I first started out with Clement 6 Year old about a year ago and was not all that pleased with it. Being that it was not cheap, I stayed away from rhum agricoles because most of them have steep prices. In the last few months, I resumed my quest to find some good ones, which are shown ranked in order below with my rating to the left. These are all aged agricoles from Martinique except where noted.
Unaged white agricoles are very similar to Brazilian cachacas and are in a totally different class. What differentiates artisan cachacas from industrial cachacas is that the artisan ones need to be processed within only two hours of extracting the cane juice!!! Martinique most certainly does not allow the juice to rot out in the sun in the manner that industrial cachacas are made. And as we all know, if one starts off with a bad white distilled spirit, there is absolutely no hope when it comes to aging. As for aging of agricoles, I have found that 3-4 years is optimum because aging any longer allows the delicate cane juice to pick up too many wooden flavors from the barrels to render it like Kentucky bourbon.
I spent a lot of time and money to come up with my results and I hope this helps. These rhums are NOT for beginners!
8 Depaz Blue Cane Amber Rhum
7 Rhum J M VO
7 St. Augustine Pot Still (Florida)
7 Sweet Crude Black Gold Single Harvest (Louisiana)
7 Bayou Select (Louisiana)
7 Rhum J M Gold
7 Barbancourt 8 Year (Haiti)
7 Clement VSOP 4 Year
7 Clement 6 Year
6 Rhum J M VSOP
6 Barbancourt 4 Year (Haiti)
5 Barbancourt Estate Reserve 15 Year (Haiti)
4 Clement 10 Year
4 Saint James Royal Ambre
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