Savanna Grand Arome Lontan LMDW 60th Anniversary

Lontan Savanna Arome Grand Rum Review by the fat rum pirateSavanna Grand Arome Lontan. Savanna or Rhum Savanna are a rum producer from the Reunion Island.  This particular Savanna bottling is a “Grand Arome”.

The Savanna distillery has been established since 1992 on the sugar refinery site of Bois Rouge, located in the North-East of the island of Reunion. It is one of the only ones in the world to market a rum from a very long fermentation (15 days) called “Grand Arome”.

Reading up about this rum on the La Maison du Whisky website it seems that this is a molasses based rum not an agricole.  Which I find a bit of a surprise. I do concede though I know little about the Savanna rums.  This is the first rum from the Reunion Island that I have reviewed.

This “Grand Arome” Lontan was released earlier this year as part of LMDW 60th Anniversary celebrations.  Only 1000 bottles were produced I have bottle number 494.  I paid just under £40 for this rum which is bottled at a healthy 57% ABV.

Presentation wise the bottle is sleek presentation whilst fairly minimalist does give you a lot of information on the rum. I do like Savanna’s clear modern branding.

Plantation Rum have recently bottled a rum from the Reunion Island and there has been some talk about Savanna’s distinctive offerings, amongst some rum enthusiasts.  They are still fairly low key though in the greater scheme of things.  As far as I am aware this is an unaged Pot Still produced molasses rum.  If anyone has any further information please let me know.  A lot of this is just guess work at this stage.

Anyway lets move onto the fun part and get down to nosing and tasting this particular rum.

In the glass the rum is crystal clear.  In the bottle it might have had a slight yellow tinge but when poured that disappears so must have been the label/bottle.

Savanna Lontan Grand Arome is a punchy rum at 57% ABV and it hasn’t been aged for very long. No need for any fancy glassware to nose this!Lontan Savanna Arome Grand Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

I’m immediately put in mind of funky white unaged Jamaican Pot Still Rum – Wray and Nephew and RumBar Overproof, especially.  The nose is big and quite funky.  Burnt black bananas and fermenting Pineapples.  Throughout the nose is a strong menthol/minty note and a big hit of floor polish and varnish.  It has a slight vegetal edge to it but it is not like unaged agricole or the Clairin’s of Haiti.

Whilst drawing on some elements of Jamaican Overproof and to a lesser extent white Rhum Agricole the Savanna Lontan Grand Arome has its own identity.  It has a minty almost absinthe like aroma that runs right through the nose alongside a slight spiciness and a richness – maybe a touch of clove.

Sipped the Lontan is initially very spicy and quite herbal.  This fades and you get a very medicinal minty rum.  It’s quite unique in many respects.  Despite the big nose when sipped it is actually quite refined and really pretty smooth.

Further sips reveal a slight soapiness and a sweetness – melon and some sweeter grape add some nice complexity to it.  It’s still pretty spicy though which is to be expected really.

I presume this rum is unaged (or aged briefly) so it has little interaction with a wood cask.  As a result there isn’t a great deal of oak spiciness.  The spiciness is more of a minty alcohol burn with a hit of curry powder.  It’s very different.

Like the Clairin’s from Haiti this isn’t really a “beginners” rum.  You would probably have to come from a spirit background to really appreciate this initially.  A tequila or mezcal drinker may appreciate this.

Lontan Savanna Arome Grand Rum Review by the fat rum pirateIt works nicely sipped even at the full ABV it doesn’t come across too aggressively. Mixed it works really nicely in a Ti Punch and with fruit drinks – a Tingwray made with this is very good.

With cola it doesn’t work so well – I don’t really enjoy any of the funkier/more medicinal white rums with cola to be honest.

This is a rum I would say is for the enthusiast or someone who is really far gone on their Rum Journey.  I wouldn’t for instance serve this at a Rum Tasting unless it was very specialist.

If you aren’t familiar with “funkier” white rums this will terrify you.  I was in a bar a couple of weeks back and the bartender was complaining that people were ordering Ting Wray Cocktails and then returning them as they “didn’t like them” even after he had warned them about the rum used in them.

This won’t be for everyone but if you have looked into buying this then I would recommend you do.  It certainly has some unique facets to it and whilst similar to other high ABV whites it has enough going on to be different.

I enjoyed this more than the Clairin’s I must say I think it’s much more refined. Though its still a bit of a beast.








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