Origins of Saison Rum

Origins of Saison Rum

by Anaïs Brisson, U.S. Operations Manager for Saison Rum

The Tessendier family have been producers and distillers of cognac since 1880. In 2017, they turned to the Caribbean and devoted their know-how to the creation of their own rum: Saison Rum. The origins of the name Saison were inspired by its journey, from the research of the terroirs to the maturation of this rum. 4 key stages, just like the 4 seasons of the year. 

Summer: Origins

After careful consideration, the Tessendier family chose rums from 3 distinct terroirs in the Caribbean islands: Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica. Historically, rum was first produced on the island of Barbados. The fertile, chalky soil is similar to that found in our own Cognac lands. Two types of distillation are used on the island: pot stills and column stills. Barbados offers a wide choice of distillates to create a subtle and complex blend for Saison Rum. 

Trinidad is the southernmost island in the Caribbean. Its hot and humid climate allows for strong oxidation during the aging process. Saison sources an assemblage of 3 to 5 year column distilled rums from Trinidad. These rums bring a light, creamy and unctuous note to the final blend with a lot of tropical fruit  notes on the nose and palate.
Jamaica makes a wide variety of styles of rum using different fermentation techniques, distillation styles, aging processes, and blending styles. Saison sources different lots of primarily pot-distilled Jamaican rums with vegetable
and licorice notes that offer freshness and complexity. Aromas and flavors of vegetal, floral, clean green sugarcane notes, with a touch of bitterness shine through with the small percentage of Jamaican rum used in the blends. 

Autumn: Aging

The selected rums are aged in ex-bourbon American white oak barrels on their land of origin. The rums react to the heat and hygrometry specific to the Caribbean, which gives a unique oxidation to the future rums, accelerating their maturity and concentrating their aroma.

Winter: Blending

The rums are then shipped to France, where they are blended - no sugar is added to the rums at any stage. The intention of the Cellar Master is to bring out the typicity of these terroirs in a harmonious balance - with each island bringing a distinct flavor profile, the blended rum reflects the best that each island offers in an elevated blend.

Spring: Finishing

The rums are then left to mature for several months in French oak barrels that have contained Cognac, on the banks of the Charente River. Because no sugar is added to the rums, the cognac leaves a distinct touch of sweetness and stone fruit to the grassy and tropical fruit flavors of the original rum. Finishing the rum in cognac barrels weaves together the diverse flavor profiles of each island with an undertone of warmth and spice typical to cognac.

Unique in the complexity of its aromatic profile, Saison Rum takes its harmony and delicacy from its Caribbean roots. To be discovered through a complete range to be tasted at temperature, on ice or in cocktails.

This letter was sent from the Fellows at Saison Rum

The house of Tessendier has been distilling eaux-de-vie for over 130 years using Charentais stills in traditional Cognac methods. They now apply their expertise in blending and ageing techniques to a different world of spirits: rum. The Tessendier brothers have created a unique blended rum in accordance with the traditional French method of cognac production -- carefully choosing distillates from different regional terroirs to blend. The four key steps defined by the Cellar Master, from the search for ideal terriors to the final touches, naturally suggest the name of the rum: Saison, the French word for season. 

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