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Most of the agricole rums I've tried have been from Clement and I have liked them all to varying degrees. I even managed to snag a bottle of Rhum JM Gold which I liked rather well (rated it an "8").
So I had rather high expectations for the Rhum JM VSOP.
First thing is that apparently at some point they redesigned the label on the bottle. The bottle above used by RumRatings has an older label which has an old world charm to it with the artwork and hand lettering. Looking at it reminds me of the era of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his poster art of the late 19th century. The current label all but eliminates that impression. The art on the earlier label had a more ornate and interesting portrayal of what I assume to be a distillery of some historic point. The lettering was made to look as if it were done by hand (and it very well could have been so). The colors had an artistic feel in of themselves.
The newer label lost all that charm in my opinion. The lettering is all mechanical (even the cursive). The artwork is much plainer. And the colors have no depth at all. It is less appealing.
Now off my art critic soapbox. Let's look at the rum itself. It is a deep amber color with a hint of bronze. It has nice legs and beads of the rum cling to the sides after settling from a swirl in my snifter. It has a recognizable agricole aroma but nothing harsh.
The flavor does have that grassiness and funk normally associated with agricole rums but this rums seems spicier. A definite pepperiness. And strong. Really strong. There is just a hint...and I mean minute hint of cane juice sweetness but this is a dry rum. Also it has a rather strong and lengthy burn. It is a slightly higher proof than most rums (43% ABV - 86 proof) but the burn is one I would expect from 95 proof or higher. The finish is dry as I would expect. However there is a flavor in the mix that I cannot quite identify. It is a flavor that I find odd and out-of-place. Sort of a kerosene type of flavor. I don't like it whatever it is. It's very pronounced on my palate drinking it straight however on the plus side it does seem to be lessened when used in Coke Zero. Just be careful not to overdo it on the rum. About an ounce-and-a-half for a 500ml (16.9 fl oz) bottle of Coke Zero seems to work best for me. I also think it would work well in citrus-based drinks. I haven't had the opportunity to try some. The downside is the price. At $50 USD a bottle (I've seen it as high as $60 USD online) it is a pricy rum. Frankly I don't think it's worth it. It's far too harsh to be a sipping rum and the strong flavoring limits it as a mixer.
I had higher expectations for this rum and was disappointed. I feel the Rhum JM Gold is much better as agricole rums go. There are comparable agricole rums that are less expensive and better than the Rhum JM VSOP.
This is a very unique and interesting rum that is unlike any I've tried before.
Smells and tastes of charred oak and spice (pepper, clove, and cinnamon). Maybe a hint of black cherry. Has a nice bite at 43%abv and would pair well with a cigar.
It seems like a pretty good spirit, but I prefer a little more sweetness. This is dry, almost bourbon like.
A decent tasting rum for sure for people who prefer a bit less sweetness in their rum.
I have had better Agricole rhum but I have also had worse. The VSOP has a burn factor to it from the strong pepper notes as well as form the intense alcohol taste. You definitely get the earthy, grassy taste with some oakiness and some smoke notes as well.
This is an ok rhum to drink straight. The price, however, is too high for a rhum like this.
Een lekker pittige rhum agricole van Martinique's mooiste distilleerderij Rhum J.M. gelegen aan de voet van de vulkaan Pelée en vlak bij de Atlantische oceaan.
Het gekapte suikerriet wordt binnen een uur geperst en het sap in de fermentatie tank gepompt. Na een korte vergistingaperiode wordt er gedistilleerd in dubbele column stills. Een drietal jaar op ex-bourbon vaten later levert een rhum op met die typische 'grassige' agricole smaak maar ook rokerig eikenhout en specerijen als peper, kaneel, noten en fruitige tonen als banaan en grapefruit.
Een lichte en droge rum gebotteld op 43% abv (die merk je op) waar niet mee 'geknoeid' is want dat is tegen de wet op Martinique.
My first crack at RHUM JM. Very strong smoke taste that grows on you quite quickly. A lot of rooms are close in flavor but this one is distinctly different. Like it or not, you will definitely remember it.
This rum was not what I was expecting. It has a classic rum nose, but the taste is something totally different. It’s bold, but not in a good way. It’s smoky, but not not in a good way. It burns, but not in a good way. I did not like it.
My initial response to this rum was that I hate it. It was harsh and chemical tasting with an aftertaste that made me want a drink of water. After trying several brands of rums, I decided to give it another shot. It isn’t horrible, but it lacks any discernible flavor notes and still makes me want a drink of something else.
This would be suitable for cocktails or perhaps baking, but for sipping rum, I’ll look elsewhere.
Nez : équilibré, jolies notes boisées et vanillées, cela évoque quelques notes pâtissières au café notamment. On retrouve l'odeur du tabac à pipe frais. C'est gourmand et prometteur.
Bouche: le boisé prend le dessus avec le tabac, les notes fruités sont franchement en retrait.
La finale est persistante, puissante avant de s'estomper sur cette agréable note de tabac.
Origine Martinique, AOC.
At 86 proof it comes on a bit hotter than you would expect. To me it tastes more like a whiskey than a rum. Enjoyable neat, and a couple drops of water don’t hurt.
This has really rounded out my collection of rums. Without being overpowering, it has a distinctive flavor that shines through a drink. I've got to spend more time sipping it because it's subtle smokiness is different than any other rum I've got on my shelf. It's my top-shelf Mai Tai rum and goddamn a drink made with this is unforgettable.
So this was an interesting and different experience as this was my first decent experience with a true Agricole rum (my experience with Barbancourt was not pleasant). Going in armed with knowing a bit more about what to expect I found this rum to be interesting. It isn’t going to pull me away from Spanish and Bajan rums but it was a good experience. The nose is Lemons and light caramel and vanilla notes. It gives a sense of refreshment rather than warmth. The palate is oak, lemonade and some spice combination that is difficult to describe...maybe anise (?) . What I did find remarkable was the aftertaste because it wasn’t as much as an aftertaste as it was a lasting experience between the throat and nose which left a distinguished aroma or memory of fresh cut grass in the springtime. That was both unexpected and the best part of this rum. It is not as much a taste as it is an experience of the senses. Interesting.
Veľmi dobrý JM typu agricole. Hrana s konskom,či brandy. Napriek tomu nasladla chuť s príjemným ošetrením dojazdom. Jeden z naj Agricole rumov čo som pil.
This is my first agricole and I found it really interesting. Very different flavors than other rums, I liked that earthy and grassy tastes that are unique from these type of rums. Also liked the smoked and pepper flavors. Definitely worth trying.
Ya quelque chose de particulier dans ce vsop aoc.
Une patte de la maison JM. On y revient avec plaisir malgré le goût surprenant. Bonne cam pour moins de 40.
43 % abv. Nice amber colour in the glass , on the nose , slight honey sweetness , bits of white fruits and a peppery spice note.
Tastes of smokey grass / earthy flavours.. not that pleasant.. very dry , no notable sweetness , could do with more fruit notes. A young rhum as there's quite a burn in the mouth. Long exit but then the worst part of the whole experience.. I feel like I've been chewing wet grass in a damp cellar... !
A problem I often face with aged agricoles is that they lose a lot of that grassiness and delicious vegetal profile after barreling, and they tend to mellow out just too much for me. This VSOP from Rhum J.M does that just so, and as much as I like their blanc, this just doesn't excite me the same way.
The nose reveals just barely notes of grass, cane juice and caramelised fruit amongst a quite strong presence of oak that is diversified with some clove and ginger.
The palate leaves you wondering for just the split of a second wether it is a Calvados or a cognac brut, but then the unmistakable grassy, sweet cane juice aroma comes through. Quite long aftertaste of spice and oak with hints of caramelised apple.
It is absolutely a decent and “correct” VSOP, but aged agricoles are expensive and this is not for entry level candidates. A friend of mine with a quite well trained palate but little experience with rhum agricole was bewildered as to what he was drinking. If you want to sip an agricole I would try some XO or rare vintages. Or try to make an old fashioned with this one a couple of times, perhaps also a knickerbocker or something, before revisiting it straight.
As others have noted, there is a distinct peppery note in this agricole, and the oak is very upfront. Behind that lies the grassiness of a traditional agricole. Not as balanced as I was expecting, but I certainly wouldn't turn down a 'ti punch vieux made with this juice.
Time for Birka’s rumcruise 2019 at the Baltic Sea. This one was included at Ian Burrell’s “Blindtaste” Master class. It was quite easy to get it right, cause it was the only Agricole included. I think it’s quite alike the XO but with a little less of everything. So it’s maybe an even better Agricole to start with if you want to start a tour in the Agricole world.
Picture: The rums included at the blindtest.
First time I drink a rhum agricole without this distinct flavour of grass. Quite good, touches of caramel, nuts, woody, really, not bad at all
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