Located in northern Martinique at the foot of Mount Pelée.Habitation Bellevue produces sugarcane which is grown up the face of a volcano.

The Housing Bellevue, located on the flanks of Mount Pelee, with rich volcanic soil, allows the sugar cane used exclusively by Rhum J.M. to have unique flavour.  Agricole Rhum producers are very keen on using marketing terms such as “terroir” when describing their rums.  This is because Agricole in the main, is produced on only a few small islands so it doesn’t have quite as much obvious or immediate diversity as the molasses rum world.

Rhum J.M are owned by the same concern that own Rhum Clement – Bernard Hayot.  As Rhum J.M. is produced on the island it carries the AOC designation which outlines how the spirit has been produced in line with prescribed standards.

Rhum J.M Millesime was bottled at 44.8% ABV and when available in the UK cost around £80 per 70cl bottle.

The Cuvee of Rhum J.M MIllesime 2003 was aged back in 2003 for 10 years in re-charred american oak barrels.  Each Year the barrels are topped up with rhum from the same vintage to re-fill the angels share in each barrel.   Rhum J.M note that their storage tank is air conditioned so temperature is controlled throughout the maturation.

In the glass Rhum J.M Millesime 2003 presents itself as a deep golden brown colour.

The nose is quite gentle but nicely balanced. Its fairly sweet with notes of caramel and vanilla. There are some nice oak notes and some gentle spices a hint of coriander – nice interaction with the bourbon casks.  It is refined and completely at odds with some of the younger grassier agricoles I have tried in the past.   It is fruity with notes of stewed prunes and baked apples.

At 44.8% ABV the rum is sippable without any water.  It is a very easy spirit to drink.  For me balance is often forgotten about by many reviewers.  This rhum is in many ways quite straightforward.  The initial sip is spicy – quite a lot of sweet/sour bourbon notes.  There is a touch of grassiness but it is only a touch – just enough to remind you this is a cane juice rather than a molasses based rum. It has a nice sweetness – good amount of caramel and a little toffee.  There is a fruity sweetness, a touch of Apricot jam.

This is a really nicely done, beautifully balanced rhum agricole. There is quite a lot of oak and spiciness but the other notes still make a difference to the profile.

It seems quite simple at first but after a few sips its reveals its depths.  The finish is quite short but again it is pleasant and there is no off note or anything that doesn’t work with this rum.

Really good stuff.

A special note as well as finding photographs of this rum has proved tricky so I have “pinched” one from on my UK rum friends Kevin Brooks.  Kevin gave me this sample at the 2016 Rum Fest.  He probably thought I had forgotten about it.  My agricole journey is still developing but I think this rum has definitely shown me the way

Cheers Kev