Introduction to Rhum Agricole

Map of Martinique

Location: 

Martinique Island, French Indies

 

Fruit:

Sugar cane

 

Official Appellation:

There are 2 kinds of rums:

  1. Rhums made from first pressed sugar cane juice, which are the only rums to bear the Official Appellation: Rhum Agricole
  2. Rums made from the residuals of sugar can juice, such as molasses, which is simply called "rum"
Sugar cane fields for producing rum agricole

Distillation:

Rhum Agricole is single distilled in a column still

 

Ageing:

Ceramic or steel vats are used to age Rhum Blanc, while Limousin oak barrels are used for Rhum Brun

 

Legal Ageing:

Rhum Blanc: 3 months in ceramic or steel vats

Rhum Vieux: 3 years in wood for dark or aged rhums

Crushed sugar cane for creating rum agricole

Brief process for Martinique Agricole Rhums:

The sugar cans are first defibered with a shredder, then sprinkled with water and crushed with a mill powered by a steam engine. The juice that comes out, the "vesou," is filtered twice and then left to ferment in stainless steel vats until is reaches a minimum degree of 5% alcohol. 

 

After 3 days of fermentation, the sugar cane wine is then distilled until it reaches an alcohol level of 70%. The white rhums will rest in stainless steel vats for 3 months and will then be reduced to about 50% alcohol for consumption; the rhums intended for ageing will be put into wood barrels. 

 

Chauffe Coeur Rhum Martinique Agricole

 

The making of Rhums Martinique Agricole Chauffe Coeur:

 

Origin: the sugar cane comes from 2 small producers in Martinique and only the freshly extracted sugar cane juice is used for fermentation and distillation, therefore ensuring the label of origin Martinique Agricole.

 

The distillation: single column still distillation.

 

Ageing:  The Rhum Blanc is aged at 54% vol. in stainless steel tanks for 3 years.

 

Blending: Usually, the blending takes place about a year before the final product is meant to be bottled, when the various eaux de vie have aged well and for a long time. At that time also, if some strength reduction is needed, it will be done, slowly and little at a time over a few months. 

 

There is no sugar, caramel or color added.

Tasting Notes:

Layers of vanilla bean, unsweetened coconut milk, cocoa bean and raw cane. Oily and sweet finish.

54% vol. 


What the reviewers are saying...

"5 stars / Highest Recommendation

"A wonderful, layered bouquet that includes aromas of milk chocolate, honeysuckle, cream soda, unsweetened coconut, raw vanilla and cocoa bean, walnut and paraffin. The palate entry is deliciously sweet and oily; by midpalate the flavor includes a foundational spirit presence along with the honeyed taste. Finishes sweet, and textured. A state-of-the-art rhum agricole. Best Buy."

Top 50 Best Buy Spirits 2006

Wine Enthusiast, Nov. 2006

"5 stars / Highest Recommendation / Best Buy"

Spirit Journal, Sept. 2005