Rhum Bielle Canne Grise

Rhum Bielle Canne Grise Gray-RG2-USE

Product of:  Marie-Galante, Guadeloupe, FWI  
Aged:  NA
Price: €9.26/$12.62 on Guadeloupe
Alcohol: 59% & 50% ABV 
Context: Rhum Blanc Agricole
RG Rating:  9

Tasting Notes
Fresh from the bottle, a bouquet wafts earthy but subtle notes of fresh cut sugarcane, a perfect preamble to bigger aromas and flavors to come.  In a tasting glass, the color is crystal clear. Sure it’s called Gray Cane, but if there was a “silver cane” this is how it would appear.  Swirl, and many legs appear quickly and run just as fast. 

Aromas:  buttery alcohol over a the fibrous nasal texture of crushed sugarcane; mildly spicy with white pepper, coriander and perhaps a pinch of cinnamon; mild orange citrus zest.

An initial sip reveals a body far more weighty than we’re accustomed to from an agricole blanc.  The sensation is creamy and palate coating, but again the distinguishing characteristic of Cane Grise is the sweet buttery flavor, which stands out and carries throughout the slightly hot (50° alcohol) finish.  Overall Rhum Bielle’s Canne Grise is a consistent package from sniff to sip to swallow.  

Of course, to properly evaluate any rhum agricole blanc, especially one as unique as Rhum Bielle's Canne Grise, sampling the spirit’s effectiveness in a ‘Ti Punch is mandatory.  I can report that the results are as delicious as the photo at lower right suggests.  Minimal fresh milled sugar and two small eighths of lime were used to allow the rhum to express itself fully.  The result is a dry ‘Ti Punch, thoroughly satisfying, yet delicate.  Santé!

The Bielle Distillery is located on Marie-Galante, less than 20 kilometers from Guadeloupe’s Southeastern.   Their sugarcane is harvested by hand, then chopped, crushed and fermented in open top tanks.  Both column and pot stills with short columns produce spirit at la Distillerie Bielle.  The column stills are made of stainless steel in the lower stripper sections and copper in the upper, rectifying sections.  Their  alembic pot stills are copper, and the lower part of the pot is contained within a stainless steel sheath.  The agricole blanc rhums are produced only in the column stills to 59% ABV, and some is diluted to 50%. The premium rhum blanc is distilled twice, for first time in the column, then the second time in the alembic still, bottled at 56%.

Rhum Bielle Canne Grise Ti Punch-RG1

Ultimately, Rhum Bielle Canne Grise is worthy of purchase because it is among a mere handful of single-varietal sugarcane rhums.  It’s beauty [value?] lies not in its complexity as in its simplicity.  Canned Grise is a unique distilled expression of mother nature’s sweet reed, delicate and deserving of care in making a drink.  Considered within the contaxt of Saint- James’ Fleur de Canne and Clément’s Cane Bleue, Rhum Bielle’s offering compares quite well, but not superior.

Reviewed: May 2014 while sailing among the islands of Marie-Galante and Guadeloupe, and again in June 2014 at The Rum Gallery, USA

© Dave Russell 2017