We don’t want to jinx anything, but 2013 is already shaping up to be our most exciting year of uncommon travel yet! That’s saying something, as last year saw us make 20 trips, covering Bimini, Green Turtle Cay and Exuma in The Bahamas up north, Curacao and Trinidad & Tobago in the south, and a bunch of other cool spots in-between. Grenada, Anguilla, Martinique, St. Croix – we almost hit more spots than we missed!
How can we top that in 2013? For starters, I’m thinking a visit to the Caribbean’s smallest and most uncommon rum destination is in order…
We told you a bit about Marie-Galante before, and thankfully some of you, our beloved readers, were kind enough to share a bit more about this magical island in the comments section below that initial post. Your feedback certainly whet my appetite for exploring this unique little island. Then I got a taste of Rhum Bielle, and the deal was sealed!
Rhum Bielle is one of the three distilleries on Marie-Galante. The brand’s Super Premium white rhum is undoubtedly their flagship product, celebrated as much as it is outside the island itself and the Guadeloupe archipelago.
I was lucky enough to get a taste of it in Martinique, courtesy of my new friend and noted local artist, Laurent Valere. You may not know the name, but longtime UC readers and lovers of Martinique will know his most celebrated work, the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial.
Laurent was gracious enough to meet me and a group of other writer friends at the Memorial during my last visit to Martinique in August. Following our initial discourse on his work, he was even more gracious in inviting us to his home nearby for a drink. It was there, on Laurent’s back patio, that I fell for Rhum Bielle and Marie-Galante.
Now, I must tell you that, Laurent is as proud a Martinican as I have ever come across in my many trips to this special island. He exudes his love for his home island not only in his work, but also in the charmingly animated way he talk about life there, each statement punctuated with an infectious smile.
Even so, Laurent was quick to point out, while pouring me a bit of Bielle, that this overseas import was, in fact, the very best rhum to use in making Martinique’s signature drink, le Ti’ Punch.
May sound like sacrilege to some, but if you’ve tried Rhum Bielle, you might just find that you agree.
As noted in our previous story on the rhums of Marie-Galante, Rhum Bielle Blanc Super Premium is strong, packing the signature 59% alcohol by volume that makes the white rhums of Marie-Galante so unique. At the same time, though, it’s still pretty smooth, with nice hints of spice and citrus fruits, each sip enticing me to visit Marie-Galante to taste more of her secrets…
I enjoyed my Rhum Bielle neat, eschewing the Ti’ Punch test for another day. After all, it was just a day earlier when I found a new rhum that for me cannot be topped when used to make a Ti’ Punch.
I’ll reveal my choice in next week’s Friday Happy Hour. Til then…
À votre santé!
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