The Rhum J.M Distillery is the only single estate distillery in Martinique, standing on the bottom of the Mount Pelé volcano in the northeast of the Caribbean island. It uses only sugarcanes growing on its volcanic soil and the purest mineral spring water from Mount Pelé. The humidity in Macouba, the village where the distillery stands, impacts a lot onto the ageing and maturation process of the rhums.
In 1845 Jean-Marie Martin purchased the Fonds-Préville estate and sugar refinery, transforming the sugar refinery into a distillery and branding the rum barrels with his initials, J.M. In 1914, Gustave Crassons de Médeuil purchased Fonds-Préville from his brother Ernest, to add to his own estate, Bellevue. Today the Crassons de Médeuil heirs still take great pride in cultivating the sugarcane to create the exceptional line of Rhum J.M AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) Martinique, the only island in the French Caribbean to have such appellation, testifying the fact that everything is done in Martinique (from the sugarcane plantations to the bottling line) and under very strict regulations in order to guarantee a top quality rhum.
Once the sugarcanes are freshly cut, they are pressed, before the fresh juices are fermented. Rhum J.M. Distillery is the only single estate distillery on the island meaning that they only use sugarcanes from the plantations surrounding the distillery – it takes less than an hour from when the sugarcane is cut to when it is crushed.
The fermentation process takes around 36 hours. The sugarcane wine will reach 4-5% alcohol and then column distilled up to 72% abv. This leaves a good amount (28%) of non- alcoholic elements which will give all the taste to the distilate. Once out of the column, the distilled spirit will be slowly reduced down to 50% and matured for 12 months in 200 litre oak barrels.
Rhum J.M. Gold displays a rich sugarcane flavour that has beautiful viscosity on the palate. The rich golden colour is a simple result from the time it has been naturally aged in re-charred bourbon barrels for a period of 12 months. Raw sugarcane and warm gingerbread flavours are softened by hints of vanilla and hazelnuts from the short time spent in oak.