Where does a rum begin?

Is it in the yeast? Is it in the still? In the case of a rhum agricole, is it in the cane itself?

But it’s just as important — if not more important — where a rum ends.

In recent years, a number of rum producers have been exploring the universe of barrel aging — particularly, using barrels that previously housed other wines and spirits.

At the forefront of this movement has been Rhum HSE, the Martinique-based rum producer that’s among the most innovative spirits companies, well, anywhere.

Where the magic happens at HSE.

For several years now, HSE has been experimenting with a range of “special finish” expressions, finishing their rhums in everything from sherry casks to Islay whisky casks.

What they’ve shown again and again is just how much the barrel matters — from the charring to the type of oak to, of course, the duration of aging.

But that’s just the beginning — the team at HSE has taken the art to new levels — from ultra-specific charring profiles for the barrels to even looking at barrels made exclusively with oak from particular forests. 

One of HSE’s more unique expressions is particularly lovely, though.

This is the HSE Chateau La Tour Blanche Finish.

After eight years of aging in American oak barrels, it spent an additional year maturing in barrels that formerly housed Chateau La Tour Blanche, the famous Bommes-based dessert wine.

So what is it like?

The color is a classic golden amber, with a mild aroma of oak, caramel, brown sugar and a hint of dried apricot.

The flavor profile is marked by dried apricot, a hint of orange zest, black pepper, white wine, cane sugar, tropical fruit, even a hint of Moscato.

This is a classically velvety rhum from HSE, with a slightly bold but well balanced finish.

The sweetness of the Sauternes is in there, to be sure.

But it doesn’t overwhelm like so many other special finish rums.

It’s subtle, dancing around the flavors, never taking over. But it adds so much.

It’s the most important ending for a rum — in your glass.

Rum Journal Rating: 95 Points

— CJ

The post Rum Journal: This Martinique Rhum Is Finished in Sauternes Barrels appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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By Alexander Britell

World-class restaurants. Historic forts. Creative cocktail bars.

And even its own little cay.

This is Christiansted, St Croix, and it’s time it got on your travel radar.

Because the best-kept secret in the US Virgin Islands has quietly become one of the most fascinating spots in the Caribbean, a haven for foodies, history lovers and beach aficionados.

St Croix’s tourism recovery from last year’s storms has been nothing short of remarkable, and Christiansted is at the center of it, with a collection of small hotels (from the Hotel Caravelle to the Club Comanche), great shopping, bustling bars and one of the region’s most happening food scenes.

It’s the latter that’s most impressive; in a few short years Christiansted has cultivated a significant concentration of top eateries, from institutions like Savant to up-and-coming dining outposts like Uptown Eatery, Zion Modern Kitchen and Balter, among others.

And while this is certainly an urban destination, the water is never far, whether you’re taking out a charter boat to Buck Island or spending an afternoon just across the harbor at the eminently lovable Hotel on the Cay and its great little white-sand beach.

See more in the latest CJ video at the top of the page.

The post VIDEO: Why You Need to Visit Christiansted, St Croix appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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By the Caribbean Journal staff

Another St Maarten resort is planning its reopening.

The Divi Little Bay Beach Resort in St Maarten is targeting a May relaunch, according to a release.

Divi Resorts has also tapped Anne-Marie Brooks as the new general manager at Divi Little Bay, replacing Celine Van Meer, who is now the general manager at the Divi Flamingo in Bonaire.

“We’re overjoyed that Anne-Marie has decided to return to Divi Little Bay,” said Marco Galaverna, Divi Resorts President & COO. “We’re making great progress in getting Little Bay back up and running in May, and we can’t wait to see what fresh and innovative ideas Anne-Marie brings to the table.”

Brooks was most recently the assistant general manager at St Maarten’s Oyster Bay Beach Resort.

The post St Maarten’s Divi Liuttle Bay to Reopen in May appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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Love is in the air, and if your clients have recently fallen for a property, use these tips to ensure they have really found “the one….

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It’s the icing on the cake of every wedding, a chance to get away from it all, a way to begin your new life together in style.

But choosing the right honeymoon destination is very much an art. The best honeymoon destinations combine tranquility,, luxury and adventure, blending much-needed relaxation with requisite romance.

But let’s be honest – the best honeymoons begin and end with the hotel.

Choosing the right place to stay can make or break a honeymoon, and that means the best honeymoon destinations offer a diverse range of high-quality accommodations that tick all of the boxes you’re looking for.

We have you covered, with our list of the top honeymoon destinations in the Caribbean right now, from well-known honeymoon hotspots to several islands that offer the chance for a decidedly different kind of honeymoon.

best honeymoon destinations

Antigua This increasingly hip destination has one of the most diverse, outstanding hotel offerings in the Caribbean, with something for everyone: from adults-only all-inclusives like Galley Bay and the Pineapple Beach Club to boutique resorts like Blue Waters and South Point to legendary getaways like Curtain Bluff.

The post The Best Honeymoon Destinations in the Caribbean appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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A Great Education Event, 70+ in Attendance

A great big thanks to the Education Commitee, Job Well Done!

Read more


By the Caribbean Journal staff

American Airlines is increasing its service to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao.

Beginning this summer, American will be adding an additional weekly flight from Charlotte to Curaçao.

That means a pair of weekend flights to the island, with service on Saturday and Sunday.

Both flights will operate with 128 seats.

American Airlines is also expanding capacity on its Miami-Curaçao route, with an additional daily capacity of 60 seats.

The post American Airlines Expanding Curaçao Flights appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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