This agricole style rum hails from the Saint James Distillery in Martinique, and it’s the primary entry in the company’s “gold rum” lineup — a middle ground between white rum and the more fully-aged dark rum category. Saint James Royal Ambre is made from fresh sugarcane juice (as all agricole rums are) and is aged from 18 to 24 months in oversized oak casks.
It’s an entry-level spirit that finds a fairly rustic nose kicking things off, including classic agricole hogo, overripe banana, coconut husk, and vaguely meaty aromas. On the palate, there’s more of the same, along with a heavy vegetal note of carrot or perhaps cooked squash — somewhat off-putting at times when you find it lingering on the back of the tongue. Some sweetness does manage to temper all of the above, though that’s a short-lived respite, as the finish is quite leathery and underdeveloped — all of which is to be expected from what is, in reality, a very young product.
Serious agricole fans may find something they like here, but there’s better stuff on the market at this price.
80 proof. (Overseas bottlings may be found at 90 proof.)
C / $18 (but hard to find in the U.S.)