The Habitation La Favorite is one of the two distilleries located in the town of Fort-de-France. Open Monday to Friday (except holidays) from 8am to 4 pm and Saturday morning from 9 am to 12 pm (November to May). The visit and the tasting are free.
Join the A1 motorway from Fort-de-France and take the Dillon exit. Take a right at the first traffic lights and continue straight ahead (D13). You will meet several roundabouts keep going straight ahead. Pass a last roundabout and the road will take you naturally to this crossing where it will turn left. Go at the end of the street to the barrier and take the road to the distillery.
You will arrive on a small parking lot. The environment around you is not the most beautiful.
Habitation La Favorite
You will be able to make a short visit of the distillery allowing you to observe the steam engine or the distillation columns of the top of a floor or to go down the stairs to observe them more closely. Do not hesitate to read the tablets to understand the different processes that lead to the production of rum. Here are some pictures of what you will have the opportunity to see.
A little of History…….
In the 19th century, many rum distilleries were mainly sugar houses. They distilled their rum from the molasses resulting from the manufacture of sugar. The rise of the invention of the steam engine and its adoption in sugar houses will intensify and concentrate sugar production in large factories. The isolated dwellings will then concentrate exclusively on the production of agricultural rum, improved by the adoption of the European imported tray column replacing the still. After 1960, the closure of most sugar houses put an end to the production of industrial rum. The agricultural rum takes place with these flavors and its terroir, making it a rum recognized throughout the world. Starting from the nine still steaming distilleries, the Habitation La Favorite has remained an artisanal distillery.
This home, originally a sugar mill, has long been called “La Jambette”, a river that supplied it with hydraulic energy before the arrival of the steam engine. It was renamed in the early 19th century “La Favorite” by its new owner, Charles Henry. The activity will be oriented over the century towards the production of rum and especially following the general bankruptcy of 1875, aggravated by the cyclone of 1891 that has caused a lot of damage.
In 1909, the DORMOY family bought the Habitation La Favorite at auction. In 1920, Henri DORMOY, the new owner, built an imposing mansion with corner turrets (it does not belonged to the DORMOY family since the 1970s and can only be visited on Heritage Day) . Its architecture is magnificent and today it is classified as a historical monument.
He also modernized the distillery using a steam engine, dating from 1906 and manufactured by Henri MARRIOL, it develops 360 CV. The Habitation thus has became autonomous, the bagasse (residues of the grinding of the sugar cane) feeding the steam engine.
After the Second World War, one of his sons, André DORMOY, following the death of his father, bought the shares of the distillery to his brothers and sisters to perpetuate the activity of the Habitation. In 2000, Paul DORMOY took over the estate of the distillery accompanied by his son Franck DORMOY who joined him in 2006 in this family adventure.
Nowadays, the Habitation La Favorite is one of the few distilleries to remain independent and family. Centenary, The DORMOY family has managed to preserve the know-how of the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) rum production, which certifies the quality, the character and the authenticity of the rums of Martinique. It is both the expression of a specificity intimately linked to our terroir and the recognition of a unique ancestral know-how.
After a short visit, head to the hangar to enjoy a tasting in the shop.
Do not hesitate to taste the Flibuste or the Privilege, both of which are renowned bottles in Martinique. I leave you the pleasure of discovering them. You can also complete your shopping with glasses, t-shirts of the brand “La Favorite”. Do not hesitate to visit their website to find out in advance about the various rum designed by this habitation.
Ø Circulation in Martinique: During the weeks you will encounter many traffic jams from 7 a.m. to 9. 30 a.m. in the industrial and commercial areas. Especially mornings driving from south (Rivière Salée, N5) to the North (Fort-de-France, A1), but also East (Robert , N1) going North , you will find the same traffic jams every evening on the other side from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. Tip, think of the way and time you want to travel in order not to lose time.
Ø Free visit and tasting :
– Interest: 2 out of 5, this is not the most beautiful home you will have the opportunity to visit. The area is not exceptional. However, do not hesitate to come and make a simple tasting to appreciate the know-how of this Family House. I suggest you try La Flibuste.
Ø Opening hours : Monday to friday (except holidays) from 8 am to 4 pm and Saturday morning from 9 am to 12 pm (November to May)
Others : You can visit the Habitation Dillon located about 10 minutes away by car. It is on the municipality of Fort de France. You can walk in the center of Fort-de-France, discover its market or explore the heights toward with les Jardins de Balata.
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OLIVIER Damien, your humble guide