Rhum JM Armagnac Finish
Traditional Agricultural Rum: Rum from a traditional column still, using fresh cane juice.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 41-2% ABV @ 20°
* C A
Rhum JM is from the island of Martinique, specifically Habitation Fonds-Préville, linked to Maison Bellevue at the foot of the volcano Mont Pelée. The name “JM” comes from Jean-Marie Martin, who founded the distillery in 1845.
Rhum JM is the only “Single-Domaine-Sugarcane Rhumerie” (100% Estate Grown) in Martinique and the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) Martinique ensures that nothing is permitted to be added to the rhum.
The combination of volcanic soil and mineral-rich spring water, tropical humidity and a unique microclimate give JM Rhum’s sugarcane exceptional flavour and characteristics that demonstrate the special terroir of the region.
It is agricultural in style and uses sugarcane grown at Habitation Bellevue that is crushed within one hour of cutting. Two traditional Creole copper stills are used to distill at 72% .
The distillate is rested in stainless steel tanks for a minimum of three months. The rhum designated for ageing is reduced to 60% ABV and initially placed in charred American oak ex-Bourbon barrels. In the case of the rhum I am tasting today, it has had eight years in these barrels, followed by a few months in 228 litre ex-Chateau du Tariquet Bas-Armagnac barrels.
It is one of a series of three rums launched for the 2015 Tour de France, in celebration of the 225th anniversary of Rhum JM’s foundation. Just 460 bottles of this rum have been created and they are all individually numbered.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as a “Traditional Agricultural Rum”: Rum from a traditional column still, using fresh cane juice.
Housed in an outer sleeve-style of box with no front/rear, there is some interesting historical information written on the rear. The bottle itself, being only 50cl, appears a little dumpy and has some useful information on the front label. I am told that I have bottle number 265 (out of 460) from cask 04 11 302. The ageing process was started on 03/10/2005 and it was bottled on 02/03/2015. The rear label has some info about the amount of ageing and barrels used, although there is no reference to the stills used.
The rhum is a medium amber colour in the glass with slow, heavy legs down the sides.
The aroma is fruity especially with notes of green bananas and figs. There is apple strudel, nutmeg, allspice and honeyed raisins.
Taste, Initial-middle 30/40
The rhum has a gentle buttery character at this point. A touch of eucalyptus alongside familiar but not dominating grassy and slightly honeyed undertones. Further tastings reveal some fruity spiced notes.
Taste, Middle/Throat 34/40
In the mid to rear palate, the rhum becomes full bodied and the spicy character develops with some peppery notes, which intensify with multiple sips. Towards the rear, dry tannins develop, but at all times, the rhum is smooth and appetising.
The finish is medium in length. The tannins at the rear of the palate continue and are accompanied by a hint of bitter oak and pepper.
Great quality rhum from someone producing rhum in a traditional way. If you spot one of these cask finish editions, snap it up. The others in the series are a Cognac and Calvados “finish.” Although agricole in style, the ageing has removed the young grassy vegetal notes, that I often find a touch overpowering. This is one of my favourite agricole rhums to date.
At 2018’s RumFest we were treated to a superb new edition of Rhum JM, the Multimillésime with rhums from 2002, 2007 and 2009 blended together. Released at 42.3%, it is limited to 17,500 bottles.
Review No. 123
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7