the all on ice. This 40% Rum is exclusively distributed in supermarkets, in a 70 cl bottle, for a recommended price of 29,90€. Bula! as we say in the Fiji Islands…
American oak barrels, formerly used for the aging of Kentucky Bourbon, were included in the process to maturate the cane juice imported from Antigua to Cognac, the final production step. And after nearly 3 years of work, the brand was launched in October 2015 at a trade show organized by their French distributor, the Dugas company.
This Moon Rhum Gold can either be tasted nature, to enhance your aperitif time, or even in the shape of a cocktail, for example a Mojito.
This alternative Rum, still distilled in Bordeaux, already offers aromas of vanilla, from the first sight A frank attack on the first sip would express you, in addition to vanilla, its disseminated herbaceous notes.
Once again, Moon Harbour recommends you to enjoy it on ice (as an aperitif or digestive) or in a cocktail (such as the classics Ti-Punch, Caïpirinha), in order to further enhance this French product exclusivity.
Not so far away, we could have a focus on the Panama Rum, and more precisely the Serum Rums, distributed by France Liqueurs, that already existed during the building and to celebrate the Panama Canal birthday. Dating from the late 19th century, this Serum was born during the arduous and often deadly construction of this giant Panamerican construction project. Indeed, tormented by malaria, weakened by malnutrition and tired by backbreaking work. Countless workers have lost their lives, because of prominent diseases. As the need is the mother of the invention, the mothers and sisters of the besieged workers were inspired to improve their local Rum by adding dried fruits, herbs and spices (photo credits: Rum Serum).
Luckily, searching through the inventory of drugs left by his predecessor, the Colonel William Crawford Gorgas came across several barrels of aromatic rum and an old recipe for a most unusual potion. On closer inspection, he discovered that the Rum was actually an elixir of a local manufacture containing dried fruits and herbs healing properties. The natives called this perfumed Serum spirit. It is believed that the Colonel Gorgas was so fascinated by the purity of this Serum that he consumed all at once, except one of tons.
Finally, you may find three Rums, three tastes, three bottles for three stories, belonging to Panama and each one of them is effectively unique. That’s why three methods and three experiments melt in one, since a different production process is used for each Serum to create a proper taste. The sugar cane used in the Serum Rums evolves in the Pesé Valley, a small province of Herrera, a small region with ideal climatic conditions for its cultivation. Then, the cane sugar juice is fully manufactured in Panama, due to a careful process for the rest of the ripening. It is prepared, fermented and distilled, using an advanced system of stainless steel columns where fresh Rum or Eau-de-vie is obtained and then used to produce this Serum. After that, the long aging process starts again in oak barrels.
Last but not least, we’ll have a look on the exotic rums… imported in France by the Bruant Distribution, created by Désiré Bruant, a winemaker, based in Ormes, founded his own Bruant spirits house, back in 1877, reacting to the phylloxera epidemics that decimated his vineyard. The historical activity of wine merchant was transmitted from father to son, then developed and enriched under the impulse of each generation. After Maurice, Marcel and Michel, Benoit and Isabelle Bruant took over the company in 1993. Moreover, they decided to split the wine merchant business from the Bruant Distribution in 2012, in order to meet the growing demand from professional customers, throughout France. Thus, this company specializes nowadays in the distribution of spirits and wines for professionals (wine merchants, bars and restaurants). Here are presented below, a couple of their Rum nuggets (photo credits: Bruant Distribution).
The Deadhead Rum, an imported product from Mexico, is a subtly six-year-old complex Rum. It is the culmination result of an assembly of two Rums, that were distilled and aged differently. Furthermore, their bottle is striking and very original, thanks to the shape of a reduced monkey head.
Adding to this, their first Rum is distilled into small batches from fresh sugarcane juice that has slowly fermented and double distilled in copper stills, in order to remove impurities, plus to preserve flavors and aromas. Then, its 6 years aged juice takes place in burned American oak barrels.
The second Rum is produced, using a traditional method, in a single column, from rich and patiently fermented molasses. Thereafter, also matured for 6 years, in heavily roasted American or Chiapas oak barrels.
Exploring another part of the Blue Planet with the Wild Tiger Rums selection. The avid Rum lovers should have look to those Indian amazing creations, starting by their bold and unique packaging. Indeed, the original Wild Tiger Rum wears a charming orange fur, whereas the Wild Tiger Spiced Rum‘s fur is fully intense red and therefore even harder to miss (photo credits: Wild Tiger).
The range expands with the recent launch of Wild Tiger Spiced Rum, an Indian spiced Rum, which comes adorned with red fur to distinguish it from its predecessor. The brand’s founder, Guatom Menon, travels the world praising its proper Rums, from the Kerala region, which is at the heart of the tigers conservation! For your information, spiced Rums are usually known for their strongly sweet and vanilla flavors.
This one is rather far from it by its complex taste as well as its note of cardamom which dominates in a singular way more than all the other spices. In recent months, the Wild Tiger Rums have been roaring in many countries such as Denmark, Austria, Belgium, Romania, Germany, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and for sure in France, still thanks to Bruant Distribution, their exclusive distributor. In total, the Wild Tiger Rum range nowadays reaches a worldwide distribution of at least 40 countries.
This version would undoubtedly amaze you, with the help of its very dry side, with whom you’re invited to reconsider some classic cocktails, such as the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Malabar Tiger. As far as you know, India is a major epicenter for exotic spices, rich with an historical tradition, revealed in this Wild Tiger Spiced Rum selection through the notable presence of cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, licorice, black pepper, ginger, cassia bark, orange zest and even forest honey. Furthermore, there is also a secret asset, a glance of infusion made with some tea extract. Thus, this spiced Rum, totally devoid of any artificial additives, is naturally fragrant and intensely aromatic.
On top of that, as part of its core CSR policy, the Wild Tiger brand donates 10% of its profits to the WTF (Wild Tiger Foundation). This association was initiated at the own Wild Tiger‘s initiative, who set up this non-profit foundation to share with other foundations and experts, in terms of tiger‘s species safeguarding and respecting its original habitat in Southern India. A Roar Trip was also lead in 2019, in order to raise funds and promote this cause.
Last but not least, if you’re not into the strong forces conveyed by a good Rum.. why wouldn’t you try the Rum without any alcohol? The French Lyon-based company Fin Pallet produces this concept, poetically untitled Quintessence, made from a real West Indies Rum, but fully dealcoholised and then guaranteed without alcohol (photo credits: Fin Pallet).
Then the creators Calixte Payan and Édouard Pellet made a collaboration with a Grasse perfumery, expert in the extraction of perfumes, in order to strictly dealcoholise the Rum they imported from the West Indies. Their product, born in their La Croix-Rousse offices (close to Lyon) in 2016, was then launched after many efforts in Spring 2017. This revolutionary Rum would eventually satisfy the mixology and the alcohol-free enthusiasts plus of course the bartenders. You should try it in the classic cocktails recipes, such as the mojito or the punch, you would be muchly impressed by the taste similitude with an authentic Rum!
The product is now available at La Maison Du Rhum, for a price of 16 euros. The Fin Pallet company also organizes your cocktail party with their team of inspired mixologists. Moreover their imagination is not outdone since they propose edible straws to animate your good times, they are also available to be customized. Several flavors are offered (apple, cinnamon, strawberry, lemon, green lemon and even ginger).
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