Martinique Island, French Indies
There are 2 kinds of rums:
Rhum Agricole is single distilled in a column still
Ceramic or steel vats are used to age Rhum Blanc, while Limousin oak barrels are used for Rhum Brun
Rhum Blanc: 3 months in ceramic or steel vats
Rhum Vieux: 3 years in wood for dark or aged rhums
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.
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.
Aging: 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.
Layers of vanilla bean, unsweetened coconut milk, cocoa bean and raw cane. Oily and sweet finish.
4 stars. Highly recommended. “Wow, now here is rhum Agricole at its aromatic best as the first nosing passes leap from the copita in aggressive waves of bittersweet cane syrup and sugary scents. I mean there’s no mistaking what rum category this is; more air contact stimulates deeper, earthier, mossier fragrances, especially forest floor, flinty soil, limestone, chalk, and distant fruit aromas, such as baked pear, grilled nectarine; a glorious bouquet. Entry is supple, round, with zesty flavors of lead pencil, black pepper, cacao, baker’s yeast, white flour, and candied almond; midpalate goes ape shit with dusty flavors of dry soil, sugarcane node, malted milk, rose petal, and geranium. Finishes long, round, mushroom-like, and earthy.” (Paul Pacult, The New Kindred Spirits 2021)'
"5 stars / Highest Recommendation. Top 50 Best Buy Spirits 2006
"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." (Wine Enthusiast, Nov. 2006)