Tahitian rum, star of the ‘France Quintessence’ show in Paris

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The France Quintessence spirits industry tradeshow draws to a close on Monday in Paris. After opening its doors to the public on Sunday it was the professionals’ turn to taste rum, whisky, Armagnac and Calvados... to name a few. And the big favourite of this first edition is called Mana’o.

The Tahitian rum was a huge success with the professionals who spent several minutes at the Mana’o stand. Jérôme, a wine expert in the Yvelines region, was full of praise for the transparent liquid : "It’s a very nice surprise : for a rum that is 50°, it’s absolutely not the alcohol that comes out of the glass at first glance, there is a lot of finesse, the cane is extremely present, a very delicate sweetness, fruity aromas but all in subtlety... The only drawback is the length in mouth which for me is a little bit short, but that is linked to the still. But for a first, congratulations ! Make a lot more next time, we are already running out !"

5 000 bottles for 2015

Indeed this wine merchant will have to wait a few months before being able to offer Mana’o to his customers. At the end of 2015, 5,000 bottles should be accounted for. The producer Olivier Duret hopes "to increase production to 50,000 units by 2017-2018. There is a very strong demand that we unfortunately cannot satisfy right away, but it is very encouraging. The reception from individuals has been truly exceptional : they have appreciated the product, its freshness, its difference with what we know... On the professional side, it’s a little more specific, but the reception is still very positive."

A rum "comparable to that of the West Indies"

"It’s an official launch for us - with the arrival on the European market -, it allows us to have different opinions, explains Olivier Duret. We are attached to our products, we are a bit chauvinistic, and it allows us to see that people like Polynesia, our products and want to come and discover our islands. And what could be a more objective opinion than that of a Martiniquean, representing JM Rums at the France Quintessence trade show ? Dominique de la Guigneraye tasted it and found it "excellent. I was very surprised ! It’s a small production but I found it very high end, very fruity, very aromatic, comparable to our rums from the French West Indies, which are really very high quality rums."

"The Cocktail is the Travel"

For Alexandre, manager of a bar in the Rhône-Alpes region, Mana’o is a source of inspiration : "Finding a spirit from the Polynesian islands is really interesting. I think that piña coladas are going to take off ! For the cocktail world it’s interesting because there’s travel... I will be very happy to have a nice product like that in my establishment. The bistro is being reborn, it can be reborn with a bit of exoticism too, and Tahiti is a beautiful representative." All that remains is to increase the production rate, while keeping this great quality plebiscited by the milieu, so that the inspiration of the bartenders can express itself.

The Mana’o approach

" Thinking, remembering " : this is the translation of Mana’o, which favors the native cane of Oceania. It is the only Tahitian rum made from organic sugar cane from Fenua (and not from molasses). At the end of the year, 5,000 m² of a new variety from New Caledonia will be planted.
For the know-how, Olivier Duret is in contact with Martinique specialists who will visit the site at the end of the year. They advised us but they let us do it," says the producer. There was a real cooperation, which continues besides... This allowed us to find solutions to the many problems encountered."

By Julie Straboni
Published on 07/09/2015 | 16:39, updated on 07/09/2015 | 16:39