The specific combination of Mauritius volcanic soil, microclimate and altitude creates the perfect condition for the finest rums. Sugar cane was introduced from Java in Mauritius under the Dutch period (1598-1710), mainly to produce an alcoholic drink through fermentation. In the 18th century, the French Governor, Bertrand-François Mahé de Labourdonnais, was the first to support the development of the rum industry in Mauritius. Mauritius became a British colony in 1810, gradually transforming itself into a plantation economy with sugarcane as the primary crop. In 1852, Dr Pierre Charles François Harel became the mastermind behind the concept of rum distillation on the island. Today, Mauritius is home to six distilleries. Emperor Rum is named after the iconic Emperor Georges V, who was King of the United Kingdom and the British dominions, and Emperor of India.
Presently, Traditional rum (rum distilled from molasses) represents 90% of the world’s rum production. Mauritius is one of the few countries to produce both Traditional and Agricultural rums (rum distilled from sugarcane, usually from French-speaking countries). The Emperor rums are made from both molasses and sugarcane, distilled in a combination of pot and column stills. Distilling directly from sugarcane results in a remarkably pure rum, with bright, grassy notes and a pronounced sense of terroir.