Distilleries and Rhum Brands
Rhum Bellevue (on Marie-Galante)
Berry's Own Selection - Guadeloupe 12 Year
Bielle Rhum Agricole Blanc 59° and 50°
Chevalier de St-Georges
Montebello Vieux Rhum 6 Ans d’Age
Plantation Guadeloupe 1998
Guadeloupe's Rhum Terroir
The Guadeloupe archipelago includes three rhum producing islands. What we know as Guadeloupe proper is actually two distinct landmasses created by different volcanoes thousands of years apart, yet separated only by Riviere Salée, a small salt water river.
The two wings of this butterfly shaped island are called Basse Terre (lowland) to the west, and Grand-Terre (large, or mountainous land) to the east. The names oppose the realities of terra firma however, as Grand-Terre is the Centuries-older sibling and flat, whereas Basse-Terre is relatively young and full of craggy peaks. The third rhum producing island is diminutive Marie-Galante, sometimes called “Pancake Island" because she is as flat as. These islands counted 55 distilleries in 1939, of which only 37 remained up to the year 1954, and not more than 9 in 1970. Basse Terre has nine working distilleries, Grand Terre but one, while charming little Marie-Galante counts three.
Risking generalities, rhums of Guadeloupe taste slightly different from their Martinique cousins to the South. They’re less vegatal or grassy. As they are not anointed with an official AOC designation “appellation d’origine contrôlée” (French controlled origin), Rhums of Guadeloupe can be more varied, some sweeter, more delicate and perhaps less refined than many rhums found on Martinique. Guadeloupe’s sugar industry remains important to the region and agricole as well as industrielle rums are produced. Many aficionados of molasses-based rum may find Guadeloupe’s agricoles an easy taste to acquire.
As for Marie-Galante, rums on this island are produced to an artisan scale and are typically bottled at 59° (% ABV). The only distillery which can really be considered a rival of Martinique and Guadeloupe is the distillery Poisson, dating back to 1860 and producing exceptional quality.
Rhums vieux agricole must meet certain age criteria in order to earn these designations
VO = 3 years minimum,
VSOP = 4 years minimum
XO or Vintage = 6 years