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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Drinks and Food Best Martinique Rum?
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Best Martinique Rum?
AdOrAdam
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2013
Posts: 440
From: Wolverhampton, UK
Posted: 2014-04-01 2:57 pm   Permalink

However, I recently got some Saint James Rhum Vieux so here's a review:

I'm (strangely) quite excited about this purchase - Although I was at first surprised, I subsequently enjoyed & have missed the taste of SJ Amber.

Also Hors D'age has been sold out in the UK for a while & import would have made it prohibitively expensive IMO. Sunny&Rummys statement that Rhum Vieux & Hors D'age are the same thing in the bottle picked up my interest again ~ the original $100 mai tai rum.

Price wise the SJ Rhum Vieux was 29.50 ($50) - that makes it not the cheapest agricole but near the lower end of the price list. For me that is in line with Appleton 12, El Dorado 12 (eg. it should be premium), but Im thinking agricoles just are a bit more expensive.

Drinking it neat... it's quite a 'full' taste which I like, the 'agricole' taste is quite present. It tastes like SJ Amber & Appleton 12 combo from earlier in this thread but is slightly more cohesive, like the 2 rums had been left together for a while. A burn is present but it smells great the burn thins a little with water & time.

I headed into mixing...

In a Donga Punch - this is an ok drink but not great. The SJ RV blends well & has a relatively short finish. In comparison to Clement VSOP, it is heavy - the Clement has preferable higher vinegary notes & has a longer finish.

In a Three Dots & a Dash with El Dorado 8 - this a great drink. However, its battle between Clement VSOP & LH151 with SJ RV & El Dorado 8 coming in a close second.

In a Mai Tai with Appleton 12 - this is a good drink. The same comments are applicable as with the Donga Punch (ie. SJRV has a short finish & is heavy) but that's not necessarily a bad thing. To my mind it sits between a mai tai with El Dorado 12 or Clement VSOP, all 3 are worth a try:



If I had tried SJ Rhum Vieux prior to the Clement VSOP, I would be thinking 'this is a great rhum... I just dont like Donga Punches'. If I subsequently got 'used' to it, Clement VSOP would be a worthy step up.

Overall, Saint James Rhum Vieux... is a good rhum IMO
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AdOrAdam
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2013
Posts: 440
From: Wolverhampton, UK
Posted: 2014-04-01 3:06 pm   Permalink

In looking tasting & comparing my 'rhums' they exhibit a wide range of differences to each other but also share a lot of the same traits.

Trois Riveras Blanc sits as my benchmark white rhum.
Clement VSOP is fast becoming (or has become) a favourite.
Barbancourt 5 Star didn't rate on my 'agricole' scale but is nice as a rum & going in cocktails calling for it by name.
Saint James Rhum Vieux is a good rum to use if Im conserving the Clement VSOP.

So I have plenty of aged rhum to get on with (about a bottle & a half), my white rhum is low (less than a quarter left). I could replace it with the same but Id like a few recommendations for a white rhum.

What's suggested next TC?!
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1179
From: San Diego
Posted: 2014-04-01 6:42 pm   Permalink


This is my current Martinique selection. I haven't tried them back to back yet but I will soon. I will update this ASAP.

I am thinking St James over Clement as it stands right now but I have a bunch to try still before I can make any final judgements.

The last time I bought St James at Cap n Cork, they told me that St James might be going under... Anyone know anything about this? I hope it is not true!


 
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lunavideogames
Grand Member (3 years)  

Joined: May 09, 2012
Posts: 1179
From: San Diego
Posted: 2014-08-31 8:39 pm   Permalink


So after all this research I have decided I like St James the best. Sadly, now they have decided to stop selling it in the US

I did stock up and I have quite a few bottles of St James though. If I see any elsewhere I will buy it up!

What does your Martinique selection look like?


 
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AdOrAdam
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jun 16, 2013
Posts: 440
From: Wolverhampton, UK
Posted: 2014-09-01 2:12 pm   Permalink

@Lunavideogames ~ I have likewise come to the realisation that I enjoy the more popular & widely available Clement VSOP & Saint James Rhum Vieux the most out of all I have tried.

My collection at home remains:



However, I am enthusiastic about rum & can't do a short answer, so here's a longer post... in two parts!

Part one:

French styles of rum are a little bit less enigmatic to me now I've tried a few (about a dozen). Those which are aged 4 years + (like VSOPs or Rhum Vieuxs) are generally more to my taste. They are refined & sippable without breaking the bank.

In part my favouritism of Clement VSOP & Saint James Rhum Vieux may stem from that were my 'bench mark rhums' but also you know when you've got a good rum & those are both great.

I think that having the two rhums I favor on hand is comparable to having Appleton 12 or El Dorado 12 on your mixing shelf: there are are other rums but you arguably don't need necessarily need to explore them, those are top shelf expressions to mix with & sip.

IMO: The Clement makes an outstanding Donga Punch & the SJ Rhum Vieux makes a great Three Dots & A Dash. For a Mai Tai I favor non agricole combos.

I have previously said I thought Clement VSOP & LH151 makes a hairs breadth better ...- but from the people I tried both combos out on, they preferred the SJRV. I also prefer SJRV for sipping & in light of popular opinion / the LH151 shortage, I now use it in ...- in my home bar.

Part two:

I'm not exactly 'done' trying out new agricoles, I'll always try new things I have just returned from one of two holidays in France where I sampled a few

You wouldn't believe the cheapness of the aged agricoles, 16 / 20 / $26 a bottle (that's half price for me). The range is wider as you might expect but several whites, aged versions of Saint James / Clement / Dillon / Trois Riveras are freely available in different stores.

I tried La Mauny Blanc & discovered it to be not too dissimilar to the Trois Riveras Blanc. I quite like ti punch with white agricoles but it takes a little getting use to. I think I'll eventually replace the white in my collection with a new one but wouldn't have more than a bottle on hand at any one time.

I also tried some more expensive aged agricoles (Damoiseau 5 year & Trois Riveras 5 year) & asked a few sommeliers who said Clement VSOP / SJRV were both good rums for mixing.

So I restocked my faves, here with the ends of my previous bottles (left to right = old, new, old, new):



One thing to note is the Clement in that pic is not labelled VSOP but is a 'rhum vieux' (aged 4 years+, the same as the VSOP) & is bottled at 44% instead of 40%.

The other interesting thing is the bottlings of each brand are subtly subtly different when tasted neat (I tasted them blind with the assistance of my glamorous assistant).

With the Clement you might expect that (different proof & label n all), I picked the older opened bottling as preferable with a little more bite ~ I did not expect that, I thought the higher proof would be preferable. This maybe due to a difference between the formulas used. This does spur me on to try some
Clement Rhum Vieux Single Barrel but that's a lot of Donga Punches if I snatch up another bottle right now!

With the Saint James Rhum Vieux (besides the different label, the proof is the same) the newer bottling has a little more bite which again could a slight change in formula or oxidisation of the old bottle.

Considering the face I first pulled at Saint James Amber, you could say I have grown to be a fan of agricoles!

Anyway, most likely on my next trip to France (to see the Tiki Pop exhibition at the end of this month) I'll try a couple more, there's no harm in that


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