Rhum distillerie Hardy (Tartane)



Manufacture: rum is made from sugar cane. It is harvested in the first months of the year. Not so long ago, the canes were cut by hand, then tied and carried to the distillery. Now this operation is mostly mechanized. About 100 000 metric tons of canes are harvested every year. In the factory, canes are crushed by horizontal mills to extract the juice. The fibrous leftovers are called the bagasse which will be used as fuel after drying. The first juice, the vesou, is put to ferment in vats where it becomes "grappe" or wine. The bagasse is used to heat the distillation column, thus permitting the factory to run in closed circuit. The following step is distillation, that will produce the alcohol that, mixed with water, will reach between 50 and 55%. The yearly production of pure alcohol is about 70 000 hectoliters. Each year is characterized by the sugar content of the canes, the preparation of the barrels, and the experience of the distillery master, that will allow the bouquet to develop, and to result in this product of long tradition: rum. Each year, Martinique produces about 2.5 million bottles.

Rums: formerly called tafia by soldiers and sailors that gave it a bad reputation, rum was produced in sugar factories. "Agricole" rum is produced by the distillation of the first cane juice, and it is the proportion of non-alcohol volatile substances that makes  the difference with pure alcohol and gives it its taste. Industrial rum is also called light rum, great  bouquet, "coco-merlo". This is the quality of rum made in the rest of West Indies. About 20% of the rum produced in Martinique is used  for the production of  rums of other European or American brands. Old rum is the result of a special care.  White rum is placed in oak vats and will age there for at least three years. As for some whiskies, there exist bottles of "ageless" old rum, whose character and quality equal some Armagnac. Straw rum, something recent, has imposed itself to gourmets for its pretty amber color due to a light caramelization. It is made in the same way as white rum. Great bouquet: it is an industrial rum used to liven some light alcohols, but also for some cocktails or recipes.

The Pirate's Martinique A playful rendez-vous to discover Martinique

( Traduction effectuée par Marie-Claude, une aimable internaute de Martinique que nous remercions )


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