Batiste: Rhum Agricole from Marie Galante, Guadeloupe & SF Bay Area / by Suzanne Long

This rhum is made from cane grown on Marie-Galante, one of a group of 5 small islands that make up the French Department of Guadeloupe. It is the third largest of those 5 islands (but is pretty small). Batiste prides itself on being 100% clean for the environment. The rum is produced at the Bellevue Distillery, which has a 100% non-polluting production. It is distilled up to 75% alcohol (a tiny bit higher than most of the Martinician agricoles which are usually distilled to about 70%). The rum is then shipped here to the Bay Area where it is re-distilled on a Japanese vacuum still (the kind used to make Shochu). Pressurized stills work by creating a vacuum in the machine, lowering the atmospheric pressure and thus lowering the temperature at which liquids boil (just the same as if you’re in Denver or Reno and water boils but it isn’t actually hot). The resulting distillate is softer, cleaner and milder because it was produced at a lower temp. This tones down the typical agricole vegetality dramatically, resulting in a very light finished spirit. The rhum is then bottled without being aged.