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Rhum Agricole

Fresh sugar cane juice rhum from the French islands.

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Old 08-27-2017, 04:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Sweden
Posts: 7
Default Question on rhum distillery operations

Hi all,
I have a question about how rhum distilleries operate, e.g. on Martinique. If I understand things right, cane juice does not keep well, so time between harvest and the start of fermentation needs to be short. Thus, since harvest is seasonal, so is the production of rhum agricole. But what goes on in the distilleries during "off-season"? Surely when the operation is in place and all the equipment is there and in order, there'd be decent odds for finding a financially sound strategy of buying molasses to distill "rhum traditionnel"? Yet, if this is done, I haven't heard of it, at least not as a general rule?

A similar question has also been on my mind regarding the history of rhum agricole. If the emergence of agricole was at least partly due to a collapse of the sugar market, so that the point of producing sugar (and molasses) disappeared, then why go full on with agricole? Did they use up all the cane for agricole so there was none left to make molasses out of? And was imports of molasses a non-starter due to trade barriers? If not, again, wouldn't it make sense to at least keep some molasses based production going to fully utilise facilities?

Anyone able to shed any light on this??


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