If you visit my blog from time to time and read my articles, you might know how much I appreciate Rhum Agricoles. Especially with the matured variants, you can find real treasures, which are unfortunately too little known to a wide audience. Although I feel very confident that they could offer a welcome change to many whisky drinkers. Therefore, from time to time, people talk about Rhum Agricole as the “missing link” between rum and whisky. However, this is less true for unmatured Rhum Agricole. Nevertheless, also these qualities have their pros. (provided test product)*
Moreover, these pros lie mostly in its unadulterated, strong aromatic characteristics with greenish-vegetal and fruity notes as well as some rustic edges. The spirit made from pure sugar cane juice does not contain any molasses base like the majority of the globally produced rum; only the juice of the plant is fermented and then further processed to Rhum Agricole. I have already explained more about the general basics in another article in the past.
The Rhum J.M 50° comes from the French Antilles island Martinique, where the production of Rhum Agricole is regulated by French law (the AOC regulations apply to the three French overseas territories Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Réunion, which are officially licensed as Rhum Agricole producers – in Martinique there is the AOM (Appellation Contrôlée Martinique), which belongs to the AOC). It is made at the J.M. distillery in the north of the island, which was founded by Jean Marie Martin in 1845 (hence, the initials – by the way, the missing dot behind the M is characteristic here). Since 1914, however, the distillery is no longer family-owned. They distil their rhum exclusively from sugar cane from its own cultivation (unique in Martinique), which grows in the Habitation Bellevue region at the foot of the stratovolcano Mount Pelée. The J.M distillery is therefore sometimes also called a “Single-Domaine-Sugarcane Rhumerie”.
With an ABV of 50%, the Rhum J.M 50° is slightly stronger than its unmatured sibling, the J.M Rhum Blanc (40% vol.).
Aroma: Immediately there they are those beautiful, rough and characteristic Agricole notes of greenish-woody sugar cane with the vegetal tones of slightly overcooked vegetables and preserved fruits. Moreover, they are very rich and aromatic in the Rhum J.M 50°. The notes are also earthy, almost reminiscent of boiled mushrooms, with some courgettes and raspberry notes. Over time, the impression solidifies and I have to think again of fruity eau-de-vies.
Taste: The Rhum J.M 50 starts quite powerful and authentically: Woody and earthy notes unveil the sugar cane soul of the rhum. The vegetal tones are clearly more in the background on the palate, but are replaced by notes that are more herbaceous. In addition, I can find raspberries and fermented stone fruit. A beautiful and aromatic Rhum Agricole, which is definitely not only suitable for mixing.
Finish: relatively dry and woody with a hint of white pepper.
Well, of course a Rhum Agricole always calls for a Ti’ Punch and once again I have decided to make it the way I like it the most (see linked article). Therefore, I used brown sugar once more. What I would never do in a Caipirinha, I like, despite all debates, in a Ti’ Punch very much. I don’t want to miss the light caramel notes of brown sugar here. And of course we have to keep in mind: “Chacun prepare sa propre mort!” (“Everyone prepares his own death!”).
But I also wanted to contrast the classic with something very progressive and combined the agricultural rum (rhum, sorry) with an agricultural product from my local region: white asparagus. Anyone who thinks I’m crazy will be surprised at how well this works in a drink. Although you can also use fresh asparagus juice in a drink, I infused some Rhum J.M 50° with asparagus shells, which you will usually throw away as waste during asparagus preparation in the kitchen. The asparagus shells were allowed to infuse the rhum for about 32 hours before I filtered them out again. As a creamy sour with fresh egg white, the result is a wonderful spring cocktail, which is very easy to make on your own (and is an eye-opener, guaranteed!).
6 cl Rhum J.M 50° infused with white asparagus (see below)
3 cl fresh lemon juice
2.5 cl sugar syrup
1 egg white
2 Dashes Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters (optional)
Rhum J.M 50° infused with white asparagus: simply add a good handful of asparagus shells or residues to every 250 ml of rhum and let infuse for between 32 and 48 hours. Finally, filter out the asparagus with a fine filter cloth (I’m using a special infusion bottle** for infusing).
Garnish: Asparagus und dried lemon wheel
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.