Rum distilleries in Marie-Galante
Three rum distilleries operate on Marie-Galante, not bad for a small island of only 15 km in diameter! And they produce some of the best agricultural-style rum in the world. At the difference of industrial rum made from molasses (a by-product of sugar production), agricultural-style rum originates from fermented and distilled sugarcane juice.
The vast majority of arable land on Marie-Galante is used for cultivating sugarcane but only 10% of this production reaches the distilleries. The remaining 90% are transformed into brown sugar at the sugar factory of the island in Grande-Anse. Here sugarcane is entirely hand-cut.
All three distilleries sell white rum with an alcoholic volume of 59° (alternatively reduced to 50°). Annual production ranges from 300,000 liters for the smallest distilleries to 850,000 liters for Bellevue. They also propose old-rum “rhum vieux” aged in barrels 4 to 12 years and more for special editions. They have all received many prizes in French and International agricultural competitions for the quality of their products.
Distilleries Bellevue and Bielle have modernized their production chain in the last ten years while distillery Poisson, producer of the famous Rhum du Père Labat, is still running with original equipments. Old distillation columns and machinery used to carry and transform the cane can be discovered on premises.
Photos taken during two trips in the summers of 2012 and 2014.