Damoiseau Blanc Virgin Cane  - La Moule, Grand Terre, Guadeloupe, 40% ABV / by Suzanne Long

 Mural at Rhumerie Damoiseau, La Moule, Grand Terre, Guadeloupe

Mural at Rhumerie Damoiseau, La Moule, Grand Terre, Guadeloupe

The Damoiseau distillery has been making rum in Guadeloupe since 1942 (much newer than most distilleries on Martinique).  The rum is fermented for a short 30 hours in stainless steel vats that maintain a temp of around 35°C (95°F, or pretty close to ambient temps in Guadeloupe, which is the sweet spot for yeast to multiply). The temp is controlled by either an internal cooling system or by spraying cold water on the outside of the vats. Excess heat needs to be avoided or yeasts behave in an undesirable manner (temps over 120°F can kill them). The shorter fermentation time results in a wine that is slightly lower in alcohol (from 4-6% ABV). The wine is then distilled on a column still which yields a 89% ABV distillate (significantly higher than those we’ve been looking at from Martinique, and even higher than the Batiste). The rhum is then aged in oak for 6 months before being proofed down with spring water purified by reverse osmosis and bottled. The distillery has both American bourbon (Buffalo Trace) barrels and larger Cognac style French oak holding tanks on their premises, but since the idea with Damoiseau Blanc Virgin Cane is simply to “rest” the rhum (as opposed to maximize wood contact and age it), it’s likely that this mark is only put in the French oak tanks.

More about all of the stages of production at Damoiseau:

http://damoiseau.fr/en/2009-07-31/23/Rum-Production-Cycle.htm

See Suzanne Long's gallery of photos from Rhumerie Damoiseau, March 2016 below.