Today we have G. Hardy, from Plantation Tartane. The distillery on the half-island Caravelle was active until 1994. Today, their Rhum is produced at Saint James. While these are somewhat older bottlings, I have no clue whether they still come from the original distillery or not. I suspect that the first three bottlings date back to Tartane.
G. Hardy Tartane Blanc (50%): The big question is: When has it been bottled? Nose: A very clear and crisp sugar cane distillate, even though it comes with a few more earthy/ dirty elements as you’d get it from Guadeloupe. It really does scream terroir with its notes of soil and old vegetables. Palate: Rather mild and not as crisp anymore. Here, the dirtier notes dominate and I have to repeat myself: This is much, much closer to the typical Guadeloupe profile than it is to Martinique. With the second sip, spices shape the profile as pepper and related notes really push forward. Finish: And they keep on pushing. The finish is very long and full of those peppery notes. That said, it is rather subpar. (67/100)
G. Hardy Tartane Blanc “1830” (50%): Nose: This is cleaner and more refined than the bottling with the red label, which makes me think that this is a more recent bottling. Relatively speaking, that is. Nothing really sticks out here and the Rhum definitely lacks aroma and character. I hope that the palate has more to offer, otherwise this is going to be a quick one. Palate: Oh boy, this is terrible. I’d place this somewhere between mediocre Arrak and Vodka. Is that sufficient for you? I really don’t want to dig deeper here, there’s nothing to find anyway. Finish: Yeah… too long, they say. Nope, just nope. I just cannot believe that stuff like this is produced by contemporary Martinican distilleries. (35/100)
G. Hardy Tartane Paille (50%): This belongs to the same bottling series as the “Red Label” Blanc. Nose: Plenty of vanilla, red berries, ripe oranges and while I am looking very hard for more I just cannot find much more. Oh my. By the way, it smell rather sweet, for what it is worth. Palate: Rather thin despite 50% abv. Flavourwise, we really cannot add much to what we have said and while I think about it, I’d say that the palate has even less to offer than the nose. Oh boy. What did Hardy do? Finish: Once again, I’d say we can basically forget about it. This bottling too, I am afraid, is just not good. Sorry. (48/100)
G. Hary Tartane Vieux (42%): One last contender and despite the lower abv, I do have some hope for this one. It might be because of the different label style. Anyway, from what I was able to find out, this should be abot six years old. Nose: Yeah, this is definitely better and much more in line with contemporary Rhum Agricole. We get sugar cane, something between cocoa and coffee, allspice, fresh grain, yoghurt perhaps and here and there a glimpse of citrus. Palate: A bit thin but all in all ample sufficient. Vague citrus notes meet grassy cane, some oak, very few spices and fennel seeds. Now I can also find the latter in the nose. Okay. Finish: Relatively short with oak, vanilla and other spices. When the best just isn’t good enough usually means something else but I think that we can use that phrase here as well. (71/100)