At Whisky Live Beirut 2019, HN talks with Vincent Ballu, Area Manager for Southern Europe at Maison Ferrand, producers of fine spirits. Under the company’s umbrella of products is Plantation Rum, a spirit that has been showing great promise.
What makes rum so rich?
Rum represents the most diverse category in spirits. What makes it so, is that it can be used to match every spirit irrespective of the type of alcohol a person likes. It has something for everyone. If you are a gin or vodka drinker, you have rum from Puerto Rico or Cuba. It will have a freshness and lightness. For a whisky drinker, specifically peaty whisky that has a lot of character, you can find a rum in Jamaica that has a dry and spicy character. If however, you happen to be somewhere in the middle, you can find a rum from Barbados that is equally balanced. For all those reasons, rum is a beverage that has a capacity for infinite surprise.
Where currently are the biggest surprises in rum coming from?
For the past two years, we have been working with the only plantation located in the South Pacific, Fiji. As a result, we launched a rum expression specific to that South Pacific location. That particular flavor profile turned-out to be unlike anything we have produced in all countries we work in. It is bone-dry, spicy and fresh with an incredibly unique taste.
In general, how are global rum sales fairing?
Rum is a very dynamic category that is strongly-growing in the European market, as well as the Middle East. The segment of premium rums is also witnessing significant growth. This is made more appealing when it comes to people who are considering switching from one spirit to another and are uncertain what would make for a suitable fit.
Other interesting things emerging is the rediscovery of old factories and manufacturing methods. In France, you have new distilleries opening, others are opening in small countries with exciting distilleries in South America. Our philosophy is based on our ability to reflect the history and nature of a country where we produce our rum with an accurate flavor profile that is indicative of all the country’s central elements.
What is rum’s next technological frontier?
It revolves around the aging of the wooden casks. This is especially important because rum can be stored in a variety of wooden casks, which is not limited to oak. The ability to diversify, considering the overwhelming amount of possibilities, could be viewed as challenging. However, we chose not to pick one over another and instead are exploring, through our R&D division, a host of options. Maybe most of these will never make it onto the market, but that is not deterring us since the process will always lead to new discoveries in terms of products or techniques.Add to Favorites