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Sugar Rush

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Mark Reynier Rum

 "Carney been travelling all over the world, man."

Having returned to the West Indies this week with Mark Reynier, CaneCo and Renegade Rum, Carney received a warm welcome from Real FM's Andre Donald in Grenada, when they dropped in on his show Real Expressions yesterday.  Along with CaneCo's Director of Agriculture, B.J., the pair have been visiting the sugar cane estates on the island to document and delight in their development. 

Thanks to an initiative launched by Renegade and Westerhall Rum in September 2016, sugar cane production on the island has not only resumed, but is thriving.  The initiative, which has been repeatedly praised by Grenada's Minister of Agriculture, calls for a collaborative effort with local farmers to create high quality rum for exportation.  "We not just set out to make a rum" says B.J, "we set out to make the best rum in the world, and that starts in the field."  2 months ago some of these estates were only just being cleared for reinvigoration, now these areas are seeded, planted up, and some of the cane is already a metre tall.  The fields are flourishing and it's partly because of the fantastic relationship the company enjoys with the workers.

Andre, who introduced Mark as the H.N.I.C. of CaneCo, had invited the trio in to reveal what lies ahead for the company and when the first drop of rum will come from the stills, and there's still a long way to go.  Outside of the fields things have been frantically busy with the stills ordered, planning applications underway and the start of a huge recruitment on the island for Renegade's distillery.  

This endeavour represents a new investigation into the influence of terroir as the sugar cane on Grenada is grown in many different soil types.  For example, the cane at the Hope estate was prepared in the rainy season and is below sea level.  There is a complex interaction between the landscape, the soil and the organisms living and growing in it.  Saline soil will effect the flavour compounds in the sugar cane, and will therefore appear in distillation of the spirit.  Although it is not yet known how these will present themselves, Renegade expects to see different flavours from different areas, as seen with the barley at Waterford Distllery in Ireland.  These discoveries are groundbreaking as this is the first time such an intricate and well analysed study has been made.  As yet there is no scientific evidence because this level of traceability is unprecedented.

As we wait patiently for the world's finest rum to start flowing from Spice Island, you can see our previous film about the development here, and watch yesterday's radio interview here.  Big thanks to Andre and Simone Isaac for having Carney in the studio.