This week, the HSE Confrérie du Rhum with Cyrille Mald.
This week, the HSE Confrérie du Rhum with Cyrille Mald. It is at the base of La Maugée, between Gros-Morne and Saint-Joseph, that the HSE architectural complex was built. The sites, cellars and main building, with a facade regularly marked by 28 curved arches, which ensure ventilation, exhibit an architectural model unique to Martinique. It is precisely in these cellars that Benoit Bail and Jerry Gitany of La Confrérie du Rhum selected this extra vieux, non-reduced Rhum Agricole 52.2%, of which its production of eight hundred bottles are expected be snapped up quickly. I was in Martinique with them at the time and found them beaming from their tasting session with keeper of the flame, Cyrille Lawson. HSE stands for Habitation Saint Etienne, undoubtedly one of the most innovative brands on the market, where the rhums possess the peculiarity of being distilled at the Simon distillery, where the Saint-Etienne columns were relocated, whilst the other stages of production are carried out on the estate itself.
Bouquet: This rhum, aged in French wine barrels, develops a nose of fruit pâté (redcurrant and raspberry) mixed with notes of chocolate and an amber hue resulting from the aging process.
Taste: An oily mouthfeel revealing notes of blackberry, blackcurrant and violet, which gives it wonderful depth. However this rhum needs to be left time to open in order to avoid an initial woody attack that masks the full expression of the rhum.
Finish: Deliciously opulent, with red liquorice and coffee, it then turns towards fruitier tones (raspberry), which reveal a touch of white pepper.