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Rivers Antoine was founded in 1785, and still produces the rum as they did then.
The cane is crushed in a mill driven by an ancient waterwheel.
It’s wild fermented without any temperature control. They use double retort copper stills also without any temperature control, heated by dried Bagasse.
Finally they take the distillate directly to a cooler, dilute the 69% version (the other one only for the local market is undiluted) and fill the bottles, so one can say that it’s bottled straight from the stills.
All this makes of course that the taste as well as the ABV differs from batch to batch.
They use primarily sugar cane syrup but also a small amount of added molasses for fermentation.
Some says it’s made from sugar cane juice and is an Agricole, but both those statements are completely wrong.
Btw, true Agricole can only be produced in the five French Overseas Departments and in Madeira.
In nose it’s funky and a little pungent. It’s very fruity and it’s possible to recognize Pineapple and Banana. There are also notes of brine.
In mouth and palate is the fruitiness of course there, but it’s also hot and spicy, briny, oily and grassy.
The rather long finish goes the same.
Overall it’s a funky rum rich on esters and congeners. It’s “dirty”, rustic, complex and powerful.
It’s probably not a rum for everyone, especially not for them not familiar with white overproof pot still rum.
I’ve seen that some professional rum bloggers say that it hasn’t any similarities with the Jamaican white overproofs, but I disagree I think that there’s clear similarities especially with Hampden’s Rum Fire.
Finally I got to say that I just love everything about and around it, I think it’s the best white rum I tasted so far.
Hopefully will my next vacation trip be a Caribbean cruise including Grenada so that I can visit this living museum, Rivers Antoine.
Pictures: My white rum shelf by moment & My opened bottle.
I have only started my path through funky high-ester rums but non that I’ve tried where quiet as unique and intense as this one. So many aromas going on and a lot of surprising fruit notes, almost bubble gum.
Definitely worth a try to understand how far rum can go.
Now this is a yummy Agricole. Not over priced. Great funk to it without taking away anything from the earthy flavors.
This is an ok Agricole, but it has bit too much funk for me. Smells and tastes of sugar cane, brine, grass, spice (pepper and maybe ginger), and olives. The high abv enhances the flavors, but it’s I bit too funky for me.
Here is a lovely unaged 🇬🇩 rum from the River Antoine Estate Distillery. This was bottled at 69% ABV (a.k.a. the legal maximum that can go on a plane - otherwise the local version of Rivers comes in somewhere near a crazy 80%!).
On the nose there is grilled plantain, cane juice, ginger, pepper, lime, pineapple, and it's slightly grassy. With some H2O, there is more floral notes and additional tropical fruit.
The palate is cream, cayenne pepper, cane juice, lime juice and ginger. Water leads to an improvement on the palate as well.
I find the finish short to medium in length, and is mint, lime, pepper and ends dry.
This definitely has some similarities to Clairin Sajous I find, and is a really solid unaged rum. When drinking it on its own, I'd certainly recommend a bit of water to bring out some additional fruitiness and for a less palate-numbing experience.
What immediately captures my attention is the fact that this rum has considerable weight and persistence. This is quite unusual for an agricole. The high abv of 69% makes it a real monster, though there is much to appreciate and admire.
The typical heady vesouté character (which I really love) of agricole is cranked up to 11, and there is a resinous herbal juniper-like character left in the glass after evaporation. It is complex, powerful, and very fascinating.
There are many excellent reviews out there that flesh out the nuances and nature of this rum, I highly recommend The Lone Caner's take.
Similar to Jamaican rum production, it is extremely inefficient and expensive to produce. There is nothing quite like it that I have tasted - a "one of a kind" rum, absolutely worth tasting for any true connoisseur .
A gorgeous rum with rich flavour and depth. Was very difficult to acquire which adds to the mystery surrounding it. Fantastic.
Smells of white pepper, fresh sugarcane, coconut with brown skin on it, a bit banana and orange. Quite viscous, nearly oily mouthfeel and the alcohol is only tickling underneath, hardly any burn. I never tasted a spirit this strong with such nicely integrated alcohol.
A bit roasted pineapple and sautéed plantains, leather and a hint of bitter almond. The aftertaste accentuates leather, and you could swear it has been barrel aged from time to time — several hours after drinking it. If it had just a bit more of green cane juice freshness, it would be the first 10 awarded by me (the juice have been reduced). Otherwise, it is the perfect middle point between rhum agricole and Haitian clairin, with none of the metallic or rubbery flavours that makes the white ones a bit challenging the first time.
Visiting this destillery was a once in a lifetime experience 👌 The visit would easily get a 10/10.
The rum itself is really overproof, but still kind of smooth when sipping carefully 😉 Tastes just like fresh sugar cane juice on fire 🔥 real pirates stuff 🏴☠️
We - Heli, Heinz and Erich were there in the Distillery, they have rum with 80% and 76% - toooo strong, if you drink to much, you get a donkey kick :-) but very interesting to see!
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