Friday Happy Hour: Martinique’s Magnifique Rhum JM Vieux Agricole VSOP

What’ll it be?

The typical traveler answers his or her bartender with the same preferred tipple they enjoy at home when venturing overseas. (Yawn.) Uncommon adventurers like us, though, have a question of our own:

What do the locals drink?

In Martinique, that can be a fairly loaded question.

Indeed, le Ti’Punch is the drink du jour most any time and any place two or more glasses clink together in cheers in Martinique. Le Planteur isn’t too far behind in this regard either. For those like me who like their rum/rhum dark and neat, with an occasional ice cube or two, then there’s only one correct order in Martinique:

Rhum Vieux.

This, of course, opens up a whole ‘nother set of questions. After all, there are more than 10 different distilleries in Martinique, each producing sublime treasures distinguished by terroir and family traditions stretching back hundreds of years. My current favorite: Rhum JM VSOP.

As noted earlier, everything Rhum JM makes is special for reasons most other rum/rhum manufacturers simply cannot match. The terroir advantage Patrick touched on in that earlier post is one thing, but just as important is the family tradition. As Rhum JM notes on their website:

The secret balance of distillation of aromatic fresh sugarcane juice, the volcanic mineral water used in preparation of the rhum, and the alchemy of our glorious sugarcane distillate with re-charred oak barrels is a recipe only known by the Master Distiller and the Cellar Master, who have been on the property since birth and replaced their parent. It is simply a unique tradition of excellences that gives Rhum J.M its authenticity, power and refinement.

Terroir and tradition come together beautifully in this VSOP. Aged for an initial period of three years in re-charred Bourbon barrels, Rhum JM Vieux Agricole VSOP is finished an extra year in lightly toasted American oak barrels.

Four years may not sound like much for some of you picky sippers out there, but believe me, this VSOP packs flavor and sophistication well beyond its age. Devilishly rich, Rhum JM Vieux Agricole VSOP entices with hints of cinnamon, cloves, and toffee, finishing with the perfect balance of heat and smoothness.

In Martinique, any rhum vieux makes a fine choice when placing your order at the bar. For something truly special, though, you’ll want to ask for Rhum JM Vieux Agricole by name.

À votre santé!

Last updated by Steve Bennett on .

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