It is ten o'clock in the morning on this last Monday in August, a day of embodiment for a good part of Parisians. Installed in his office, Philippe Schaus, president of Moët Hennessy, does not offer us a coffee, rather he offers us a glass of rum.
An unusual and disconcerting proposal that seemed like a kind of invitation to take the folded shorts out of the closet and plan -the day before-, some time of marlin fishing in the Gulf Stream . The Grande-Armée avenue in Paris -where we are- is less recognized than the port of Havana for fishing sports. It does not matter anyway. Once served in long crystal glasses and close to our nostrils, the amber liquid and its aromas of exotic wood, spices, vanilla and wax, make us cross the Atlantic. We are no longer between the Maillot gate and the Place de l'Étoile[of the Star], we have been transferred to a farm flooded with tropical vegetation. All of this is charming to us, like an antique intense masculine perfume. Inside the mouth, nothing burns our taste or hurts our palate, it is a delicacy, without that irritating impression that overloads the palaces.
Regarding this formula, obtained amalgam, the purists evoke the spirits of the Cuban canes of the 19th century. The surprising elixir is present inside a recycled glass bottle whose surface resembles the skin of an alligator. I wonder why. Because Cuba was titled as the "Cayman Island". All of this provokes a burning desire to establish the signal on the Caribbean coast.
The Moët Hennessy group launches its rum, based on an agreement signed with Cuba Ron S.A., a Cuban company created in the 1990s. The mentioned group has benefited from the multiple supplies of cane that the island's farmers guarantee. Cuba Ron, far from constituting an improvised experience, has acquired mastery in perfecting the elaboration of rums and its mass production for the benefit of large international groups. Within the island, nothing is left to chance when it comes to the local spirits.
«Rum is produced extensively throughout the world, in the Antilles, in the Indian Ocean, as well as in Asia», explains Philippe Schaus, «although Cuba remains the only region to have created a protected designation of origin that defines the methods and ingredients accepted for its preparation. This circumstance contributes to our perception of great satisfaction. It is a category of products that we dominate optimally. " Moët Hennessy is followed by techniques for making cognac, which are complex and precise, and serve as a model for the others. Cuban spirits cannot claim a history as long as that of the production houses of Charente (Department of France). However, despite the transformations, the virtues of the rum masters have been transmitted from generation to generation after more than one hundred and fifty years.
Building a brand with fans
As part of a spirit that syncretizes the consolidated scientific knowledge of the product with respect for tradition, Eminente has been conceived by César Augusto Marti Marcelo, chemical engineer and master rum maker, a top-notch technician in everything related to Cuban spirits.
That rum has accessed a wide portfolio of opportunities among spirits brands. Beyond Henessy cognac, the jewel in the group's crown, LVHM features Glenmorangie, Ardbeg or Woodinville whiskeys, Belbedere vodka, whose distribution series expands, and Volcan tequila, destined for the North American market, which makes its appearance in Europe.
We note that rum and whiskey are the two most consumed spirits in France, ahead of anise or vodka. While half of whisky fans are over 50 years old and 69% are men, rum consumers have a more diverse and younger profile: two-thirds of that segment is under 50 years old. The new product - Eminent - will be featured in the tasters' offer, on the menus of cocktail bars, hotel bars and restaurants in France.
For Philippe Schaus, "the idea is not to displace the diverse number of rums that are sold primarily for the making of cocktails. It would be necessary to position itself from the start-up on a high level and build the brand in the company of the fans, among the connoisseurs who will appreciate the product and recommend it". Eminent will also be distributed in the United Kingdom, Germany, as well as Czech Republic, where Cuban spirits have gained admirers after the cold war era. In these countries, consummation must increase, where new brands emerge every month. According to Philippe Schaus, "Eminente's production is currently limited to a few hundred bottles. Over the next ten years, the brand's distribution statement will not have a major impact within the group. We do not aim to achieve the immediate creation of wealth. We are creating a new brand that in five decades or a century from now can become another "Hennessy". Eminente has nothing left to do but to begin to distinguish itself.