Shame on you, Alexander Britell, for describing this rhum agricole—La Perle Brute—in such mouth-watering terms! In the Rum Journal, “An Exquisite New Rum from Martinique’s A1710,” Britell writes about what makes this white rhum agricole so special. (Anyone traveling to/from Martinique anytime soon?) Here are excerpts:
Just to the side of a centuries-old stone villa in the northeast of Martinique is what just might be the most exciting boutique rum distillery in the entire Caribbean. And all it makes is white rum (for now, at least). Yves Assier de Pompignan boutique distillery has quietly become a force in the world of rhum agricole — and a symbol of what makes this rum so special.
But it’s also showing something else: that it’s time to rethink white agricole. [. . .] While they’re terrific in a ti’ punch, the best white rhum agricole expressions are eminently sippable, oozing with character, flavor and terroir — a palpable connection to the soil that makes Martinique just such a special place.
While Martinique’s aged expressions are in a class by themselves, the white expressions are equally impressive — and, one might argue — an even more direct connection to the terroir, to the sugarcane itself. More and more, Martinique’s producers are highlighting and experimenting with special-release white agricoles, from La Favorite’s wonderful red-cane varieties to Rhum Clement’s continued standard-setting with its blue cane rums. But it’s A1710 that is at the forefront, making a concerted effort to show that pure white agricole is an ultra-premium product. And its latest release achieves precisely that.
This is La Perle Brute, a white rhum made from black, yellow and “Pen Epi Let” cane varieties coming from the plot of a single farmer named Paul Octave. [. . .] This copper-still expression has a clean aroma of only the subtlest whispers of licorice, white pepper and cane stalk; magnificently fresh on the nose.
[. . .] The peppery edge of the rum dances around the core flavor like a spicy cane helix, with notes of licorice, raw cane stalk, a hint of stone fruit and vanilla bean.
At once delicate and robust, it’s a playful duet of a glockenspiel and a timpani — with the latter a result of a decidedly robust 66-degree bottling. [. . .]