The history of Longueteau rum

The Espérance distillery, the birthplace of Longueteau rums, is the smallest distillery in Guadeloupe... Read more

The history of Longueteau rum

The Espérance distillery, the birthplace of Longueteau rums, is the smallest distillery in Guadeloupe. It is located on Basse-Terre, at the foot of the Soufrière... Read more

The history of Longueteau rum

The Espérance distillery, the birthplace of Longueteau rums, is the smallest distillery in Guadeloupe. It is located on Basse-Terre, at the foot of La Soufrière.

Its history begins at the end of the 19th century, when a certain Marquis de Sainte Marie produced sugar cane on his estate in Guadeloupe. In 1895, in the midst of the sugar crisis, the company was in a bad way and the Marquis proved to be a bad manager. He was forced to sell his farm.

Louis-Philippe Henry Longueteau, owner of a neighbouring sugar factory, purchased the property and built the distillery Espérance in place of the sugar factory. On the estate of the Marquisat de Sainte-Marie, agricultural rum is now produced agricultural rum is now produced, then more interestingand profitable than the sugar. The walls that were built at that time are are still those of the distillery d’today.

In 1927, Henri Longueteau fils took over and began modernising the factory. He replaced the old paddle wheel with a steam engine powered by bagasse.

The beginnings of François Longueteau senior

Paul-Henri Longueteau took over the family business in 1968. His son François, the current owner, started working with him in 1979. He occupies all the positions and trained in all the trades, from cane to bottling.

The harvesting of the cane was mechanised from 1980 onwards, and thought was then given to improving the yields in the fields. In 1981, the only cane planted on the estate was blue cane. The old cane variety (BH) was not adapted to the new ambitions of the distillery.

François Longueteau, who knows the estate like the back of his hand, took over from his father in 2005. He undertook to dedicate all the cultivated plots to sugar cane (blue and red). The 70 hectares were mostly occupied by banana plantations before that.

He was joined by his sons, Nicolas and François. Today, they are in charge of white and aged rums respectively. The distillery remains family-owned and independent.

The production of Longueteau rum

Longueteau and its Marquisat de Sainte-Marie is one of the few estates to be 100 % autonomous in cane, and above all in machinery. This is of the utmost importance, as François Longueteau harvests when François Longueteau harvests when he wants to, when the cane is at its best potential.

The farm has 12 plots, 9 of which are planted with red cane and 3 with blue cane. Blue cane (B.69-566) has the advantage of being very fragrant, wind resistant and an effective pest repellent for rats and iguanas. On the other hand, it is hard and causes long-term damage to the mills used for grinding.

Red cane, on the other hand, provides more sugar and allows for the production of softer rums. However, it has the disadvantage of being fragile.

François Longueteau, both farmer and distiller, observed the effects of plots and cane varieties very early on. These observations were shared with enthusiasts with a series of plot-based rums from 2015. The experiment is repeated every year, which also allows us to appreciate the differences from one year to the next.

For a long time now, sugarcane has been cultivated as much as possible according to the principles of agriculture. Longueteau is now working on organic farming, the plot 11 meets his standards but is not yet certifiede. Eventually, the entire of the estate is to be certified organic.

Longueteau rums have a Guadeloupe PGI, with specifications that guarantee a high standard of quality.

Longueteau on the technical side

When the cane is pressed, it is soaked with water from the Soufrière volcano in order to extract as much juice as possible. The vesou is placed in 170 hectolitre fermentation vats, in the presence of leaven. This fermentation takes place over 48 hours, without acidification of the must.

The distillation is carried out on a Savalle column made of copper and stainless steel, equipped with 28 trays. The rum that flows out of the column has an alcohol content of 70-80%.

Longueteau rums have long been, and still are, known for their unaged expressions. Thus, the Longueteau 50% (composed of 65% red cane and 35% blue cane) is a reference. The 62% is simply recognised as one of the best white rums in the world.

The parcel selections have been a huge success since the first edition, from a 2014 harvest. This is also the case for Genesis, one of the first bruts de colonne from Guadeloupe.

VS, VSOP and XO aged rums are now highly prized rarities, and a new Harmonie range has been launched. Prélude, Symphonie and Concerto rums have made a grand entrance, with a philosophy of blending, not ageing.

The legendary 120-year vintage, which brings together the best vintages of the house, is the jewel in the crown of the most beautiful rum collections. Read less

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