rum and industrial rum are clearly two different alcohol : the agricultural
rum (or habitant rum), is an alcohol obtained by distilling the fresh,
fermented cane juice when the industrial rum (or sugar-manufacture rum
or as well sugar mill molasses rum) designates therefore the alcohol resulting
from distillery of molasses, a residue of the sugar manufacture.
If the industrial rum appeared in
the 17th century in
the Caribbean, that is only at the end of the 19th
century that the first agricultural rums were produced in the French West
Today, the industrial rum represents
about 90% of the world production of rum.
The agricultural rum, mainly produced
in the French West Indies (Martinique and Guadeloupe), is a high quality
rum well know and appreciated for its specifics aroma and flavour, and
its process of making.
The high quality approach followed in La Martinique
If, as in others islands of the West
Indies, the alcohol of sugar-cane is produced in La Martinique since the
17th century, an independent
rum manufacture activity (independant of the sugar manufacture) was born
in Martinique (French West Indies) during the second half of the 19th
At the end of the 19th
century, confronted with the collapse of the sugar rates, other markets
must be found. Hence appears the idea of producing a new rum,
the agricultural rum (or habitant rum), alcohol obtained by distilling
the fresh, fermented cane juice (the vesou).
In 1950, less than 10% of the sugar-canes
of La Martinique are crushed for the production of the agricultural rums
(the main part of the cane is used for the sugar and industrial rum manufacture)
Around 1960, the agricultural rum
level of production reached almost the same level than the industrial rum
level of production. At the beginning of the 70's,
the production of agricultural rum exceed the one of industrial rum.
evolution of the rum manufacture in La Martinique focus on the predominance
of the agricultural rum and on a high level of quality.
Since 1996, the agricultural rums
from La Martinique are the only rums granted with a French A.O.C. (Appellation
d’Origine Contrôlée) delivered by the National Institute of
Appellation of Origin (INAO). A.O.C. rums are at the top of the
official French quality scale. They have to comply with legal restrictions
on cane varieties, yield and especially production zone.
[The rums from
on the A.O.C. Agricultural Rum from La Martinique]
are actually in operation in La Martinique (Thieubert, Montagne, Saint-James,
Fonds Préville- Crassous de Médeuil, Dillon, La Favorite,
Le Simon, Trois-Rivières and La Mauny) to produce and sell 17 brands