Review: Batiste Might Be the World’s First “Carbon Negative” Rhum
How exacting attention to eco-friendly practices leads to an excellent sugarcane spirit
What we’re drinking: Batiste Rhum Silver and Gold
Where it’s from: Batiste is distilled in Marie-Galante (one of the islands that form Guadeloupe) and finished in Napa, California.
Why we’re drinking this: Earlier this summer Batiste was validated by an outside organization, Third Partners, as climate positive and carbon negative. As Third Partners notes, “[Batiste’s] operations — from growing sugarcane in Guadeloupe through bottling and labeling the finished product in California — are better than carbon neutral, i.e., the sugarcane plants take in more carbon dioxide than the production process emits.” From what we can tell, they might be the only rum (or rhum) brand to make that claim. (The vodka from Air Co can also probably be considered carbon negative.)
Still, all the eco-positive goodwill the brand creates doesn’t do any good if the spirit itself is subpar — so we tested it out.
How it tastes: Batiste is a “rhum,” not a rum (our explainer is here). It’s crafted from 100% fresh sugarcane juice, and for most of these spirits from the French Caribbean islands, that means you’ll find grassy, fruity and funky notes.
Batiste Rhum Silver (40% ABV) is unaged, distilled and filtered once. Very “clean” and grassy on the nose, the silver is bright, floral and a little lemony, with notes of lychee. Your traditional daiquiri would be well served with this.
Batiste Rhum Gold (40% ABV) is aged for six months in high-char American rye barrels. A very light hay color, the rhum imparts a strong hint of vanilla, some smoke and a creamier mouthfeel. Outside of the color, this tastes far more complex than a spirit aged only half a year. (In our profile of rhums last year, one spirits producer noted that rhum can sometimes go a bit more toward tequila — honestly, this feels like akin to a reposado.)
Fun fact: Batiste’s commitment to eco-friendly practices is outlined here, but it involves a combination of renewable energy, “respectful” harvesting techniques, recycling production waste, single distillation and proofing/bottling on a green power grid, amongst many other processes.
Where to buy it: Batiste ($29-$35) is available in local stores and online here.
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