Tuesday, November 17, 2015

St. James Hors D`Age Rhum Vieux Agricole

     Rhum St. James is one of a group of rhums that are known as "agricoles".   This is a French style of rhum making that like other rums, has very strict rules by which it must be produced.  I think that my friend Dave Russell probably put it best in one of his agricole reviews.

     "For your appreciation, and out of due respect, Agricole rhums must be considered within their own context.  Agricoles are distinguished by their unique taste and aromas.  There is more to their story than is commonly known.   Distillation techniques, the proof of the spirit exiting the still, aging requirements and required minimum quantities of residual particulate matter also contribute to the difference. 
What’s important to us is that rhums agricole generally exhibit distinctly different aromas and flavors from their cousins industrielle. Often, people prefer one style over the other, and there’s nothing wrong with that.   It’s a matter of taste anyway.  If you prefer a sweeter style typical of molasses-based multi-column distilled rums, the Saint James isn’t for you. But if you are looking for a dry, elegant sipping rum made in the agricole style, mellowed in oak to a mature age, then Rhum Agricoles might be for you."

     That being said today I am tasting and sharing this rhum with some friends as part of The Rat Key Rum Tasting Association  tasting and looking forward to the response to it that my friends have to this member of this very unique group of rhums.  This is an 86 proof (43% ABV) rhum and it has been aged for between 6 and 10 years.  It has a stunning Mahogany color and the aroma of  dried fruit, and a very slight note of vanilla and wood.   

     This is a very dry rhum, one that has a lightly sweet with the faint taste of dried fruit on the palate that rapidly fades to a growing warmth related to the higher proof, with a relatively dry and short lived finish.

This is an agricole that is available herein the states.  It also lacks the harshness and grassyness that man of the younger agricoles have.  I feel like this is a really good way to introduce yourself to the world of agricole rhums.