Rhum J.M XO – Tres Vieux Rhum Agricole

Rhum JM XO Agricole Rhum Rum Review by the fat rum pirateRhum J.M XO. When it comes to Agricole Rhum this bottling from Martinican rhum producer J.M is akin to the likes of R.L Seale’s 10 Year Old or Appleton 12 Year Old in the field of Bajan and Jamaican rum.

It is universally well-regarded and a real staple of the rhum world. It offers a fantastic introduction to higher end Agricole Rhum.

Am I preempting my review? No, this is how the rhum is perceived by the wider rhum enthusiast crowd. It does not mean I will find the same enjoyment from it.

In the UK we are fortunate enough to have Amathus handing the distribution of this rhum and the Clement brand, as well. This means it is quite easy to get a hold of. A bottle should set you back around £55-60. The stubby style bottle is 70cl and Rhum J.M XO comes bottled at 45% ABV. As is common in the Agricole world a picture of the Sugar Plantation (Habitation Bellevue) is prominent on the front label.

The natural cork stopper comes complete with the Rhum J.M logo shaped into the plastic topper. You get a sturdy cardboard sleeve to house the rhum in, which gives some more general information about the rhum. I like the faux old fashioned style of the Rhum J.M labels – they are contemporary as well as “old style”.

Rhum J.M XO is an Agricole rhum so it is made from freshly pressed sugar cane juice, the cane is cut and within 1 hour crushed to extract the sugar cane juice. The fermentation process then immediately begins. The rhum is distilled on the two traditional Copper Creole stills to 72% ABV. This is a “traditional” Column still for more information oRhum J.M XO Rum Rhum Review by the fat rum piraten the use of stills in Rhum Agricole – this is a handy link.

It is then aged for 6 years in ex-bourbon casks. These casks are charred with high-proof rhum prior to the fresh rhum being aged in them. Due to the tropical climate on Martinique – particularly in the Micro Climate of Habitation Bellevue. At the base of Mount Pelee – an active volacano – each cask is then “topped” up with our rhum of the same vintage, due to evaporation losses. You will frequently hear these termed as the “Angel’s Share”.

In the glass Rhum J.M XO is a dark to copper colour. Flashes of red and orange give it a very vivid appearance. It looks very inviting – don’t most glasses of rum?

Nosed Rhum J.M XO has a really nice balance to it. It’s very refined almost slipping into cognac like sweetness but it has just enough vegetal notes to remain very much a rhum. There is a lovely finesse about the nose. A really enjoyable spicy oakiness envelopes the grassier notes of freshly mown grass and straw. Notes of vanilla move in and out of the nose giving it an almost molasses rum like feel. A touch of malt vinegar adds body to the nose which I could nose happily for hours.

Sipping Rhum J.M XO is another lesson in blending and balance in a rum. There are no “off notes” with this one. The entry delivers a delicately spiced ginger and coriander note with some rich warming oak and touches of vanilla. All covered in a sweet honeyed note. Fresh vibrant sweet sugar cane and some further notes of dark chocolate.

The mid palate develops into a rich and spicy affair with a slight char and some very vibrant notes of ginger and all spice. It’s more bourbon like than I was expecting. There is also a really nice note of toasted cashews and almonds.Rhum JM XO Rhum Review by the fat rum pirate

The finish is warm and balanced and of medium length. RhumJ.M XO is quite a subtle Agricole rhum and the finish doesn’t disappoint in this respect. Balance is very much the key with the example of Agricole Rhum.

For those put off by younger Agricole rhums for being too grassy or just to far away from molasses style rums, I would recommend buying some samples of the higher end Agricole Rhum’s. Find some time out and really sit and savour a glass or two. Give it time.

Rhum J.M XO is an Agricole rhum which is quite readily available. It is not a limited edition so you should be able to pick it up quite easily. I may have underestimated agricle in the past but this is easily one of the best value expressions on the market.

Outstanding. This rhum deserves all the plaudits that come its way. The only fault I can pick with this offering is that is seems to evaporate very quickly………..

 

 

 

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