Traditional Single Agricole Rum: From a traditional column still using cane juice
ABV Hydrometer Test: 45% ABV @ 20°
* C A
1710 was the year when a young French lawyer arrived in Martinique. Scroll forwards nearly three hundred years and his direct descendant Yves Assier de Pompignan decided to create a new rum factory and the A1710 distillery was born at the Habitation du Simon.
A1710 have set out to maximise the impact of the surrounding terroir to create premium quality agricultural rhums. They use a Charentais still coupled with a copper column but have opted out of becoming an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC). They have a slow fermentation process and use their own unique yeasts.
The rhum I am tasting today is Nuée Ardente or Burning Cloud. A Google translation refers to it as “Pyroclastic flow.”
A1710 Nuée Ardente is a blend of seven exceptional rhums aged in French oak casks for between nine and 17 years. These rhums were then blended in casks that had previously held Cognac and further aged for six months. This edition from 2016 was limited to 700 bottles and is presented at 44.7%. In addition to the cane-juice Agricole element, a small amount of molasses-distilled rum is included.
A1710: Nuée Ardente is a Traditional Single Agricole Rum:
From a traditional column still using cane juice.
Presented in an outer box, contained within is a beautiful carafe-shaped decanter. There is a natural cork enclosure/stopper with A1710 embossed on the top.
There is only limited information on the box and bottle, hence the mark is two and not three.
Deep amber to mahogany in colour with pale green reflections on the surface. There are medium density legs that slowly slip down the sides of my glass.
Dried grass or hay, intense red cherries, baked apples and roast coffee on the nose initially.
With time in the glass and also with a drop or two of water, tobacco smoke and licorice are evident, too.
Taste, Initial-middle 34/40
The entry is smooth and easy on the palate with vanilla custard, a hint of oak tannins, roasted coffee and a smooth buttery texture. It is really tasty!
Taste, Middle/Throat 37/40
Towards the mid-palate this rhum becomes a little sweeter with licorice and spicy notes balancing this effect.
As the rhum passes to the rear of the palate, the sweetness disappears into drier oak tannins and slightly bitter notes. The spices become more powerful and prominent at this point, notably ginger and black pepper. A touch of sweetness returns in the background from Demerara sugar alongside a continued grassiness. Once again, the red cherries appear.
There is a long and dry finish full of tannins becoming more oaky with time and multiple sips. There is a touch of burn from the ginger and black pepper spice notes but it is not rough. In fact this slips down a treat and the flavours linger and continues to delight for some time after swallowing.
What an exceptional agricultural rhum – one of the best I have tasted. It is full of character and depth of flavours that continue to please each time you taste it and it has a really long and satisfying finish. In fact, the more you taste it, the more you appreciate it.
The terroir of this rhum is evident…..
Quoting A1710’s web site:
“At the heart of Habitation du Simon, we make two cuvées of white rums and three cuvées of very old rums. Each stage of production is a subtle balance between the excellence of ancestral know-how and the requirements of modern techniques so that the A1710 rums carry with them all the richness and history of Martinique and the Antilles.”
“A plot of cane without fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals was planted on the site where two varieties of cane grow. The “Blue cane” and our “Purple cane””
There is quality and expertise in every batch of rhum produced. A1710 Nuée Ardente takes you on a sensory journey and flavour profile – it is magnifique!
It is expensive but then again it is artisanal and aged fully in the tropics. In this case, you do get what you pay for.
Review No. 141
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn/Finish Out of 7