Brand: Rhum JM

Origin: Distillerie J.M., Macouba, Martinique, France

Still: Creole Column

Age: 3 years

Finish: Toasted New American Oak

ABV: 43%

Rhum JM dates back to 1845, when Jean-Marie Martin purchased a sugar factory at Fonds-Préville, at the foot of Mount Pelée in northern Martinique. Martin turned the factory into a rum distillery, and started selling the rum he produced around the island. In those days, merchants would sell whole barrels, typically stamped with some identifier of the producer; in Martin's case, that was his initials– J.M.

As time went on, the barrels stamped J.M. became very sought after, creating a reputation for the brand that is well-known around the world as one of the premier rhum agricoles. In 2002, French firm Group Bernard Hayot (GBH) acquires Rhum JM, which is today managed by Spribiam, GBH's spirits subsidiary. Spiribam's porfolio now includes fellow rhum agricole brand Clément, as well as Saint Lucia Distillers and brands created from their rum (Bounty, Chairman's Reserve, and Admiral Rodney).

Rhum JM VO is a recent newcomer to the JM lineup, and more recently was replaced. The sugarcane juice-based rhum was produced using the distillery's creole column still, and placed in new American oak casks for 3 years before blending and bottling at 43% ABV. The "VO" stands for "Very Old", and follows other AOC rhum agricole expressions in using a stylized version of the cognac classification system.

From my understanding, Rhum JM VO is being phased out, in favor of the new Terroir Volcanique expression, which shares similar production details.


Orange-brown, low viscosity


Nutmeg, toasted marshmallow, cinnamon bark, vanilla, red wine vinegar


Nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, sour red grapes


Medium-long, bitter, oaky; vanilla, red wine vinegar, burnt oak

Rating: 5/10


This is a fine vieux agricole expression; nothing super interesting about it, but not problematic. There is a nice amount of spice on the palate, but not a lot of complexity outside of that.

Flavors and aromas typical of a vieux agricole are present, like spices in the form of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, and are joined by red grapes and red wine vinegar. I typically get a hint of toasted marshmallow from this style too, which shows up on the nose. The finish is a tad bitter, but has a good amount of charred oak and vanilla from the maturation.

Not a showstopper rhum, but good to use in a cocktail or if you really want an aged agricole but are on a budget.

Further Reading