Martinique is the overseas department of France and an amazing island located in Lesser Antilles between Dominican Republic and Saint Lucia. On the island, rum is made of agricole, or craft, made only from sugar cane juice. Without doubts on Martinique I have experienced an extraordinary adventure.
I have to admit that receiving a special invitation to Martinique and participating in the event as a juror in the first edition of the Martinique Rhum Awards was a real honor for me. Immodestly I also think that finding myself as a part of the jury is also some kind of appreciation of the work we have done in the last three years in Poland.
The originators of the new Martinique Rum Festival are the world famous owner of beach bars – Guy Fedinand and Rum Embassy. I found myself in a very prestigious group of 10 jury members in which were present rum celebrities such as: Matt Pietrek, Suzanne Long, Annie des Groseilliers, Hugues Labrador, Alexandre Vingtier, Laurent Thirion, Roger Caroni, Dirk Becker and Jean-Claude Padern.
I make no secret of the fact that it was a huge pleasure for me and such a great experience. Telling about the event does not reflect even ten percent of the emotions and adventures we have experienced. As I have already mentioned, the invitation I received and the fact that I was a part of a jury was (and still is) a real honor for me. I have never imagined that I might find myself in such a good company.
I met wonderful people on Martinique – very experienced, knowledgeable on rum as hardly anyone in the world. The Martinique Rum Awards is brilliant and demanding for both: evaluators and assessed. Without doubts, the organizers put a lot of work and commitment to make all the details of the event perfectly matched.
We have assessed rum in twelve categories. The biggest winner of the Martynique Rhum Awards was HSE XO in the Rhum Agricole Extra Vieux category. Immediately behind him, La Mauny is highly rated in the white rum category up to 55 ABV, and Dillon in the best rugby category between 3 and 6 years. Also, I have to mention that the product of the A1710 Renaissance boutique distillery made a great impression with its white rum not belonging to the AOC and the best in the category of molasses rum from 3 to 12 years old.
During the festival, we had the opportunity to experience many attractions that created a great atmosphere of the event. Inter alia, there was a great bartending competition and blind tasting combined with food pairing at the La Case Thai Restaurant.
For people from the world of alcohol, a great adventure is always visiting and learning the secrets of distilleries. Thus, on Martinique we had a chance to visit La Mauny, Trois Rivieres, Depaz, La Favorite and Clement. I think that these distilleries are “must see” places during your visit on the island. In my opinion – always – seeing the core of each distillery and having the opportunity to try rum completely unavailable in Europe is always the greatest experience for everyone in the rum industry. We have also a chance to know a lot of details and secrets of creating rum agricoles and differences in sugar canes.
Martinique Rhum Awards
Category 1 – Rhum white AOC, Martynika do 55 ABV
1. Maison La Mauny – 50
2. Clement – Canne Bleue 2018
3. Heritiers Madkaud – Blanc
Category 2 – Rhum white, AOC Martynika do 55 ABV
1. Dillon – 55
2. HSE – 55
3. HSE – Canne d’Or
Category 3 – Rhum white Agricole non-AOC do 55 ABV
1. A1710 – Reference
2. O’Reizinho – Blanco
3. A1710 – Diamond Rock
Category 4 – Rhum white, Agricole non-AOC, powyżej 55 ABV
1. Pere Labat – 59
2. A1710 – La Perle Brut
3. Karukera – L’Intense
Category 5 – Rhum Agricole, AOC Martynika 3 do 6 lat
1. Dillon – VSOP
2. HSE – VSOP
3. Dillon – Cuvee des planteurs
Category 6 – Rum Agricole AOC Martynika, 6 lat i więcej
1. HSE – XO
2. Trois Rivieres – 12
3. Depaz – XO
Category 7 – Rum Agricole non-AOC 4 lata i więcej
1. Karukera – Black Edition Alligator
2. Clement – Secrets de Futs Gourmand
3. Damoiseau – XO
Category 8 –rhum from molasses from 3 to 12 lat
1. A1710 – Soleil de Minuit
2. Maison du Rhum – Colombie
3. Plantation – Fidji 2009
Category 9 – Rhum from molasses, 12 years and more
1. Plantation – Jamaica 2005
2. Abuelo – 12
3. Abuelo – 15 Oloroso
Category 10 – Rhum Agricole AOC Martynika, Brut de Fut
1. Trois Rivieres – Cask Strenght 2006
2. HSE – 2007 FR
3. HSE – 2007
Category 11 – Rhum Agricole non-AOC, Brut de Fut
1. Mhoba – Select Reserve French Oak
2. Karukera – L’Expression
Category 12 – Rhum from molasses, Brut de Fut
1. Riviere du Mat – 2006 CDR
2. Rum Nation – Worthy Park 2006
3. Plantation – Jamaica 22 ans