Wednesday 2 September 2015

Bardinet Rhum Negrita - How bad can it be?

As I've mentioned in other reviews here I am a sucker for good packaging, so when I saw this little beauty peeking out of the shelves of a French supermarché you can imagine, I had to have it and the price point of a princely €3.49 doesn't hurt either.

Johnny Ive eat your heart out
Joking aside I was curious to see what on earth you get for that little money, would it be an abomination like Stroh or a French bargain like the Plantation range

From what I can see the Bardinet company has been around since 1875 and are a bit of a French spirits behemoth with a facility that ages 30,000 hectolitres at any one time while storing another 60,000.  To put that in perspective that's nearly 4.3 MILLION bottles of spirit sitting and maturing so, I figure, they must know what they're doing.

Information about the rhum itself is not easy to find, it's a rhum agricole being made from cane juice as opposed to molasses in traditional rum production (which the French term rhum industriel). The bottle itself only states "Iles Francaises du Rhum appellation d'origine" which just means it's from the French Rhum islands.  Others online have suggested it's a blend of rhums from Martinique, Guadeloupe and Réunion which certainly fits.

Once it hits the glass you get an initial huge hit of oaky vanilla that's quite overpowering but fades away quite quickly leaving not much behind to be honest, really inhaling deeply there's some fruit and the typical grassy agricole funky smell but you have to hunt for it.

Once you take a sip there's a lot of oak and a peppery spicy dryness that's not unpleasant but fades off very quickly leaving a slightly medicinal taste which I found oddly enjoyable in a Laphroaig kind of way.

There's a definite burn on the way down but nothing too harsh.  Now this is clearly not intended to be a sipping rum and, much like Stroh a lot of the material online is around cooking with it but using it in a rum and coke worked pretty well with the pepperiness holding up well to the coke sweetness.

Overall for €3.49 you really have nothing to lose with this, it's a serviceable rhum, not a great example of the agricole form by any stretch of the imagination but for sticking in a rum and coke while on your holidays it does the job.