Agricultural rum appeared after industrial rum. Its production truly began only in the second half of the 19th century.
At that time, the sugar industry was going through tough economic times. The end of slavery, the excessive competition and the discovery of beet sugar in Europe contributed to the collapse of sugar prices.
Agricultural rum : A novel raw material
In order to survive, some distilleries decided to diversify their products by turning to rum. Many of them even abandoned sugar production altogether to focus only on rum. They began to use another raw material, easier to obtain than molasses: cane juice. Called “vesou” in Creole, it is obtained by grinding sugar cane.
This new type of raw material is at the core of agricultural rum. Cane juice gives agricultural rum flavors more directly related to the soil from which it comes, when compared to industrial rum. As such, rum can therefore enjoy a wide variety of flavors and aromas.
Different types of agricultural rums
Agricultural rum can be classified in four key categories:
- White rum: this is the rum in which the sugar cane flavor is appreciated the best.
- Straw rum: slightly colored, this type of rum was aged in oak barrels for 12 to 18 months before being put on sale.
- Old rum: a type of white rum that has been aged for at least 3 years.
- Amber rum: it’s a mix of straw rum and old rum. The result is a strong and fragrant rum that is specifically used in cocktails and pastries.
Agricultural rum is generally created in regions of French influence, and mainly in the West Indies. Martinique, Guadeloupe and Haiti are the biggest producers.