Thread: Rhum Baita???
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:42 AM   #6
Edward Hamilton
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Originally Posted by Hank Koestner View Post
I was just curious that this might have been an agricole I was not aware of.
The question of what is agricole and what is not is a common one. First agricole is a French word that when used with the word rhum means that it was made from fresh sugar cane juice, not sugar cane syrup, crystalline sugar or molasses.

There is a common misconception that if a spirit is a product of France that it is rhum agricole. So how do you know if it's rhum agricole or something else?

If the rum was bottled in Guadeloupe, Martinique or Marie Galante the label will say rhum agricole. Other designations you might see are rhum traditionnel, grand arome or something other than rhum agricole. If the rum was produced in Martinique and is rhum agricole it will have an AOC, Appelation d’Origine Contrфlйe, mark on the bottle. Martinique is the only geographic area in the world with an AOC mark similar to the designation for cognac and champagne.

If the rum was bottled in France the question takes on other dimensions. There are rums which are being imported to the US, but not sold in Martinique or France which aren't rhum agricole but claim to be. So how can a consumer know what is really rhum agricole and what isn't? Again, look for the words rhum agricole and the AOC mark. Last year I began seeing imports to the US with a designation of Appelation Rum Controlee, a mark that was recently changed to Appelation Rhum Controlee. To this date I have been unable to determine where this spirit labeled 'Martinique Rhum Agricole' was distilled.

Additionally, aged rhum agricole will bear the designation rhum vieux if it is rhum agricole which has been aged more than three years. Rhum brun simply means brown rum annd shouldn't be confused with aged rhum agricole.

To this date I am not aware of any rhum agricole which is bottled in France under anything other than a distillery name from the French islands. If you don't find the name of a distillery on the bottle chances are it is a private label blended from molasses-based spirits.
Edward Hamilton
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