Nicely done young Rhum Agricole
Notes: This is a Rhum Agricole which means it was made directly from sugar cane juice and not molasses (otherwise known as Rhum Industrial) and is a much more expensive process than using what is essentally almost an industrial waste product (molasses after sugar extraction). Another way to look at it is the difference between a cognac or brandy and a grappa or marc, one is made from the pressing and fermentation of the raw materials ( in that case grapes) and the fermentation of the leftovers ( in the case of grappa or marc, the skins, stems, seeds and sometime burlap bags).
Rhum Agricole is is quite a bit different from a molasses rum with more cane character and aromatics generally. This particular example is fermented 24-36 hours to a relatively low 4-6 5ABV then distilled in a copper and stainless column still to 72% ABV which still leaves a lot of flavor in the rum. It is then aged under high pressure in large wooden vats to aerate and mellow for 6 months before bottling. Made in the French west Indies by a small family owned distillery using traditional methods. They produce a number of rums of different ages including a VSOP Rhum Vieux reviewed here.
Appearance: Clear silvery appearance on swirling leaves a light coat on the glass which then transforms into some of the smallest beads/droplets I have ever seen
First Impression: Wonderful grassy cane sugar notes,minerals, tropical flowers and light spiciness, with just a touch of fusel oils to give it some nice depth.
Taste: Great cane grass like notes, you can really get a sense of the sugar canes and some lovely minerality to it. Tropical flower and spice notes followed by a nice char/woodiness in a long lingering and altogether pleasant finish.A very grassy and floral taste back stopped by wood. Very smooth iwth just a touch of alkali bitterness.
Drinks: Makes a great Ti Punch (indeed a Rhum Agricole is a necessity for such a drink) same goes for a mojito or capiranha – it’s just not a proper cocktail without the correct rum.
Bottle:Nicely done frosted glass bottle with an unusual shape.Bottle is sort of an elongated bell shape with a thinner waist to it.Graphics are a bit mixed with old elements such as the logo and new very French or European type graphics with a stylized cane/light lime green stripe with a 40 % alcohol rather than 80 proof marking letting you know a European designed the bottle rather than an American.It is topped by a attractively finish aluminum collar and screw cap.Internally there is a easy to use nylon pour spout with matching plug in the cap to seal in freshness. It is thankfully not one of those anti refill capsules one sometimes encounters but an easy to use, nicely done spout.
Other: A popular rum in its own country, it enjoys a roughly 50% market share, Imported by Rhum Clement.
Final Thoughts: A well made young Rhum Agricole with lots of life to it. Smooth with a little funk to it , it represents the style quite well and is fairly modestly priced for a rum of its type and quality.
A relatively straightforward and easy to navigate site with recipes, a 360 degree view of the distillery and some if not a lot of information. Nicely done overall.