Located near Pearl, on the north-eastern side of the Windward island, the new Renegade Rum Distillery will cost USD $20 million, being both technologically advanced and environmentally sound. Designed to produce up to 1 million litres of spirit each year it will be one of the most significant rum distilleries in the Caribbean.
Renegade Rum Distillery is an industry-changing project from the man behind the renaissance of Islay’s Bruichladdich single malt whisky and Ireland’s groundbreaking, terroir-driven Waterford Distillery. Our journey has been over a decade in the making and it has not been without its struggles; some said we were mad to even try. The destination is to produce the most profound rum the world has ever seen.
Our home is a quiet corner of the Caribbean, a volcanic island of progressive people. Standing in the face of the trade winds, this Windward island off the South American coast presents a rich and diverse set of conditions ideal for the Renegade Rum project. A hilly, volcanic terrain provides a wide range of altitudes, soils and microclimates ideal for growing superior terroir-derived cane.
GRENADA ISLAND LOCATION
Most rum is made from molasses, the waste by-product from sugar manufacture. Only a small percentage comes directly from sugar cane itself. Rather than the ubiquitous, we wanted the extraordinary, the primary sugar source: that means cane. In 2015 we established our agricultural company CaneCo to reintroduce seven varieties island-wide adapted to the various soils, altitudes and microclimates, for despite a long history of sugar cane cultivation it had been all but abandoned. Today’s Grenada provided us with a blank canvas; a challenge, but also an opportunity to start afresh.
The French wine term terroir – there is no direct English translation – refers to the interaction between the soil, microclimate and place on a vine or any growing plant. Starting from scratch we had the chance to identify a wide variety of terroirs throughout the island from exposed, sandy volcanic soils to low-lying alluvial ones nestled between rivers. We set out our cane plantings accordingly to optimum effect to extol their idiosyncrasies and maximise flavour.
Provenance, and its validating accompaniment ‘traceability’, are essential to distilling a terroir-driven rum. Huge logistics are required to guarantee total integrity of each parcel, to keep it separate from field to barrel, so the distillery has been designed and calibrated precisely for this purpose. It enables us to discover the island’s character, to capture the essence of Grenada in spirit.
Located on the north east corner of the island, the distillery overlooks the Atlantic Ocean to the east, fresh water meadows to the south, a saltwater mangrove lake to the north and the hamlet of Conference to the west. Spread across two terraces sloping down to the meadow, the site is surrounded by cane, our ‘home farm’.
Drawing on our expertise from both Scotch and Irish distilleries, Renegade Rum Distillery brings together talent and equipment from all corners of the globe. It has been designed by the best brains in the industry to be both beautifully simple, inspirationally modern and environmentally sound. While the science of distillation is over a thousand years old here the latest thinking includes cutting-edge still technology, propagating our own proprietary yeast, generating our own electricity and utilising a natural waste water system.
Natural in colour as in texture, unsweetened and unchillfiltered. Though many may try, there are no short cuts to distilling the best. And the best distillate demands a cask policy of unparalleled quality and complexity. Each one in our library of terroir-derived component rums, matured on site to breathe the salt-laden trade winds, is worthy of a stand-alone bottling in its on right. But together, together they will create the most profound rum the world has ever seen.