As always when I go to rumfests and try out rums I`ve never tried before I find something that sparks my attention and interest and the rums from Hèritiers Madkaud is one. They are not only very good rhum agricoles they also have an interesting story and I think they deserve to be more known. I`d recommend anyone interested in rhum agricole to try them out!

The rhum Hèritiers Madkaud is today owned by Stèphane Madkaud who re-launched the rum by the end of 2007 and most parts of the story was told to me directly by him.The story of the rum brand Madkaud is very old and goes back to the days of slavery on Martinique.

RHUM MADKAUD – THE HISTORY AS TOLD BY STEPHANE MADKAUD

The thing is that in the beginning, my ancestors, as slaves, had no names, no family names (no last names in fact) they just had first names. My slave ancestor was called “Louis”, and that’s all. And he had a number for identification. If you give me one minute, I will get you his real number….he was number “105”

So what is written is that “what we know today for sure, is that before being called “Madkaud”, my ancestors were black slaves who worked on a plantation in “Grand Anse – Lorrain”, in Martinique. ” In fact in 1849, one year after slavery was abolished, they decided they wanted to be called “Madkaud” because of a French former governor of Martinique who was called “Mackau” who, in 1845, as a congressman, produced a law which allowed the enslaved to buy their own freedom with their own work. So maybe this is how they got free, maybe a few years before slavery was officially abolished in 1848.

Louis had 9 sons and daghters among which was Félicien (the 9th) who was may grandfather’s grandfather and Félicien was born in 1857  as a free man and he created the rum brand in 1895. He was a distiller for a french man who owned a sugar factory, but the guy went bankrupt because there was sugar crisis in the years 1880s and he needed to leave Martinique.

Félicien could take the factory but to be able to make it financially, a marriage was arranged with a white lady whose father was a trader in France (in Bordeaux) They got married in 1893 and Félicien created Agricole rhum Madkaud in 1895.

In these years it was the end of molasses in Martinique and this is how agricole rum began…because of sugar crisis.

Félicien was the first Black man to own a factory. We know he had some difficulties because the owners around did not accept his presence at such a level. But he was also a fighter.

“Habitation Duvallon”, where rum Madkaud was created. The place is called “fond capot”, in the city of Carbet.

Thank you Stèphane!  – and the brief history of the rum itself is this:

In the 1950s and 60s the rums from Madkaud were well known on Martinique but they disappeared from the market to reappear in the 90s.

The cause of the brand`s collapse was the death of Stèphanes grandfather, aged 40 in the mid 60s causing bankruptcy. Some cousins did their best to keep the brandname alive but they were no more producers. However they succeeded in making the brandname survive through a partnership with a larger producer but this was only survival.

They were limited to just a small single quota with the production controlled by a third party, the family rum could no longer afford to be what it once was and only very small amounts of rum were sold locally.

Then in the 90s the quotas were suppressed in Martinique and they could go back to business but without a real marketing policy. In 2007 Stèphane created Heritiers Madkaud as a sign of a new era – with better casks, more beautiful bottles, and little by little…better communication.

This is why the story starts again 40 (!) years later… 40 years after Stèphanes grandfather’s death.

And in 2013 the Madkaud rum was awarded bronze for the white, and silver for the VSOP at the rumfest in Madrid and the same year also bronze and silver in HongKong. This was followed by a gold medal at the Paris rumfest in 2014 and in 2015 it was awarded gold in Madrid and double gold in Berlin for both expressions.

I think that`s quite amazing for a rum that almost disappeared and was more or less “gone” for 40 years….and now it`s time for the tasting – here are my thoughts, in short:

Héritiers Madkaud Blanc Cuvée Castelmore

The color is crystal clear and the nose is elegant with whiffs of fresh grassy notes followed by hints of citrus, and sugarcane. The taste is mild and balanced with hints of fresh sugarcane, citrus and white pepper. It has the typical grassy herbal notes of fresh cut sugarcane and is pleasant to sip and the crisp grassiness is more in the background than upfront, it doesn`t attack you, more like caressing your palate. It has a medium long finish.

Héritiers Madkaud VSOP Cuvée Castelmore

Well rounded nose, with hints of wood and herbal grassiness of the cane and tropical fruits. In the mouth it´s mild and pleasanly fruity and balanced with hints of spices, orange and wood, tropical fruits and sugarcane. It has a longer finish than than the blanc. This rum has been aged four years and has a clear amber color.

There`s no sugar or other “things” added, this is pure rhum agricole!

And of course, sipping it neat is the best and the given cocktail would be a ti punch but I wanted to make some tropical cocktails too, plus two tiki drinks as well, to see how they mix :

Banán Punch

60 ml/ 2 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole VSOP
15 ml/ 0.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
15 ml/ 0.5 oz fresh orange juice
15 ml/ 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
15 ml/ 0.5 oz banana syrup
Dash Angostura bitters

Flash blend in blender on high speed with 2.5 dl/ 1 cup of crushed ice for 5 sec and pour into a snifter, top up with more crushed ice

Pineapple Delight

2 oz (60ml) fresh pineapple juice
0.5 oz (15ml) honey cream mix
0.5 oz (15ml) orgeat
0.25 oz demerara syrup
1 oz (30ml) fresh lime juice
1 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole VSOP
1 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole Blanc
Decent float of overproof rum

Blend in blender at high speed for 5 sec with a cup of crushed ice and pour into a pineapple, add more crushed ice to fill.
Add the float and a couple dashes of aromatic bitters,(I used Zulu Aromatic bittters from Brazil, but Angostura works just as fine).

To make honey cream mix:
Mix 4 tsp honey with 2 oz (60ml) water
Heat up and stir until the honey is dissolved.
Add 1 tbsp unsalted butter and mix it all together, cool to roomtemp.

Missionary`s Downfall

This is one of Don the Beachcomber’s greatest masterpieces, it was made back in 1940s, even though Jeff Berry have pointed out in his book “Beachbum Berry`s Remixed” that it may even be as old as back in 1937. It´s a masterpiece of refreshing herbal awesomeness! and it never gets old. In this recipe the rums are switched to Madkaud Agricole Blanc. And honey-mix is used here which is like the previous honey cream mix but without the butter.

60 ml/2 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole Blanc
30 ml/1 oz honey mix*
15 ml/0.5 oz Peach Brandy
15 ml/0.5 oz lime juice
45 ml/1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
12-20 mint leaves
2.5 dl/1 cup crushed ice

Combine in a blender and blend at high-speed for 20 seconds. Pour into a goblet or coupe and garnish with mint sprig. (and a tropical flower if you like:-)

*Honey Mix
1 part honey
1 part water
Combine in a small sauce pan and bring just to a boil.

Cool and bottle.

Ginger Coconut Sour

60 ml/ 2 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole VSOP
22.5 ml/ 0.75 oz Campari
15 ml/ 0.5 oz fresh lime juice
30 ml/ 1 oz fresh pineapple juice
30 ml/ 1 oz fresh coconut water
15 ml/ 0.5 oz ginger syrup
1 egg white
Grated nutmeg

Shake hard and long to emulsify the egg white (or use blender) and pour into a chilled rocks glass. Dust grated nutmeg on top. Garnish with pineapple leaves.

Colada Martinique

30 ml/ 1oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole VSOP
30 ml/ 1 oz Madkaud Rhum Agricole Blanc
30 ml/ 1 oz pineapple juice
30 ml/ 1 oz coconut water
30 ml/ 1 oz Coco Lopez or Coco Real cream of coconut
30 ml/ 1 oz fresh lime juice
Dash Angostura bitters

Flash blend in blender at high speed for 5 sec with 2.5 dl/ 1 cup crushed ice. Pour into a coconut or rocks glass and top up with more crushed ice.

Well, no problem with the mixing! this rum both sips and mixes just fine! in other words, it´s very versatile and it IS a very good rum! I`m glad it was brought back from “dormancy” by Stèphane!

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