Rhum Agricole vs. Industrial Rum
Industrial Rum (98% of all rum production) is distilled from fermented molasses, a by-product of the sugar production. Industrial aged or dark rums are
commonly modified with caramel and other sweeteners to give them their taste. Rhum Agricole is produced exclusively in the French West Indies and is a
distillate of natural free-run sugarcane juice. This juice is fermented and distilled to preserve natural aromas and flavor of terroir and natural vegetal
character of the sugarcane. In Martinique, to be called Aged Rhum Agricole it must spend at least three years in oak barrels on Martinique. The aging
process in Martinique is known to go three time faster than in France or the US due to the high temperature and humidity -- 4 years in Martinique = 12
years in Cognac or Kentucky.
Description Of History And Philosophy:
“J.M Rhums are grown -- not manufactured.”
- Gustave Crassous de Medeuil
The island of Martinique carries an AOC Rhum classification, the only such classification of its kind, and Rhum J.M produces among its finest rhums. The
Rhum J.M estates and distillery, founded over 160 years ago by the de Médeuil family, are on the island’s northernmost tip at the base of an active
volcano. The island’s intense tropical heat and humidity combined with the nutrient-rich, volcanic soil creates a microclimate yielding sugarcane of
Over 36-48 hours, the sugarcane juice is allowed to ferment naturally into a sugarcane “wine.” This vin de canne is distilled into Rhum Agricole in a
Créole copper column. The fresh Rhum Agricole is allowed to rest in stainless steel tanks for at least three months. The rhum is then reduced to bottling
strength with water from an estate spring or reduced to 60% abv. in preparation for additional years of aging in oak casks in the Rhum J.M cellars.