Trois-Rivières VSOP – Naturally Sweet Rhum from Southern Martinique
Grassy. It is, perhaps, the most apt and over-exhausted word used to describe rhum agricole. This, of course, owes much to the implementation of fresh-pressed sugarcane rather than molasses in its production. The terroir in which said sugarcane is cultivated and harvested, though, also plays a critical role. It’s a differences you can really taste in Trois-Rivières VSOP.
A Most Distinctive Microclimate
The Trois-Rivières region of Martinique stretches along the island’s southwest coast between Saint-Luce and Le Diamant. Three rivers that flow through the area – Bois d’Inde, St. Pierre, and Oman – give Trois-Rivières its name.
All the fresh river water here, though, belies the region’s relative dry climate.
Northern Martinique, home to the island’s tallest volcanic peaks, receives dramatically more rain. Rhum distilleries based in the shadow of Mt. Pelée – Rhum JM, Depaz, Neisson – see in excess of 160 inches of rain each year. Those in the south like Trois-Rivières generally get less than 79 inches.
As we’ve noted previously, drier conditions yield naturally sweeter sugarcane.
Adding to the sweetness, though, is the soil in Trois-Rivières. The earth here is rich red clay. Brackish seawater often enters the microclimate mix here owing the low-lying coastal nature of the region.
All of this yields a distinctly earthy, vegetal sweetness to Trois-Rivières rhums.
Trois-Rivières VSOP Tasting Notes
Woody and smooth, Trois-Rivières VSOP entices with its signature vegetal sweetness. The natural character of the southern Martinique sweetness gives this VSOP somewhat of a honey flavor. At the same time, though, the tell-tale dryness that denotes every rhum agricole definitely shines brightly here. Just delicious.
This rhum agricole is as much a pleasure to smell as it is to taste. Ginger and grassy notes predominate, with perhaps a nutty (almonds?) undertone tying it all together.
The finish isn’t too terribly long. It is a bit spicy, though, encouraging you to go slow and fully savor the experience.
Trois-Rivières VSOP is aged five years, one more than the minimum for Martinican rhum agricoles bearing the VSOP designation. No doubt, that extra year adds to its intoxicating smoky-wood flavor.
Yeah, if you like your rhum agricole with a good cigar, then you’ll want to give this VSOP a try.
Where to Buy Trois-Rivières VSOP
Unlike Martinican rhums imported and distributed by our friends at SPIRIBAM, Trois-Rivières rhums are not widely available across the United States. Your best bet is to try specialty spirits stores like Primo Liquors in South Florida.
Or better yet, hop a flight to Martinique and head south to Trois-Rivières. Believe me, sampling this VSOP among the grassy lowlands where it’s crafted only adds more joy to sampling it for the first time…