Rumaniacs Review 008 | 0408
Founded in 1842 and remaining a small family owned outfit in Martinique, La Favorite makes this AOC designated rhum vieux, aged a minimum of three years (I’ve been told it is five years old). They make a big deal of the transmission of distillation technique and blending from father to son, as well as their selection of only the best cane, the natural fermentation, and controlled distillation (using steam powered equipment). I’ve gone into the history of the company a little more here.
This gold rhum derives from pot still, issued at 40% in 1990. One wonders why they didn’t keep it longer, if the year was such a good one. And what’s with the cheap tinfoil cap?
Colour – Amber-Dark Gold
Nose – Wow. A very punchy, pot still profile (almost like a clairin with a tan). Pungent, briny, oily, chewy. Like a pail of salted beef. Grassy and green mango hints permeate here and there. Morphs well into black cake, chopped dark fruit (prunes, black grapes) and olives. More than 40% might have been too much, and I don’t say that very often.
Palate – A bit raw, toasty and spicy. Rubber and plasticine. Emergent deep notes of black olives, dates, cereal, caramel, vanilla and smoke (in that order, for me). With water, an amazing thread of green apples and citrus, tart lemon zest (like a meringue), yet the dusky brine never entirely leaves the profile.
Finish – Medium short and warm, not dry at all. Some of that saltiness continues, but mostly wax and lemon and some unsweetened caramel
Thoughts – Unusual, in a good way. Really a lot of flavour here. This is one of those times I think 40% is okay. Stronger would have been more intense yes, but might also have shredded the balance of sweet, salt, grass and citrus.