The list of increduble experiences I had last fall while attending (and speaking at) the Bar Convent Berlin is a mile long, but up near the top of the list is the afternoon chat I had with Andreas Redlefsen, owner of St. Lucia’s Elements Eight rums.
Elements Eight is virtually unknown in this country, but occasionally you will hear of it whispered in hushed tones between rum aficionados as the brand has acquired a sort of mythical status. Fortunately there was plenty on hand to taste in Europe, and I had the man himself to tell me all about it.
Elements Eight begins with molasses made from Guyanese cane (cane production is no longer commercially viable in St. Lucia). The distillers then take that molasses and ferment it in three separate batches with three different yeast strains from the island. The resulting ‘beers’ are then distilled in three different stills, which results in nine unique rums.
The first is a traditional John Dore copper pot still, the ‘Rolls Royce’ of pot stills – creating a rum that is heavy bodied, pungent and full of flavor. This rum will gain complexity as it is aged and will impart a lot of depth and complexity into the final blend. Still Two is a Vendome pot still – originally constructed for American whiskey production. The end result is a lighter rum than that produced in the John Dore. Aaaaand, still number three is a column still. Very light rum.
Anyway, all of these different rums are hand-blended and aged in used Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels in St. Lucia, which provides a unique microclimate between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic ocean. The warm Caribbean climate helps expand the rum into the barrel, and the chilly Atlantic evenings contract the liquid and help wash that flavor from the wood.
Both rums are aged, the gold for a minimum of 6 years, the platinum for a minimum of 4 years. Yes, the platinum rum is then charcoal-filtered in order to remove the color before it is packaged and shipped.
And what about the flavor? Both are light, clean, buttery, sophisticated and delicate, with the gold providing a touch more richness and caramel than the crisper platinum. Sippable neat, but perfect for mixing in cocktails. I’ve made crisp mojitos, smooth, buttery rum old-fashioneds, light daiquiris and Mai Tais that defy the laws of gravity.
Already available in Europe, Elements Eight is slated for release in the States late this year or early 2010.
24 Replies to “Elements Eight Rum”
As for the E-8’s spiced version, it is well known that the legal term “natural” when applied to flavors and spices is often misused to imply that the flavors and spices are entirely from the real fruit or spice.
I’d like to know if the flavors and spices used are entirely and solely real, and not a legally labelled “natural” flavor (in which only one component of the flavoring be natural, and not necessarily from the named fruit or spice.
I am very excited to taste some of this fine product 😉
all of jamaica’s rums, including Wray & Nephew are molasses based. and it is definitely unaged.
the reason you may think it is an agricole is because it is blended using predominantly high ester, pot still rums – hence the pungent, ‘over-ripe’ fruit nose
You are sure that W&N white overproof is a molasses rum, which is unaged? I didn’t knew that; and the taste is more like a fresh sugar cane juice spirit, than a molasses rum…
Anyway – we can agree, that most white rums are aged and active carbon filtered – though doesn’t make the Elements eight platinum any worse…
there are a few molasses based white rums that are not aged. the most obvious that cmes to my mind right now is Wray & Nephew White Overproof, which comes straight off the still, is blended with purley unaged rum and then reduced to 63%abv…
glad to hear you are a fan of our Platinum rum!
I had the pleasure to try both Elements 8 rums.
My verdict is not as overwhelming as Jeffreys – though not bad at all…
I actually like Elements 8 Platinum most. It has some quite robust flavors – though still is crisp and attractive. I would say, one of the best white rums available [I couldn’t yet get my hands on Ruby Rey or Oronoco]!
I would even say that it is as good [or even better] than 10Cane.
Though I don’t find the gold Elements 8 so impressive. It is without any doubt good; though there are other kids of the block, doing the job even better.
By the way – I don’t even know one white Molasses rum which is not aged and not charcoal filtered. Even the folks of Bacardi using this procedure [and if I am not wrong, they actually applied it to rum].
To my knowledge Rhum Agricole and Cachaca [both made from fresh sugar cane juice] are the only products of sugar cane products which can be sold unaged… though I could be wrong…
Oops,sorry. I hit the wrong comments section. This was regarding the video “My turn in the barrel”
Is it a coincidence? Today Jamie Boudreau posted a shaking-how-to video on the Small Screen Network.
He only covered how to use a Boston Shaker —the banana coupling of the glass and tin, and where exactly to tap it for easy separation. Both points I had not considered and my shaker will be happy when I skip the usual beating next round.
Very good tips actually, coupled with your lengthier, more encompassing video the novice has the complete works of Shakesphere.
(sorry). Anyway, your both great sources; did you guys work this out together?
The best cocktail place in my town features this rum pretty heavily on their shelves, but I’ve always asked for Havana Club instead because the square bottle has been a bit of a turn-off. I guess I was too quick to dismiss it as a gimmick spirit and will try it the next time I get the chance.
How many colors are offered? 😉
I agree… Not only is Oronoco incredible, but I often can’t bear to throw away the bottle when finished.
Now… If only I can get my hands on this [e]8 stuff…
… lenthening Bastians comment even further:
After aging and filtering coulor might be added.
Consistancy is the purpose !?
We are looking at an RRP of around $35-$40.
Yes, this rum is great, as i also can attest in the post i made in january. What i especially like is the buttery aftertaste, its deliscious! and especially the platinum is a dream to sip neat.
Is it good in a Mai Tai? that was intersting to read, actually that drink never crossed my mind to mix with these rums as they are quite delicate.I better go and mix myself one Mai Tai with E8 right away(and now i also got thirsty.)
Which of the rums did you use, both or the gold?
Just to make a long list longer: Angostura and Havana Club both age their white rums and filter it.
Sounds lovely, but, given the steps and equipment involved in the distilling, perhaps a bit dear to mix into cocktails?
Any ideas on what price range this will fall into?
“Already available in Europe, Elements Eight is slated for release in the States late this year or early 2010”
This means Pennsylvania will get it around 2015.
Huzzah for more rum in the US. Eventually.
I was lucky enough to get to sample the [e]8 at RumFest UK last October. It’s a superb line.
As Martin says, the charcoal filtering of color for an aged rum is not all that uncommon – in fact my favorite “white rum” (Oronoco) goes through the same process.
Our aim was to create a smooth, complex and flavorful ‘white’ rum. Maturation is a necessary step for this, but to render the rum ‘white’ the filtration is required to remove the color obtained during aging. Hope this clears up your question.
this is not an unusual practice. many white rums are aged for up to 4 years and then filtered to make them clear. this has been my understanding anyway.
Charcoal filtering to create a rum that’s clear but aged is very common and used in dozens of brands. It’s a style that offers the appearance of an unaged silver, but with some of wood notes remaining. I say some, because charcoal filtration removes flavor as well, but you’re still left with more character than an unaged rum. Cruzan, Myers’s Platinum, Flor De Cana, the list goes on and on.
Charcoal filtered to remove color after aging? WTF?