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Old 04-07-2007, 06:04 PM   #1
Edward Hamilton
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sailboat in the Caribbean and hotels.
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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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