Rum Journal: Martinique’s A1710 Diamond Rock

martinique diamond rock cover

You’re forgiven if you don’t think much of white rum.

For too long, molasses-based white rums have dominated the market, particularly in the United States, offering little other than industrial flavors and the occasional headache.

But in the French Caribbean, things are different.

White rhum agricole, or rhum blanc, as it’s known, is an art form, an artisanal product teeming with terroir and the one that should be defining how the world sees white rum.

We’ve made no secret in these pages of our love affair with rhum blanc, a spirit that, while most at home in a ti’ punch, can often be sipped on its own, with the palate falling in love with this visceral, raw, exciting spirit.

And at the forefront of Martinique’s rhums blancs right now is the boutique A1710 distillery at Habitation Simon, set near the Atlantic coast of Martinique.

Year after year, harvest after harvest, A1710 puts out as good a rhum blanc as you can find in the French Caribbean, whether it’s rums like the recent Bio (organic) or the wider La Perle series.

In a short time, A1710 has become one of the most coveted rums in the rum world.

And now they’re at it again with the new A1710 Diamond Rock.

martinique diamond rock rum picture

The famous Diamond Rock off the southern coast of Martinique.

The brand’s latest expression is a classic rhum blanc distilled from fresh cane juice and cane cut by hand, distilled in A1710’s copper column still and bottled at 50.5 degrees.

What makes the Diamond Rock, named for Martinique’s famous maritime rock formation, unique, A1710 says, is the juice itself is crushed only once.

This first, single press means the “best and purest” juice, they say.

So what is it like?

The clean aroma oozes with fresh cane stalk and a hint of white pepper.

The spicy flavor is marked by cane, a hint of banana, anise, black pepper, dried mango and the slightest whisper of passionfruit.

There’s a lot going on in here, a world of trees and stalks and fruits and plantations. And that’s the kind of invigorating experience you get from rhum blanc.

In other words, it’s time to start thinking differently about white rum.

Rum Journal Review

93 Points

— CJ