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Very Smooth. Rhum J.M Gold developed its light amber color from the time it spent aging in new American oak barrels. On the nose, aromas of fresh cut cane with a hint of light sweet vanilla is discerned. As the rhum opens up some spiciness and mild alcohol arrives. Initial taste delivers warmth up front with a spicy edginess and flavors of pepper, allspice, vanilla, and anise. Possessing a medium to light body J.M VSOP finishes long, dry, and warm with hints of unsweetened cocoa, a slight residual sweet cane flavor and fading with spices.
Rhum J.M is the smallest distiller on Martinique. It carries a certain mystique and is regarded with reverence amongst Martinique residents. The current owners are fifth generation heirs of the Crassous de Medeuil, and maintain the unique character of their rhum despite having been purchased by Rhum Clément circa 2004. The estate sits away from Martinique’s other distilleries on the island’s northeast side. Due to the more humid climate of it’s location at the foot of (often overcast) Mount Pelée, J.M often harvests their sugar cane later than other distilleries, resulting in a unique product. Per strict AOC specifications, only fresh pressed cane juice is fermented, then distilled in one pass through a copper column still. The rich distillate is stored in stainless steel tanks for a month or more, before maturing in small new American oak casks.
Rhums from habitation J.M and are perhaps not as well known in the USA as they deserve, but that’s been changing since about 2010 with wider availability. I was unexpectedly surprised by J.M’s Gold Rhum - not because I had low expectations - quite the contrary. I anticipated finding Rhum J.M Gold to be enjoyable, I just didn’t think it would be so smooth, so pleasantly aromatic and delicately flavorful. Whether sipping neat, in a ‘Ti punch or prepared in a proper Daiquiri, Rhum J.M Gold does it all with aplomb.
Reviewed: January 2011 at the Rum Gallery, USA.
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