After Plantation, Alexandre Gabriel is launching a new rum brand, Canerock, which is intended to develop in the segment of spiced tasting rums.
With Canerock, more than a new vintage, it is a new brand that Maison Ferrand is launching. The company run by Alexandre Gabrielle, which is already behind the success of Ferrand (cognac), Plantation (tasting rums), Citadelle (gin), as well as Ferrand Dry Curaçao (curaçao) and Mathilde liqueurs, has set its sights on the very buoyant spiced rum segment.
But why not integrate Canerock into the Plantation range? “We had to invent a new world, a new brand. Canerock is not a traditional rum but a spiced rum, that is to say a rum infused with spices,” explains Hugo Gargaud, Marketing Manager for Canerock and Plantation rums. “With its base of old Jamaican rums, some of which are pot still distilled, and the use of natural spices, Canerock differs greatly from other spiced rums on the market, most of which are white or very young rums, column distilled and flavoured, intended to be drunk long with cola. Ferrand’s philosophy is to produce spirits of excellence, and Canerock has been designed with this same philosophy in mind.”
A complex manufacturing process
The base is pot still and column distilled rums from the Clarendon distillery, aged for up to 3 years. These elegant rums in the style of South Jamaica are combined with 5 to 10 year old pot still rums from the Long Pond distillery, which are loaded with esters and bring structure to the whole.
As you can see, the Canerock base could very well be enjoyed on its own, without any addition whatsoever… but it would not be a spiced. So the teams of Alexandre Gabriel, Master Blender of the Ferrand House, are going to infuse separately the 3 natural spices that go into the Canerock recipe in unaged rum, which is itself a blend of pot still and column.
First, the aromatic backbone of Canerock: Madagascar vanilla, which will bring its spicy notes and sweetness. Then local ginger, from the north-west of Jamaica in the province of Trelawny, infused in rum which is then re-distilled so that it does not overpower the whole. This ginger adds freshness. And finally, Caribbean coconut, used to bring texture, an oily, greasy side… The 3 infusions of spices and rums are then assembled with the base of old rums.
And it’s not over yet, because if 80% of the blend is blended in vats, 20% spends a few weeks in ex-barrels of Pedro Ximénez, a very sweet Spanish wine: more than 200g of residual sugar per litre where Sauternes is around 100g to 150g. This brings structure and complexity with notes of honey, grape and rancio, and brings out the funky side of Jamaican rum,” Hugo Gargaud explains. In the end, it gives a product that is pleasant to drink, marked by vanilla, spicy but not spicy. It’s the sweetness and balance that make Canerock so charming.
Drink it neat or on the rocks
And indeed, Canerock is a good spiced tasting rum (it is 40%) that can be drunk neat. The vanilla, which is very present, dominates the whole, without overpowering it, the ginger adds a pep while the funky side of Jamaican rum is also very present, almost in the background. But when the weather is a bit hot, we advise you to drink it on ice (ice cubes or crushed ice).
The dilution will allow the very powerful aromas to soften a little and, as a bonus, it will prolong the experience. Hugo Gargaud advises serving Canerock in a glass that has previously been left for 15 minutes in the freezer, in order to cool the liquid without diluting it. Mixology enthusiasts will also have a field day and the brand offers four recipes, which you will find opposite.
Pre-empting the spiced tasting rum segment
As you can see, Canerock’s ambition is not to compete with the stars of the entry-level and mid-range spiced rums segment, but rather to pre-empt the niche of spiced tasting rums. This can also be seen in the choice of the distribution network (wine shops) and the price positioning: in the 42 euros, against between 15 and 20 euros for Captain Morgan and between 25 and 35 euros for Kraken…
But before leaving, let’s talk about the future. What future for Canerock? “This is a new brand. Let’s give it some time. When it’s established, we’ll think about expanding the range, probably within the next two years,” says Hugo Gargaud.