True taste of Martinique comes to UK as ‘AOC Rum Agricole’ Depaz announces autumn launch
Depaz, one of the world’s oldest and most exceptional rums, has announced its official launch in the UK this autumn, bringing a taste of its lush Martinique home in the French West Indies to British drinkers.
One of the few rums to hold ‘AOC Rum Agricole’ status (‘appellation d’origine controlee’) – a mark exclusive to Martinique, denoting production in a small designated geographical area – Depaz is one of the island’s finest terroir spirits; a traditionally crafted rum of exquisite quality and flavour, the perfect embodiment of its place and the perseverance of its people over 350 years.
The Depaz team will launch a portfolio of four 700ml expressions in the UK market, all perfect for sipping and savouring: Depaz Plantation Rum, Depaz VSOP Reserve Speciale, Depaz Grand Reserve XO and Depaz Port Cask Finish. Launch events and tastings are planned for Rumfest on 20th and 21st October and The Spirit Show 22nd and 23rd November (both in London), with limited stocks then available at specialist spirits retailers and bars around the UK. The range will have an RRP of £35 – £55.
From cane to cask, every drop of Depaz Rum is produced at the Depaz Estate and Distillery on Martinique’s rugged north west coast, nestled in the shadow of the island’s highest mountain, volcanic Mont Peleé.
This terroir is at the heart of the rum. The rich volcanic soil surrounding Mont Peleé, and the shelter it provides from rain clouds brought to Martinique on the eastern trade winds, cultivate the estate’s high quality blue sugar cane. Harvested each spring amid celebrations, its juices result in a rum of unique character and superb depth of flavour.
Depaz is also defined by its history, which stretches back to 1651 when ‘Chateau Depaz Estate’ was founded; and the resilience of the Depaz family in the face of enormous tragedy. A catastrophic eruption of Mount Peleé in 1902 claimed the lives of 30,000 islanders and destroyed the entire Depaz Distillery. Just one member of the Depaz family survived, with a resolve to rebuild the estate and restart rum production for future generations.
Unlike standard rums which are made with syrups and molasses, Depaz is crafted using only the pressed juice of freshly cut sugar cane. Each expression is smooth, flavourful and perfectly balanced, with different styles and finishes to suit different tastes.
- Depaz Plantation Rum (45% ABV, 700ml): matured in oak casks for at least three years. This characterful rum has delicate vanilla aromas, with hints of coconut and chocolate, followed by soft notes of prune, cocoa and cinnamon on the nose. Distinctive notes of vanilla, candied fruit, coconut, chocolate and prune follow on the palate.
- Depaz VSOP Reserve Speciale (45% ABV 700ml): a unique blend of rums aged for at least seven years in selected small oak casks. On the nose, a perfect blend of chocolate, dried fruit, tobacco and liquorice aromas, with hints of prune, vanilla and soft oak. A beautifully rounded taste, pairing prune notes with hints of soft oak and a long, slightly spicy finish.
- Depaz Grand Reserve XO (45% ABV 700ml): an exceptionally rich, complex yet balanced blend of rums aged between nine and ten years. Spice, chocolate, rose and liquorice aromas give way to prune, vanilla and soft oak notes on the nose. There are flavours of soft, fine vanilla and oak on the palate.
- Depaz Port Cask Finish (45% ABV 700ml): matured for at least eight years in selected oak casks and finished for eleven months in Port casks to give a distinctive flavour. Aromas of delicate oak with vanilla, chocolate and ripe fruits on the nose. Flavours of soft oak, followed by vanilla pastry and chocolate on the palate, developing into notes of mature port laced with hazelnut, dried fruits, cocoa and rose jam. A lingering finish with notes of subtle jasmine, coffee and plum.
Commenting on the launch, Ruaridh Paterson, Key Account Manager for Depaz Rum said: ‘We are very much looking forward to bringing Depaz to the UK, and to sharing the extraordinary taste of our rums and the fascinating story of our Martinique heritage with British drinkers. We are seeing a growing interest in spirits that are more premium and crafted, offering interesting new flavours, distinctive provenance and an authentic story. As an agricole rum with centuries of island heritage, Depaz is rich in all of these areas and is already highly acclaimed and sought after in our existing markets. We look forward to sharing these exceptional rums with drinkers over the coming months.’
For more information on the history of Depaz, visit www.depazrhum.com