Review: Renegade Pre-Cask Single Farm Origin Rums – Lake Antoine and Nursery

Review: Renegade Pre-Cask Single Farm Origin Rums – Lake Antoine and Nursery

Mark Reynier’s terroir-focused rum line, Renegade, has been pumping out new offerings since we last tasted a pair of pre-cask selections in early 2023. As with Waterford, his similarly soil-obsessed Irish whiskey project, the Renegade portfolio focuses on single farm origin bottlings, mostly unaged, that reflect the characteristics of a small piece of land on the already tiny island of Grenada. Cask-aged and cuvee blends have been added to the lineup, and we’ll get to those in the future. But today, we’re exploring two more unaged, single farm bottlings.

Renegade Pre-Cask Single Farm Origin: Lake Antoine Lower Crater Lake South – Last year, we got the chance to sample Lake Antoine Upper Crater Lake South, a rum distilled from cane on a nearby plot to this rum’s birthplace in Ball Pasture Field. Like that rum, this expression has been distilled from the sucrose-rich Purple Tall Boy variety of sugar cane grown in the Woburn clay loam soils of Grenada’s Lake Antoine. As with most other Renegade expressions, this is funky, ester-filled stuff and unlike almost any other unaged rum out there. The nose is dank and thick with damp, earthy notes of cut grass and potting soil. It’s still salty and dry, but less meaty than the Upper Crater expression, with a lot of green banana and ripe mango in the mix. On the palate, there’s a bit of initial sweetness that slowly turns chalky across the sip. It’s a bit industrial, but notes of papaya, saltwater, and lemon oil go a long way to masking that. For such diverse flavors, there’s a surprising balance, culminating in a mix of brine, dried pineapple, and taffy on the finish. Still a lot to navigate, but I prefer it to its higher elevation sibling. 100 proof. B+ / $65

Renegade Pre-Cask Single Farm Origin: Nursery Upper La Calome – Described as ground zero for the single farm project, Renegade’s nursery farm in La Calome Valley is home to Hartman and Woburn clay loam soils that produced this rum’s sucrose-rich Yellow Lady cane varietal. Of the four Renengade expressions I’ve sampled, this is the most approachable and well-integrated. The aroma is still earthy and green, but it’s less damp and mineral heavy than other offerings. The fruit extends beyond papaya and pineapple to brighter citrus and even a bit of cider apple. The palate is round and wonderfully creamy with a measured but comparatively generous sweetness. Tangy top notes of key lime pie give way to pineapple tart and dried apricot across the midpalate before a warming finish of raw honey, saltwater taffy, and limeade. This is the Renegade rum to put on your shelf. 100 proof. A- / $65

renegaderum.com

Renegade Pre-Cask Single Farm Origin: Nursery Upper La Calome

$65
9

Rating

9.0/10

Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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