Mark Reynier debuts first Renegade Rum bottlings

by Kate Malczewski

Renegade Rum, the terroir-driven project from industry veteran Mark Reynier, has released its first bottlings in the UK through distributor Speciality Brands.

Reynier, founder of Irish whiskey distillery Waterford and former managing director of Scotch producer Bruichladdich, revealed his plans for a US$25 million rum distillery in Grenada in 2018. "I started planning the project in June 2015 after an initial exploratory trip to the island," Reynier explained. "We had the chance to make something really special here, with the latest thinking, drawing on our distilling experience from Scotland and Ireland to support the unique underpinning Renegade philosophy: rum defined by Grenada’s geology, farm by farm, field by field." Production at the Renegade facility began last year, and the producer has now unveiled the first three distillates in its range of 'single-farm origin' rums: Dunfermline – Pot Still; Dunfermline – Column Still; and Old Bacolet – Pot Still. As the name of the series suggests, each bottling is made from sugarcane grown on individual parcels of land, with the aim of showcasing Grenada's 'diverse and fertile volcanic terroirs'. The first two expressions come from Dunfermline farm, located in a traditional cane-growing area in the east of Grenada, and are made from Lacalome Red sugarcane. The Pot Still bottling boasts notes of figs, stone fruit, golden raisins and lemon zest, while the Column Still rum has light sweet aromas, as well as tropical notes of banana, pineapple, eucalyptus, aloe and freshly cut cane, with a velvety texture. The third bottling uses Cain sugarcane from the Old Bacolet farm on the south coast of Grenada, situated between two rivers in a flat, fertile flood plain. The rum delivers notes of caramel and vanilla, with spicy cinnamon and allspice flavours, nuttiness and a dry finish. All three expressions are unaged and sit at 50% ABV. Reynier continued: "Unusually this project has been both back to front and upside down: first we had to propagate cane where none existed to prove it was worthwhile building a distillery; then we had to design it backwards, from the end waste streams back to the incoming cane. "Now we have a landmark, state-of-the-art-distillery built and run by Grenadians to use Grenadian cane – the veritable spirit of Grenada. After all the blood, tears, sweat of determination and technical ingenuity – not to mention a global pandemic – we are delighted that the Renegade Rum Distillery is alive." Like Waterford's whiskeys, each Renegade bottle features a scannable code that contains information about the expression's origins in a bid to offer 'total transparency'. Renegade Rum is now available through Speciality Brands for RRP £55 (US$73) per 700ml. Earlier this year, we interviewed Reynier and got an inside look at his plans for Renegade Rum.