difference between Martinique and Guadeloupe rum

Difference between Martinique and Guadeloupe rum

Rum is an alcoholic beverage produced in many regions of the world, but certain Caribbean islands particularly stand out for the quality of their production. Among these islands, Martinique and Guadeloupe are renowned for their exceptional rum. Although these two islands have a lot in common in terms of culture and language, there are striking differences between Martinique rum and Guadeloupe rum, both in terms of origin and production methods.

Origin of Martinique rum

The history of Martinique rum dates back to the 17th century, when French settlers introduced sugar cane to the island. Martinique quickly became a major producer of sugar and, by extension, rum. The Martinique rum industry is closely linked to the history of slavery, as African slaves were employed on sugar plantations.

Origin of Guadeloupe rum

Guadeloupe has a long tradition of rum production, which also dates back to the 17th century. Early French settlers also introduced sugar cane to the island, but Guadeloupe experienced periods of political disruption that affected the rum industry. Despite this, Guadeloupe is today a world-renowned rum producer.

Production methods in Martinique

In Martinique, rum is produced using traditional methods, which are regulated by an appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC). The island's distilleries mainly use copper stills for distillation, which gives Martinique rum a rich and complex character. In addition, the fermentation of Martinique rum is carried out using wild yeasts, which gives it unique aromas.

Production methods in Guadeloupe

In Guadeloupe, rum is also produced using traditional methods, but it is not regulated by an AOC. The island's distilleries use a combination of copper stills and continuous distillation columns to produce their rum. These production methods give Guadeloupe rum a lighter and softer character than that of Martinique.

Cane varieties used in Martinique

In Martinique, distilleries mainly use two varieties of sugar cane to produce their rum: red cane and blue cane. Red cane gives Martinique rum floral and fruity aromas, while blue cane brings more herbaceous and earthy notes. These two varieties of sugar cane contribute to the complexity of Martinique rums.

Cane varieties used in Guadeloupe

In Guadeloupe, distilleries mainly use red cane, also called "B69", to produce their rum. This variety of cane gives Guadeloupe rum delicate and sweet aromas. Some distilleries also use local varieties, such as yellow cane and pink cane, to create unique rums.

Differences in the fermentation process

In Martinique, rum fermentation is carried out using wild yeasts naturally present on sugar cane. This prolonged fermentation process allows the aromas of Martinique rum to fully develop. In contrast, in Guadeloupe, distilleries generally use selected yeasts for fermentation, which results in a slightly different flavor profile.

Distillation of rum in Martinique

In Martinique, rum is generally distilled twice. The first distillation is done in a copper still, called a “chauffe”, which separates the volatile components of the sugar cane. The second distillation is done in a column still, called "rectification", which refines and purifies the rum. This complex distillation process gives Martinique rum its richness and depth.

Distillation of rum in Guadeloupe

In Guadeloupe, rum is distilled using two main methods: multi-plate column distillation and copper still distillation. Some distilleries use one or the other method exclusively, while others use a combination of both. This diversity of distillation methods gives Guadeloupe rums a wide variety of aromatic profiles.

Aging of Martinique rum

The aging of Martinique rum is a process regulated by the AOC. Rum is aged in oak barrels for at least three years, and some rums are aged well beyond this time. During aging, Martinique rum develops complex aromas of dried fruit, vanilla and wood, as well as a velvety texture.

Aging of Guadeloupe rum

In Guadeloupe, the aging of rum is also an important process, although less regulated. Distilleries use a variety of French and American oak barrels to age their rum. Aging time varies depending on the desired flavor profile, ranging from a few years to several decades. Aged Guadeloupe rums often have aromas of caramel, chocolate and spices.

Distinctive taste characteristics

In summary, Martinique rum stands out for its rich and complex character, with floral, fruity and herbaceous aromas. On the other hand, Guadeloupe rum has a lighter and smoother taste, with delicate and sweet aromas. Differences in production methods, sugar cane varieties used, fermentation process, distillation and aging contribute to these distinctive taste characteristics, making Martinique Rum and Guadeloupe Rum unique and loved around the world. .

Scroll to Top