A bit of history
Agricultural rum
Distillation process
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The agricultural rum
Agricultural 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 Indies. 

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 (Fwi)

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 century. 

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.

The recent 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 La Martinique]
[Details on the A.O.C. Agricultural Rum from La Martinique]

9 distilleries 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 of rum.