the rums (agricultural and industrial ones) are obtained from sugarcane.
Agricultural rum is an alcohol obtained
by fermenting and distilling pure sugarcane juice (the vesou) when
industrial rum is obtained by fermenting and distilling molasses (a by-product
of the production of cane sugar).
steps of production of agricultural rum are detailed hereafter :
||The fresh cane is crushed
by a series of crushing mills (3 or 4 usually) to separate the cane juice
(vesou) from the fibbers remaining after juice extraction process
The bagasse serves as combustion
for the furnaces which heat the water for the boilers and transform it
into vapour. This vapour is use in particular to run the vapour machine
which activate the crushers and the distilling columns.
The vesou is gathered in a
drainage system for filtering and pumped on to the fermenting vats.
During fermentation, which last 24
to 48 hours, the sugar present in the sugarcane is transformed, due to
yeast activity, into alcohol. The aromatic elements which will characterize
the rum start to appear during the fermentation process.
A sugarcane "wine" (also called moult)
is produced with a 4 to 6° of alcohol.
The moult will
quickly be sent for distillation.
|The method consist in
heating the wine in the aim to vaporize the volatile components, mainly
the alcohol, and then to condense them.
introduction in distilling column, the wine is brought to a temperature
Introduced into the top of the column,
the wine descends by gravity from one plateau to another, heating up when
in contact with the steam which is introduced at the bottom of the column.
The alcoholic vapours are then recovered
at the top of the column and cooled.
A the exit point of the distilling
column, the white agricultural rum is colourless and of 70°.
The distilling column is the heart
of the process. The column give to the rum its own characteristics.
The old distilling column of the
Hardy factory, Tartane - La Martinique
A portion of it is kept as white
agricultural rum and another portion put away for ageing to produce rum
known as either "élevé sous bois" (stored in wood)
Rum : 3 months before bottling, the rum is stored in huge wooden
tuns to be "rounded out". It is then brought to desired degrees for commercialization
(40° to 62°) with spring water.
rum or amber agricultural rum : the rum is stored for at least 12
months in wooden containers. Its name is derived from its light golden
colour, mostly due to its short period spent in an oak tun.
Old or aged
agricultural rum or also dark agricultural rum : Must be placed
in an oak barrel a minimum of 3 years for the VO label (rhum vieux),
4 years for the VSOP label (rhum très vieux) and up to 6
years for an aged vintage XO label rum (rhum hors d'âge).
It is the tannin in the wood which bestows the warm hues while the taste
is transformed as the years go by.