Johann Jobello is a Product Manager for sugarcane spirits at La Maison & Velier.
As part of our month long celebration of Transcontinental Rum Line and their new 2021 release, we wanted the Florida Rum Society to meet Johann and have a change to learn more about him…
Johann was raised back and forth between France and Martinique, he’s been a promoter of the Caribbean culture, most recently working at the iconic LMDW shops and currently on the LM&V global team. With his Caribbean heritage and passion for high quality spirits, rum naturally became the perfect field for him to share his passions and expertise.
FRS: Tell us about your personal rum journey and background.
Johann: Rum has always been more or less present in my life. In the West Indies it is an integral part of our heritage. I wasn’t necessarily aware of it when I was younger– my journey has been far from linear. When I returned to live in Martinique in 2016, the idea of working in this sector gradually emerged. I had no experience in spirits and finally in early 2018, I started at La Maison du Whisky as a spirits vendor in one of the two Parisian boutiques. I joined the LM&V global team in 2019 and had the opportunity to become deeper involved in production management at the beginning of this year.
FRS: What brought you to join the LM&V team?
Johann: My experience in the store was decisive: in contact with the thousands of references that we had, I deepened my knowledge day after day. Having already a passion for rum, I became intimately engaged with the sugarcane spirit projects from Velier—my passion was multiplied tenfold! When the opportunity to join the LM&V team presented itself, I made my interest known to work more closely with these amazing companies, producers and bottles.
FRS: How would you explain the TCRL concept to people unfamiliar with it?
Johann: The rum category is very broad and diverse. Everyone works differently. For me, the most important thing is that the consumer knows what he is drinking in full transparency. TCRL is the independent bottler range by La Maison du Whisky to offer the experience of tasting across many island and producer styles, with full transparency on where it was aged and for how long, and retaining the integrity of the spirit with no additives or flavoring.
FRS: Specifically, what is it about the TCRL line that you find most interesting?
Johann: Beyond the concept of the range and the values we want to transmit, I like the diversity we have shown in our bottlings. This is for me the most exciting challenge!
FRS: Do you have a personal favorite from this year’s line up?
Johann: Not surprising but the Trinidad 2001 is exceptional. One of best TCRL I ever tried! I think that the Australia 2013 can also a be great discovery for people who never heard about Australian rums.
FRS: Give us your favorite rum cocktail recipe.
Johann: I love Jamaican Negroni! We are less used to drinking rum with bitters but it works very well! My specs are 1,5 oz of Jamaican rum for some extra funk. TCRL Jamaica WP 2015 is perfectly suited. With 1 oz red bitter and 1 oz red vermouth, and big ice cubes.
FRS: When travel starts to be welcomed back to the world, is there anywhere that you just cannot wait to pack your bags and head off to?
Johann: Martinique! My whole family lives there. And I have to go around to visit the distilleries (again)!
FRS: Our members are itching to start traveling again and some have expressed interest in going to Martinique. Do you have any “Can’t Miss” things on the island you can share with us?
Johann: It all depends on what you want to do. Martinique: we obviously think about the beach, but I love to go to the mountainous part in the north or to the countryside far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Gorges de la Falaise in Ajoupa-Bouillon is an outstanding site.
FRS: Have you had the opportunity to visit Florida? If so, where did you go, and do you have any specific memory that stands out?
Johann: Unfortunately not. I wish that I’ll be able to visit Florida in the future. Florida is a great mix of cultures; I would love to this that.
FRS: Sometimes FRS members will get jealous seeing all the special releases that Europe receives and which never make their way over to The US. Are there any releases that we have gotten here that have made you, living in Paris, jealous?
Johann: I think that from now on this will be less the case with the authorization of the 70cl format. Even if it was our own decision, I’m a bit jealous that you guys have this Trinidad 2001. We didn’t keep anything for us in Europe.
FRS: Do you have any hobbies or passions outside of rum?
Johann: I’m a huge fan of sports in general. I used to work in that field before, for several sports media. I would love to attend to a Miami Heat game. In another life, I would have liked to be an economist.
FRS: What are you most looking forward to over the next year or two?
Johann: Let the world regain a semblance of stability above all. My case comes second, I’m really not to be pitied!
Join the Florida Rum Society and Johann on our upcoming Virtual Happy Hour (Register)
Shop the Johann’s NEW line of TCRL rums in the FRS Rum Shop