3 enthusiasts at your service: Olivier, Nico and Thomas!
"I first became interested in spirits when I worked for the Pernod Ricard group, particularly in the UK, where I was in daily contact with the Aberlour distillery (a single malt that is widely distributed in France), Glennalachie (from which Clan Campbell mainly comes), both located in Speyside, and Edradour (at the time the smallest distillery in Scotland, in the highlands).
Beyond the final product, my job as a management controller led me to take an interest in the entire manufacturing process. The passion of the Scots for whisky was communicative. When I returned to France two and a half years later, I was not ready to forget this experience!
After more than 10 years spent in a completely different sector, which made me very aware of the importance of customer service, I recently decided to reconcile my desire for entrepreneurship with my strong taste for spirits by creating this website dedicated 100% to rum.
Why rum rather than whisky? The French are already familiar with whisky, whereas rum, which I personally find at least as interesting from a gustatory and cultural point of view, is still growing and much less well known. My desire to accompany customers in the discovery of a product therefore made sense with rum.
My favourite rums? The clairins from Haiti, some Martinique agricoles(Neisson, the old Saint James vintages, some old HSEs), the agricoles from Guadeloupe(Longueteau), the old rums from the Foursquare distillery (Barbados), the grand arôme aged in wet cellars from Savanna, the O Reizinho agricole rum (but I'm not completely objective since we're the ones who distribute this nectar to wine merchants in France). Obviously my tastes will evolve and in a year's time I'll change to write something else (this is the second time I've changed the list...)"
"I really started to get interested in rum in the early 2000s during trips to Martinique. I was amazed by visits to distilleries such as JM 's (I have fond memories of the trip down to Fonds-Préville, of the visit in complete freedom and of the informal tasting with the distillery staff), and I discovered high quality spirits, craftsmen, and fascinating stories.
For a few years I modestly collected Martinique rums, trying to gather everything I could find in France. It was quite difficult to do this, as connoisseurs and wine merchants were rarer than now, or at least less connected. It was only in the early 2010s that I found more than an initiated wine merchant: a specialist! While I was only focused on Martinique rums, I already tasted a Guadeloupe rum there. What a revolution, the scoffers will say! And as if I hadn't gone far enough in my revolution, I tasted South American molasses rums. I discovered the existence of this little country called Guyana (although I'm not too bad at geography) and some time later I tasted a black bottle with austere labels and an extravagant price (according to my criteria at the time, if I had known...). It was this Enmore 1995 that definitely lost me, the first sip blew me away.
Since then I have been able to reproduce this sensation from time to time thanks to rums from all over the world. The passion for what has become more than a drink for me has only grown and has led me to take an interest in the making of it, the history of it, and everything that goes with it. It has also aroused a lot of curiosity because as you discover the infinite range of rums, you inevitably want to taste them all, to compare them, to make your own culture. I recently decided to share my research and discoveries with my blog Coeur de chauffe. This blog allowed me to meet Olivier and Laurent and here I am!"
"It all started during my studies, in the 2000s. With a few friends from my class, we used to go and buy a good bottle of whisky in the supermarket from time to time and enjoy it together.
A little later I frequented a wine merchant who introduced me to 2 whiskies that still mean a lot to me today: Jura Prophecy and Imperial 1982 Signatory Vintage. A step forward was taken (in quality but also in budget...) and I got closer to other whisky lovers through the Whisky and Distilleries forum. It is on this forum that I met Alexandre with whom I founded the website Whisky & Co (which will soon be renamed whispi.fr because little by little the interest has widened to all spirits, including rum).
Afterwards I co-created two whisky clubs (one in Lyon and the other in Chambéry), and I joined the big Quebec website La Centrale Scotch Whisky to be their French correspondent.
It was through word of mouth (the community of brandy enthusiasts is not that big) that I met Olivier and Nico who suggested that I join the Rhum Attitude team to develop the other spirits(whisky, gin, tequila, mezcal, cognac...). I was thus able to bring them my experience to build up an initial list of the best value for money in these areas. I also wrote some background articles (an introduction to whisky for instance, or an overview of Irish whiskey), many articles about distilleries and brands, and tasting notes of course!
In September 2018, Alexandre, who in the meantime had opened the cellar Les Grands Alambics in Chambéry, asked me to join him to do the work of a wine merchant: advise customers, run tasting workshops, etc.
That's how I got the chance to turn my passion into a job that I do every day at Les Grands Alambics cellar and at Rhum Attitude!"
And let's not forget Laurent!
Laurent was very active in the early days of Rhum Attitude. He has remained a friend of the site and a rum enthusiast, more than ever.
"If my passion for rum is recent [well not so recent as this text was written in 2015 ed. To be convinced of this, you just have to visit my blog the man with the pushchair.
I had been looking for some time to "professionalize" myself. And when Freddy (from the A'Rhum shop, where I used to spend a good part of my free time) told me about Olivier and his website, I immediately contacted him. His project corresponded in every way to what I was looking for: to transmit my passion for rum by leading tasting sessions and giving advice to Internet users according to their tastes.
For example, Olivier and I worked on a small project that required a little computer development time: the possibility of suggesting other rums that are close to a particular rum but different enough to be discovered without risking disappointment. See for example Ferroni Rosé Rhum Blend.
Olivier immediately put me at ease: I would never have to "promote" a product that I didn't really like. Indeed, it was important that this be said from the start: my two activities (my blog and the rhumattitude.com website) must be compatible. It's out of the question to praise a rum on a website about which I had said something bad the day before on my blog!
So when I write a tasting note I try to be as objective as possible, then if I particularly liked the rum, I give my opinion at the end, "in inverted commas", as it is my own.
As far as rum is concerned, all tastes are allowed: to convince me of this, I only have to note how much my sensibilities have evolved since the beginning!"