What is Agricole Rhum?
Agricole Rhum is made with fresh sugarcane juice, as opposed to most rums, which are distilled from fermented molasses.
To produce Rhum, distillers first ferment freshly pressed sugar cane juice with wild, native yeasts to produce sugar cane wine, which they then distill into a rough, funky, extremely aromatic spirit, that is more botanically driven than sweet. For a rhum agricole to be labeled as such, it has to be made with sugar cane juice, not by-products such as molasses, which is used in making most of the rums on the market.
The style originated over a century ago, with the threat to the islands sugarcane industries posed by the availability of cheap sugar from the beet sugar; sugar producers responded by devising a way of using the entire sugarcane for making rum.
The simplest distinction between rum and Agricole Rhum is that RUM is always made with Molasses (an industrial byproduct of sugar production), whereas Agricole Rhum is made straight from fresh pressed sugarcane juice.
Some avoid using the term rhum agricole as they do not follow all of the traditions of historical styles, but other distilleries using fresh sugarcane only use freshly pressed sugarcane rather than molasses, distilling it only a day or two after picking, and thus generally focus on showing off the plants most pure flavors.
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