Rum Company of the Year: Habitation Saint Etienne, Martinique Our new award for 2017 honors rum producers who are excelling in the field, whether by innovation, branding or pure quality. And Martinique’s HSE is doing so at all three, but with a particular skill in the art of barrel aging. No producer on the planet is looking at the science of barrels like HSE is, with a level of expertise and specificity that’s unmatched. It manifests itself in a broad range of world-class rums, from special-finish agricoles using sherry, port and even whisky casks and even advanced techniques in selective barrel charring. They’re at the forefront of what’s possible in rum, and it’s an exciting thing to see.