Rhum JM VO Agricole Rhum
Because of the intense tropical humidity and protection from the marine layer over the estate, the sugarcane at Habitation Bellevue, the home of Rhum J.M., grows in a full 12 month cycle and is harvested each Spring. Because they harvest only their own sugarcane, the sugarcane is pressed in less than 1 hour from when it was cut, delivering the freshest possible juice to be made into rhum. The sugarcane juice naturally ferments slowly into a sugarcane wine (Vin de Canne) of around 5% abv over the course of 36-48 hours. The sugarcane wine is then distilled into Rhum Agricole in a Créole Copper Column at or near 70% alcohol, retaining the natural flavor and aroma of the Habitation's cane and terroir. The distillate is then rested in stainless steel tanks for at least three months, before being reduced to bottling strength and bottled for the traditional Blanc rhum, or reduced to 60% abv and barreled for any rhum destined to become one of J.M.'s beloved aged expressions, from the young and grassy Eleve Sous Bois, all the way through the rich and elegant vintage bottlings.
The V.O. expression is aged for 3 years in re-charred Bourbon barrels before being blended with barrels of the same vintage and bottled at 43% abv. The honey hue and sweet vanilla-spice aromas take the lead on the nose, following through on the palate with more vanilla and a hint of honey, though it remains quite dry, carrying to an earthy, rubbery midpalate and spicy finish, laced with black pepper, clove and cayenne.