After falling in love with this rhum agriocle in 1989, I didn't even dream that someday I would bring this beautiful rhum to the US. Twenty years ago I approached the distillery but they weren't interested in exporting to the US. Fortunately for me, in 2021, after long conversations with the new commercial manager Bologne and I came to an agreement where I would bring a rhum I have loved for more than 30 years to the US.
This is more than a passion project, Bologne stands alone among the rhums of Guadeloupe. The only distillery on the west side of the island of Basse Terre, Bologne distillery was established in 1887, the oldest rhum producing estate on the island.
The slopes of the volcanic mountain that form most of Basse Terre yield an ideal climate and soil to grow sugar cane, plenty of rain from the moisture laden air coming over the mountain and a west-facing exposure to the tropical sun.
Sugar cane grown on the estate is only the beginning of a great rum. Fresh cane is crushed and juice is fermented immediately with a proprietary yeast before it is expertly distilled in copper Savalle stills.
One of the first things I noticed when I first visited Bologne in 1993 was that there were no shortcuts at this distillery. Back then Bologne only bottled rhum blanc which had been rested in large oak tuns for a few months before being bottled. Today Bologne Blanc retains a slight color due to the time resting in oak tuns before being bottled.
Bottled at 50% ABV, Rhum Bolone Blanc opens with a nose of sugar cane and fresh vegetal notes, celery, subtle olive and more sugar cane. The 50% ABV alcohol makes itself known in the nose but there is nothing offensive like acetone or other light alcohols in the nose.
The body confirms the sugar cane and vegetal nose with lingering finish of sugar cane juice. I hope to be bringing more Bologne rhums to the US in the future, but as we all know rhum wasn't built in a day.
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