Rhum J.M X.O

Rhum J.M XO-RG2

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  6  years
Price: $72.99 (SRP in USA)
Alcohol: 45% ABV 
Sugar: 0g/L
Context: Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
The intense fruity-grassy scent that characterizes J.M’s aged rhums make their presence felt in an enticing bouquet the moment the cork cap is pulled from the bottle. Poured into a tasting glass, Rhum J.M XO shows a burnt-orange color like patina’ed copper.  Swirl, wait a moment, and watch hundreds of tiny beads collect at the upper reaches of the trace. They form into legs slowly - some full length, some so short they never return to the spirit below - but all add to the aromatic volatility of this incredible smelling rhum.

Aromas are classic Rhum J.M:  woody and spicy on the nose, with star anise, bright cinnamon, mild clove; followed by the oak, phenols, soft white cheese from the ex-Bourbon aging barrels, and soft floral tones like lavender and calla lily that are specific to the nurtured terroir of the J.M distillery and it’s purposeful garden.

Aurelie Bapte guides the private tour and finishes with a taste of X.O

Initial tasting brings a perfect blend of wood, caramel, spice, fruit (mango, papaya) and floral flavors, lingering over the palate on a medium body, then tapering slowly with tropical fruit, citrus and spice on a long finish.

Anecdotes
Rhum J.M X.O was distilled in a single column still from fresh sugarcane juice harvested and crushed within 24 hours of fermentation with baker’s yeast for 48-72 hours, and aged in American oak ex-Bourbon barrels for a minimum of six years.

The Rhum J.M distillery has been working hard for the past several years to increase both it’s dwindling stock of aged rhums and it’s production capacity.  A new copper column still and several fermentation tanks were brought online in 2015.  When I visited Rhum J.M in December 2014, the distillery and entire facility was being updated and looked better kept than ever.  There’s a palpable renewed energy at Rhum J.M, yet the unique signature spicy and pungent agricole profile continues in each bottle of rhum.  You can see photos of the distillery and new equipment here.

To see a short video about Rhum J.M, click here or go to: Rhum J.M - YouTube

Take a vacation on Martinique.  Tour the distilleries.  Think how much money you'll save when buying in the distillery tasting room boutique

Opinion
One drink of Rhum J.M X.O is all you need to understand the distillery’s talent for producing one of Martinique’s quintessential rhum styles.  It is the perfect mid-point – for flavor, sophistication and price – between the distillery’s exceptional 15 and 10 year old Vintage-dated releases, and their VO and VSOP expressions aged 3 and 4 years.

Take a vacation on Martinique.  Tour the Rhum J.M distillery.  Think how much money you'll save on your purchases in the boutique tasting room.

Reviewed:  December 12, 2014 in Rhum J.M’s tasting room while visiting Le Distillerie Rhum J.M – and October 2015 at the Rum Gallery, USA.  

© Dave Russell 2017