Rhum J.M 1994 Millésime 15 Year Old

Rhum J.M 1994

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  15  years
Price: ~$230
Alcohol: 42.5% ABV 
Sugar: 0g/L
Context:  Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 9.5

Tasting Notes
Rhum J.M’s 1994 vintage exhibits a beautiful shade of amber with orange highlights.  Its aromas are proud but delicate, floral, subtle and intoxicating; with some earthy cane, sweet anise, fresh dried tobacco and young leather, charcoal-smoky with sweet notes of caramel, mildly spicy with cinnamon, and hints of tropical fruit.  The initial taste presents an exquisitely refined harmony of flavors that can best be described as adding physical dimension to the wonderful essence of the aromas.  A delicious medium weight body carries the flavors slowly from the tip of your tongue further back, finishing slightly sweet and warm with anise.

For the 1994 vintage, packaging has received a very classy yet understated upgrade.  A stamped, tooled leather label and vintage declaration collar with artwork and lettering highlighted in maroon dye, replace the usual paper versions.  While both adornments are rendered in the traditional Rhum J.M style, together they constitute a collectible differentiator to the appearance of J.M’s normal green bottle. 

Warm hearted nice guy and fellow RumXP member Forrest Cokely held a party as prologue to the 2011 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival in his hotel room, inviting those lucky RumXP judges who arrived early to share some special rums.  In my book, the bottle of Rhum J.M 1994 was the highlight of Forrest’s party.  Rare beyond belief, a rhum I’d been seeking unsuccessfully for months, and here it simply, serendipitously dropped into my mitts.  I savored a glass or two on the spot and – ever at the ready – filled my trusty RnD flask with enough of J.M’s finest to enjoy in private, enabling me to share my tasting impressions here.  Thank you, Mr. Cokely.

Definitive in it’s traditional AOC agricole nature, J.M’s 1994 pushes superlatives – delicately aromatic and sublimely flavorful - a rhum that asks no favors and makes no excuses.  The 1994 vintage from Rhum J.M is so refined it may force a recalibration of your agricole tasting scale.  Alas, most of us won’t have to do so.  With US allocation numbering in the tens of bottles, only the lucky few will ever taste Rhum J.M’s exquisite 1994 vintage.  Under those circumstances, price isn’t the object. 

 Reviewed:  April 2011 at Rum Renaissance Festival in MIami, and again in May at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017