Rhum Neisson L'Esprit 70% by Suzanne Long

Photo by Suzanne Long.

Rhum Neisson L’Esprit 70% - This rhum was first produced on the 70th anniversary of the Neisson distillery in 2002, and is now bottled as a special edition once per year. It is produced from blue and crystal cane all grown in the distillery’s own cane fields in La Thieubert (other marks from this brand use cane blends from up to 16 different plantations on the island). The rhum is pulled straight from the Savalle all copper still and placed to rest in stainless steel vats for 6 months before bottling. It is never diluted, but bottled at full distilled strength. The nose has an extremely vegetal quality, almost like brine and fresh tomato leaves. Its savory nature follows through to an amazingly drinkable rhum for the remarkable ABV. It makes a huge, fantastic, unapologetic daiquiri.

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.