A.O.C. Official Label “Rhum Agricole de Martinique” (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée)
Following the decree published on November 5, 1996 in the Journal Officiel of November 8, 1996 of the French Republic the agricultural rum from Martinique obtained the “AOC Martinique”, the Official State Accreditation of Origin for the rums of the island of Martinique. As of November of 1996, Martinique agricultural rums benefit from the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée official label. To date, Martinique is the sole French overseas region to possess this distinction.
Only those rums obtained by distilling fresh, fermented sugarcane juice have the right to bear the label Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée “Martinique” guaranteeing origin, followed by the term, “Rhum Agricole” (Agricultural Rum), which meets high standards regarding:
– the production grounds,
– sugarcane fields,
– cane variety,
– juice extraction,
– fermenting process,
– distilling process,
– storage and ageing process.
Rums claiming the AOC Martinique origin label cannot be marketed without an official certificate issued by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine – INAO (National Institute of Origin Accreditation).
The distinctive logo, created by the Martinique Rum Syndicate, appears on the capsule.
The A.O.C Martinique Official Label counts 3 categories:
- The Rhum Agricole AOC Martinique blanc (White Agricultural 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.
- The Rhum Agricole AOC Martinique élevé sous bois (Golden Agricultural Rum or Amber Agricultural Rum): Amber 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.
- The Rhum Vieux Agricole AOC Martinique (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.