Martinique’s Rhum J.M is out with a doozy of a new rum, “an homage to the distillery’s micro-climatic tropical milieu and breezy volcanic sugarcane fields” called Terroir Volcanique.
The product is a blend of rums of at least 3 years aged in new American oak barrels with “two unique custom heavy toasts charred in the distillery’s own small cooperage,” including a deep alligator char designed to recreate a smoky, peaty aroma that is meant to emulate the surrounding volcanic landscape, dominated by the active Mount Pelee volcano.
Let’s throw ourselves into the volcano and see how we fare.
Immediately, there’s a curious, unusual nose here: Quite spicy and peppery (more than smoky), followed by a bold youthfulness that evokes the floral and linen-heavy qualities of a young brandy. Rustic and earthy on the palate, the rum clearly leans on the punchy terroir, with boldly fruity notes of blackberry balanced out by some mint, licorice, and toasty barrel char. A finish is where things get smoky — almost peaty at times, with overtones of sea spray and iodine. Increasingly savory as it fades out, showing some notes of coconut husk and pencil lead, it’s a rum that works best as part of a group, adding some savory nuance to more aggressively sweet expressions in the mix. Use accordingly.