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All Renegade Rums are ‘single cane’.
That is to say: they are made at a single distillery, and from fresh sugar cane juice only (no molasses).
We choose to mill, ferment, distil and mature our cane one terroir at a time. A single field on a single farm. In doing this we capture the precision of an ultra-specific place. The natural distinctiveness of each terroir allows us to build a veritable library of cane flavour. Over seventy individual terroirs when all are counted. Each with its own clear organoleptic thumbprint.
And of course, this diversity of flavour doubles when one considers the two separate methods by which we distill: pot and double retort for robustness and weight, batch column for elegance.
But there is another way.
The great advantage of building up this artist’s palette of diverse cane flavours is that it gives our Distillery Manager Devon the opportunity to layer them together to create something even more complex. Something, indeed, greater than the sum of the exceptional parts: a Cuvée.
We take our inspiration for the Cuvée Concept from the wine world; specifically the great châteaux of Bordeaux and houses of Champagne. Rather than making Grand Vins from just one vineyard or one grape variety, Bordeaux châteaux like Latour or Lafite-Rothschild will individually vinify distinct plots and varieties each vintage, creating a diverse range of individual wines. Each, ultimately, a potential constituent part of the Grand Vin.
As these wines ferment and mature, the winemaker will taste through them again and again, building a three-dimensional picture of their flavours; the characters and qualities that each of these ‘petit vins’ might bring, before ultimately layering them together as a cuvée; a bespoke assemblage of flavours; orchestral rather than a solo act.
The recipe will change every year, dictated by the conditions of the vintage — more of one vineyard and variety one year, less the next. But the idea remains the same: to create the most complex possible rendition of that particular château. Something greater than the sum of its vineyards.
Were all the grapes and vineyards to be blended at the time of press, the winemaker would not have this opportunity to meticulously craft a harmonious blend based on known, existing flavours. It is by treating them as separate parcels, only latterly layering them together as a single cuvée, that the greatest control — and the opportunity to directly affect ultimate complexity — is achieved.
The finest champagnes — from makers such as Krug and Selosse — go even further. Not only harvesting their grapes from the best vineyards right across the whole region, but maintaining an astonishing library of reserve wines going back decades, allowing their winemakers to craft cuvées of even greater complexity.
Thus we return to single cane rum, and to Renegade Distillery, where our terroir methodology allows Devon precisely this spectrum of flavours with which to make rums with ultimate Cuvée Creativity.
Indeed he can take inspiration separately from Bordeaux and from Champagne. The diversity of terroirs within a single farm — Dunfermline, for instance, where steep slopes loom over lush, deep flats — means that, like a winemaker working with the vineyards of a single château — Devon can create a ‘Single Farm Cuvée’. The ultimate expression of that farm; more complex than simply one terroir of Dunfermline, it would be Dunfermline rendered as a whole. Our ‘Latour’.
But then imagine the complexity to be found when we zoom out and layer our rums from across Grenada’s full terroir spectrum. The floral tones of Moya meeting the bass rumble of Old Bacolet and the ethereal aromatics and textural elegance of New Bacolet perhaps. The bewildering mosaic of Hope intertwined with the intense vibrancy of Dunfermline and the full-bodied boldness of Pearls. The possibilities for our ‘All-Island Cuvée’ are quite literally mouthwatering.
We are curious about the natural flavours of cane. We are fascinated by the specificity of flavours that we find through harvesting and distilling single Grenadian terroirs. But it is in the Cuvée Concepts that we reach the apogee of our Renegade project; our veritable raison d’être. It is here, we hope, that we will find the most profound rum ever made.
Renegade Rum Distillery
Meadows Lane, Conference,
St. Andrews, Grenada, West Indies
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