To start, what is the difference between rum and rhum? Rum is the larger category and includes all distilled spirits that use sugarcane as the source material. Most rums, however, are made by distilling molasses.
Rhum is generally short for “rhum agricole” (French for “agricultural rum”) refers exclusively to rums made by distilling fresh juice pressed directly from sugarcane rather than molasses. Today we are trying two rhums, one unaged and one lightly aged. The sugarcane used in Batiste rhum is sourced, juiced, fermented, and distilled on the island of Marie-Galante in the French Caribbean. It is then shipped to Napa, California for aging, finishing, and bottling.
Batiste has distinguished itself by becoming the first sustainable American craft rum with its total activity, from ground to finished bottle, completely carbon-negative. Let’s give these rhums a try.
Batiste Rhum Silver – Unaged, this rum is crystal clear. The nose is very light with some sweet sugarcane, grassiness, and a classic, unpleasant touch of petrol. The palate is a bit more assertive but also light with lemon, sugarcane sweetness, cut grass, and more petrol notes that define the short finish. This rum works best for blending, naturally, and such as in the recipe for the Batiste Daiquiri that appears on the back label (1 ½ oz. rum, ½ oz lime juice, ¼ oz. sugarcane syrup). 80 proof. B- / $30
Batiste Rhum Gold – Aged 6 months in high-char American rye whiskey barrels, Batiste Gold is pale gold in color. The nose is light and offers notes of lemon and vanilla. The short time in wood seems to have negated the petrol note that appears in the Silver expression. The palate follows suit with more lemon, vanilla, and a finish of sugarcane sweetness. It’s still best suited for blending, but I think it’s a solid step up from the silver. 80 proof. B / $35