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Rhum Agricole

Fresh sugar cane juice rhum from the French islands.


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Old 04-07-2007, 07:04 PM   #1
Edward Hamilton
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Default What you should know about RHUM AGRICOLE.

There is more to rhum agricole than just the letter 'h.' Distilled to about 72% abv from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice which has been
fermented, rhum agricole is made exclusively in the French islands.

In the sugar cane spirits industry, Martinique is the only geographic area with an Appelation and rhum agricole made in Martinique carries the AOC or Appelation d'origine Controlée mark. Martinique and the other French islands also produce rhum made from molasses called 'rhum industriel' but is most often called 'rhum traditionnel' on the label. Over the years there have been a number of rhums claiming to be from Martinique which don't carry the AOC mark.

When looking at a French rum label look for the words 'rhum agricole' and not just Martinique or Guadeloupe. Over the years a number of products bottled in France have made reference or claim to the islands including Kaniche Martinique and Chauvet. In 2006, a rum with an Appelation Rum Controllée was introduced to the US. Despite the fact that there has never been an Appelation Rum Controllée, the French would have called it an Appelation R'h'um Controllée.

Most rhum agricole is made in single-column copper stills which allows the distiller more control of the distillation process than is possible in a pot still.

Though spelled with an 'h' Rhum Barbancourt isn't considered rhum agricole by the people who make it or by the French. The spelling is consistent, however, with the French heritage of Haiti.

Cachaça, also made from freshly squeezed sugar cane juice is distilled to between 38 and 48% abv and only made in Brazil. Just as not all spirits made from sugar cane juice are rhum agricole, neither are they considered cachaça.
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Old 04-07-2007, 08:34 PM   #2
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We are ready Ed...Lay it on us!
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Old 04-07-2007, 08:42 PM   #3
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Default Ok...Great...Just to be clear.

Thanks for the Elucidatuon Ed...So neither Gaudeloupe Or Marie Galant or any other rock administered by France makes A.O.C. RHUM AGRICOLE?
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:54 PM   #4
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Interestingly enough, I went looking through my rums for a couple to review, and came across two bottles of St. James - the Hors D'Age and the Royal Ambre. The labels on both contain the word Agricole in thier descriptions and both contain the phrase "Appelation d'origine Controlйe" on the label.

I have two other Martinique rums, the Kaniche and the Clement VSOP. The Kaniche says nothing about Agricole or Appelation d'origine Controlйe. The Clement says both "V.S.O.P Rum" and "Rhum Clement V.S.O.P" - not an agricole by the looks of it. However, the back label says something perhaps a bit misleading: "The heirs of the H. Clement Estate...offer a wide variety of white rums all certified with the Appelation d'origine Controlйe Martinique..." This seems to imply that it's an agricole, but does not specifically say so. Nor can I find any info on the Web that says it's an agricole - or not, so I have to assume it's not.


I also noticed that both Saint James rums are products of Martinique, while the Kaniche and Clement are products of France. Does the rum have to be a product of Martinique to be an agricole?


Out of curiousity, what type of agricole do you prefer for a Ti' Punch? White, gold, unaged, aged, aged even longer?
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Old 04-08-2007, 01:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottes View Post
Interestingly enough, I went looking through my rums for a couple to review, and came across two bottles of St. James - the Hors D'Age and the Royal Ambre. The labels on both contain the word Agricole in thier descriptions and both contain the phrase "Appelation d'origine Controlée" on the label.

I have two other Martinique rums, the Kaniche and the Clement VSOP. The Kaniche says nothing about Agricole or Appelation d'origine Controlée. The Clement says both "V.S.O.P Rum" and "Rhum Clement V.S.O.P" - not an agricole by the looks of it. However, the back label says something perhaps a bit misleading: "The heirs of the H. Clement Estate...offer a wide variety of white rums all certified with the Appelation d'origine Controlée Martinique..." This seems to imply that it's an agricole, but does not specifically say so. Nor can I find any info on the Web that says it's an agricole - or not, so I have to assume it's not.
Actually the Clement Estate bottles only AOC rhum agricole. And I should mention that Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum is also AOC rhum agricole, distilled at the Depaz distillery in Martinique and bottled on the island. In Martinique, the Depaz bottles carry the AOC mark and the words rhum agricole on the label, but the label for the US import market doesn't have the AOC mark on the label. I am confident that it will be changed shortly.

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Originally Posted by Scottes View Post
I also noticed that both Saint James rums are products of Martinique, while the Kaniche and Clement are products of France. Does the rum have to be a product of Martinique to be an agricole?
Currently, rhum agricole can be bottled in Martinique or France but there is discussion of the regulations being tightened so that only rhum agricole bottled in Martinique can carry the AOC mark.


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Originally Posted by Scottes View Post
Out of curiousity, what type of agricole do you prefer for a Ti' Punch? White, gold, unaged, aged, aged even longer?
I like rhum agricole blanc at 100 proof, as it is bottled in Martinique. Most of the French distillers bottle their clear spirit at 100 and 110 proof but I prefer the 100 proof in most cases. The old rhums I prefer to drink with a little water and a glass of water on the side.
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:38 PM   #6
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OK... after checking at my local rum purveyor, it appears that I have 2 options for rhum agricole...the aforementioned Depaz Blue Cane, and La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc. Any opinions one way or the other for my maiden voyange into the rhum agricole seas. I may have a 3rd option in a St James, but I can't remember if it was a rhum agricole or not...if it is, how would that factor in to the decision making process? Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-29-2007, 07:51 PM   #7
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La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc is a 100 proof rhum agricole with a lot of aroma and flavor. Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum is an aged spirit also bottled in Martinique but at a more conservative 90 proof for the American market.

St James is a rhum agricole distilled in Martinique, unfortunately, the St James rhums sold in the US are bottled in France and lack much of the flavor of those bottled in Martinique.

In Martinique, ti punches are usually made with the clear rhum agricole as opposed to the aged rhums.
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Old 04-29-2007, 08:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post
In Martinique, ti punches are usually made with the clear rhum agricole as opposed to the aged rhums.
Perfect. it appears as if La Favorite is the way to go, and since I will be savoring this in ti punch primarily...it seems as if there are no other real options. Thank you!
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Hamilton View Post

In Martinique, ti punches are usually made with the clear rhum agricole as opposed to the aged rhums.
What if I had the option of Clement rhum agricole blanc or La Favorite? Is one generally considered better than the other...or am I wandering into purely subjective territory here?
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:03 AM   #10
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In my opinion, La Favorite is the much better choice.
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