Traveling obviously involves discovering cultural institutions, rum factories are in the foreground in Guadeloupe.
I went to Guadeloupe in December and it should be remembered that this isn’t the best time to visit rum factories. Most of them don’t produce rum in December. The only one active during these dates is Montebello, my favorite!
To start, Guadeloupe produces two types of Rum. Industrial Rum & Agricultural Rum. You’ll have understood that agricultural rum is the best. Only 1% of the Rum on the planet is agricultural. And it’s especially in the French Antilles that it’s found.
The different rum factories in Guadeloupe
There are 9 rum factories in Guadeloupe. 5 on Basse Terre, 1 on Grande Terre & 3 on Marie Galante island.
I had the pleasure of Visiting / tasting 5 of the 9 rum factories. The others were either too far away or closed during our visit. Some are more family friendly than others.
Montebello, my favorite
A big crush on this rum family factory. Here it’s a real visit that they offer you. Everything is very family oriented, they answer to all your questions and it’s clearly thanks to Montebello that I know as much about rum production today. They are the only ones to produce most of the year. It’s therefore the only rum factory that you can discover in December. And even if you visit Guadeloupe at another time of the year, I recommend this one 100%!
- Sugar cane is cut by hand and not by machine.
- They are part of the 1% of agricultural rum production.
- Labeling is done by hand by young people in the neighborhood (they therefore create jobs).
- They provide public lighting in the neighborhood by recovering their waste.
This is where I tasted the best rum and learned the most!
The first one I “visited” because it was the closest to our accommodation. They suggest you wandering around the factory which, in December, doesn’t produce and is completely empty. Here, they don’t directly offer to taste the rum. You must insist to discover their productions. As it was a first and the price was competitive compared to Belgium, I bought a lot of rum here. Looking back, I noticed that it wasn’t the best at all and that their prices were higher than other rum factories.
Longueteau – Karukera
It’s certainly the most visited, it’s the only rum factory in front of which I have seen tourist coaches. Longueteau offers a group visit for € 8 (if I’m not mistaken, it’s the only rum factories which isn’t free). So I passed my turn for this one and I just tasted the different rums they produce. I found this place a little too touristy for me and it’s the only one where I didn’t buy rum.
Bielle & Bellevue rum factories on Marie Galante Island
As mentioned above, there are 3 rum factories on this island. Père Labat was closed. So I was able to visit two (Bielle & Bellevue). Both are agricultural and therefore produce much less rum. These one is therefore of quality like that of Montebello.
On the other hand, I had a preference for Bellevue than for Bielle. I’m even a little sad not to have brought back a little more rum. The prices are really competitive, the atmosphere is warm and the staff is really attentive.
What you should remember about rum factories in Guadeloupe is to encourage the purchase of your rum in those that are agricultural! Firstly, the quality of the rum is superior, but you’ll mainly participate in the development of the island in a cleaner way.
I therefore recommend two rum factories: Montebello & Bellevue.