Martinique is a French island with the largest number of distilleries in the Eastern Caribbean. Both pot and column stills are used. As on other French islands such as Guadeloupe, both rhum agricole (made from sugar cane juice) and rhum industriel (made from molasses) are produced. These Rums are frequently aged in used French brandy casks for a minimum of three years with ‘Rhum vieux’ (aged Rum) frequently compared to high-quality French brandies.
J.M rum is distilled on Martinique’s smallest estate, located in the northeast in Macouba, where the sugar cane grows on 28-degree vertical slopes in rich volcanic soil at the foot of Mount Pelée. Due to its unique location with sea breezes, rainforest, an intense microclimate, and high cloud cover, Rhum J.M. cuts their sugar later than other distilleries (most cut the cane at the end of February or early March, whereas Rhum J.M. does not cut theirs until late March or early April). This practice, combined with the region’s peculiar environment are said to be contributing factors to the unique flavour to this unusual rum.
Tasting note: [2001 release tasted] Beautiful clarity in the glossy gold / amber colour. Initial whiffs pick up suggestions of icing sugar and coconut oil, developing more substantial notes of sweet dried grass and spicy mince fruit pie after several minutes coaxing. Assertive yet nicely balanced in the mouth with semi-sweet, cane-like, grassy flavours. Dilute golden syrup on the finish. Ends warming yet clean with a black jelly bean aftertaste. Yum!