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  • Writer's pictureStuart Pearce

Providence - Haitian Rum review

A couple of sexy unaged releases from the new Providence Distillery in Haiti.

As always, nosed first and then tasted. Accompanied today by Creedence Clearwater Revival - which is a blessed relief after all the bloody Christmas music.

Both beautiful, thick and unctuous in the glass.

Providence First Drops 57%, £50

A limited first release from the relatively new collaboration between Luca Gargano & Gianni Capovilla - this time in Haiti. As with the excellent Rhum Rhum collaboration in Marie-Galante this new distillery is bring a long lost (in a commercial sized distilleries) pot still back to a country with outstanding fresh cane juice readily to hand.

A world class German Muller copper pot still was installed at the new distillery in 2018 with this first rum being released the following year.

The cane used for this rum was the super special Crystalline cane, sourced from Michael Sajous of Velier Clairin fame and long fermented for 10-12 days.

Nose: A rum I know well and really love. The initial nose is a wonderful journey to an old fashioned sweetshop. Cola cubes, cough candy & pear drops. Then a load of fruit, some of which is very overripe - peach, passion fruit & durian. Sweet & complex. Candyfloss. And salty plasticine. A hint of spices - cloves & caraway seeds. A tiny splash of malt vinegar. Lovely stuff.

Mouth: A rum that positively sparkles in your mouth. A big dirty estery rum. Overripe fruit, mango, passion fruit. More old fashioned sweets - on the mouth it's still cola cubes, and also refreshers. The strong minerality of Badoit sparkling water. Really stunning. [88pts]

Providence Dunder & Syrup 56%, (hopefully £50 - although as yet not available the UK)

Release number two from Providence - this time with the addition of dunder in the ferment to fuel inject things. I'm expecting more esters & a funkier rum...

Nose: A surprising step change. Less of the sweetness, less of the old fashioned sweet shop. A touch less depth & complexity. A little salt & brine. Quite dry. Still the salty plasticine. Clementines. Some spices. Savoury. With a rich creaminess. The nose on this one is more restrained. Less oomph.

Mouth: Rich & creamy. As with the nose, less sweetness. Less 'fizz'. However there's no lack of depth or complexity to the taste. That creaminess combined with some dry minerality, a touch of stinky durian and some black banana come together as a really tasty, lingering, satisfying rum.

I sense the higher level of esters are there as expected, but this time with a sort of sweet & sour result - like you've accidentally put gravy on your desert. A very happy accident. Yum [87pts]

Overall I marginally prefer the old fashioned sweetshop style from 'first drops' but the drier, creamier richness of 'dunder & syrup' is really excellent and I'm finding myself reaching for another sip. Both are big, exciting, clearly well made and 100% worth buying.

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