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Rhum Agricole

Fresh sugar cane juice rhum from the French islands.


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Old 09-14-2007, 07:35 AM   #1
Scottes
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Default J.M. Rhums

I was at a rum tasting a while ago and we sampled some Clement and J.M. rhums. We sampled the J. M. Rhum Agricole Vieux 1997 which I just saw in a store for $82. It was a fantastic rhum, but I'm not so inclined to spend that much on it. This store also had the J. M Eleve Sous Bois for $46, which is more in line for what I'm willing to spend.

What are people's opinion of the Sous Bois? Do you think it's worth the $46? Is it worth getting at all, or should I go for the 1997?
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:40 PM   #2
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Hello Scottes,
Were you able to taste the Eleve Sous Bois? I ask this because the taste profiles were probably pretty different. The ESB was probably aged around 1 -2 years, and the 97 may have been aged anywhere from 3 to 10 years, maybe more. Let me know, and I might help you with more info that will help you make your decision. I brought back a JM Rhum Tres Vieux Agricole Special Reserve from ths islands, for which I paid about $50. I love the rhum, but I was able to taste it before purchase, and I felt the price was fair, and I know it spent some time in the barrel. Also, check out the thread I added on Vintages recently. I am a big Agricole junkie, and I am still studying these types of rhums. I have about 20 in my collection, and have tasted more in the Islands. By the way, this is the first I have heard of JM being available in the states. Do you have more info on this?
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:54 PM   #3
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The 1997 is aged 10 years, and it is fantastic. I had it at a rhum tasting, and it was in the league of fine cognacs. (And I like cognacs.) But it's so expensive...

I did not get a taste of the Sous Bous, as it was not offered at the tasting. But the price is more to my liking. :-)

I know that the J.M. rhums are now in Massachusetts, but I did not realize that they were not previously available in the US. I spoke with Ben Jones from Clement, and I guess that Clement recently bought JM, which is maybe why they are now becoming available. I also spoke with Jim Rossbach who's the distributor in Mass but is from Connecticut, so maybe they're available in CT, too.

If you wish, PM me and I'll give you their emails. I'm sure they'd be willing to give more info - Ben has always been very helpful with my agricole questions.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:37 AM   #4
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I spent a little time with my J.M. last night, and it is wonderful. The 97 might even be better. I would be tempted to purchase it, but it is expensive. The ESB would compare more to the rhum agricole blanc, with a more nutty flavor. If you have never tasted a blanc, I can assure you they are very unique to any other white rum you have tasted, and the ESB increases in flavor profile. The ESB types make great Ti Punches, and make good Mojitos. I like them with a little ice, also. I have Neisson ESB, and La Favorites version of ESB which they siply call Ambre'.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:46 AM   #5
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It sounds like the JM ESB is worth trying. I really wish the 1997 were cheaper, but the more I think about it the more I want it...

So far the only Rhum Agricole Blanc I've had is the Clement Premiere Cannes, and I think that "unique" might be an understatement. It's so far out of line with molasses-based rums. It's very nice in the right cocktail, but a bit too much for me - at this point in time - to drink neat.

But the Clement VSOP is very nice, and I liked the St. James Ambre, too. Given them and the 1997 I might just have to "work backwards" - from aged to young - with agricoles. I do love the complexity in the aged stuff - almost like cognac.

This past weekend a friend managed to get me a bottle of the Depaz Blue Cane, and I'm looking forward to that. Another friend got me a nip of Trois Rivieres white. So I've got a couple more agricoles to sample and decided on the 1997.
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:39 PM   #6
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How would you compare the Clement VSOP to the ST James Amber or XO. I have seen the VSOP in stores but have not tried it yet. The St James was good but I have not realy gotten into agricole rhums yet. I picked up a bottle of Chauffe-Coeur rum when I was in So Cal this year. I don't really care for it so I am a little hestitant to try any other agricole rhums. It has a very strong unique smell that reminds me of Pitu cachaca which I equate to seafood (maybe the shrimp on the label has something to do with it).
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:28 PM   #7
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The Clement VSOP contain some of those aromatics, but not in a way that should remind you of cachaca. The flavors are much more subtle. The rum is dry though, so it will be different from most molasses-based rums, but it's not an extreme. It's not quite a sipper, in my opinion, but it can be sipped and enjoyed.

The St. James Ambre has more powerful flavors and more oak. I would lean towards the Clement VSOP as a "starter."

The St. James XO - is this the same as the Hors D'Age? If so then I definitely would not recommend this as a first agricole.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:31 PM   #8
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The St James rhum agricole sold in the US is bottled in France for the US market and is quite different compared to the rhum bottled in Martinique. Though the Premiere Canne may be quite different, J.M and the other rhum agricoles presently in the US are consistent with what you'll find in Martinique.
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