Branca Rum Agrícola da Madeira Brut de Colonne


Established in 1927, Engenhos do Norte is a distillery on the island of Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal. Among the distillery’s several brands is Branca (literally “white”), which focuses exclusively on unaged rum. This bottling was made from fresh cane juice using a Barbet column still and bottled at a still strength of 79.4%.


On the nose, I get lemon-lime soda, crushed up rocks, hydrangea, ash, grapefruit essence, spray-on sunscreen, pool water, and lotion with shea butter. It’s very clean and mineral forward. 

The palate is pleasantly sweet and fresh. Its notes are generally consistent with the nose: lots of minerality, then lemon-lime soda, cucumber, pool water, mixed flowers, and Play-Doh. It’s surprisingly manageable at proof, though a generous dose of water certainly doesn’t hurt. 


Another lovely, well-executed agricole. It’s very clean and refreshing, and it plays a bit on the safe side. Though it isn’t as compelling as other brut de colonnes I’ve had, it’s hard to say anything negative about it. This is tasty, potent, and a pleasure to drink. (7/10)