Well, there was not any comments from part I, but here is part II.
I want to mention Vintages. Before I purchased any, I did some reading and research. As we all know, the thing that matters most is how long the rum was actually aged prior to bottling, since it does not change in the bottle with time, like wine. I saw a number of vintages for sale, Bally 93, 94, and some Clement rhums from different years. Some of them can be VERY expensive. The Bally 93 ran about 250 euro, and there was a bottle of 1929 Clement for 1450 euro, just to quote extremes. :eek: Some were vintaged because that year the product was considered a banner rhum in comparison to others. But unless you know the amount of aging, or why that rhum was special that year, you can walk away with a great rhum, or an expensive souvenier (to quote Ed from his book). I was able to taste the Bally 98, Trois Rivieres 96 and Le Mauny 95,
and they were wonderful rhums, and were priced well. I paid about 40 U.S. dollars
for the Bally, and about the same plus or minus $5 for the other two. I met one very honest, knowledgable bartender from France who studied Rhum Agricole, and we talked much about vintages. Some of the spirit shop managers will tell you anything to get you to buy an expensive bottle, and others might be more forthcoming. St Barths is a great place to find Rhum Agricole, as is St. Martin, but you have to be wary of price. I have a funny story to relate about one sales person on the Island, but I will save that for later.