Single-Origin Cane Rum
Mark Reynier is a renegade. The man who resurrected the Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay and created Waterford Distillery in Ireland is driven to create spirits in the best ways possible. In an industry dominated by corporate accountants, his methods can be viewed as “against the tide.” That tide has brought him to the sunny Caribbean island of Grenada. Wine and Whiskey Globe returns to discover the rum that started it all; Renegade “Nursery.”
To make a rum without compromise, one truly reflecting Grenada’s terroir and single-origin characteristics, Renegade needed to source and cultivate the right sugar cane. Reluctance by local growers to work with a new distiller led Mark and his son Ruari to create Cane Co., a subsidiary that rents cane farms. This allows Renegade to farm cane varietals that meet the specifications needed to produce their ideal flavors. “Nursery” is their first attempt at making rum, featuring the sucrose-rich “Yellow Lady” cane varietal, their first crop produced for distillation.
Grown in the terroir known as Upper La Colome Valley, the terraced fields are rich with volcanic clay loam soil. Their free-run cane juice, added to vertical fermenters, remains for up to 60 hours. The fermentation process is carefully monitored in a temperature-controlled environment that guarantees uniformity throughout distillation. With precise cut points (the point at which the “bad” parts of the distillate are removed), the final distillate ranges anywhere from 84%-88% ABV. The rum is bottled at 50% ABV.
As our previous articles indicated, this isn’t a rum for everyone. It’s produced in the “Rhum Agricole” style, using only pressed cane juice instead of molasses. By combining the best natural ingredients, impeccable production techniques, and attention to detail, consumers will experience unadulterated, unaged rum that truly tastes like the place it was grown.
Looking through the tasting glass, the clarity of the rum glistens with a slight viscosity, indicating its rich, slightly oily mouthfeel. Hints of burnished sugar mingle on the nose with a grassy, earthy minerality. After a sip, a light cane sweetness leads to dry citrus notes that yield to herbs and freshly cut grass. The dry finish exhibits a pleasant essence of red raspberry and black cherry. Well-balanced and complex, the hearty finish lingers with warmth and mouth-rich density.
This is flavor-forward rum. Ideally enjoyed on its own, this rum would pair well with a chocolate dessert, fresh summer fruits, and aged cheeses. For fun, I infused some of the rum with red raspberries to echo the berry finish, leading to the creation (and enjoyment) of a simple, straightforward daiquiri that will be most welcome on the porch this summer.