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Just got some Rhum St. James


El Ron de Cuba
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Just got some St. James Extra Old last week...and boy is it nice stuff. I really am a fan of the color (a beautiful reddish tint), although I'm not sure that it's natural...

I was just wondering if their nomenclature has changed; in the MoR profiler, it didn't list "Extra Old"...

What are your opinions on this stuff? Tastes a little similar to Barbancourt 8 to me, although my tastebuds aren't THAT refined...think I might like the B-court better...

Bruce

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I have just been in Martinique, and in the distillery there was a label of Extra Old. It had 42 % on it. There were 2 other old Rhums available there: Vieux & Hors d'Age.

Extra old is not a French name for a Rhum. They can use XO (which means the same) but they would not use your name in French territory. The Extra Old could be an Ebglish label for the Vieux, since that one has 42 % as well (and 40 % and 45 %). The Hors d'Age has 43 % and can not be the French version. They all have caramel in it for sure to make sure all bottles have the same color each year. Most Rum does.

The more information, the better.

Rene van Hoven

www.Rumpages.com

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Here are some notes I found on the 2 French version (can be found on my website as well). :raz:

Rhum Vieux (40 %, 42 % & 45 %) Aged in limousin oak for 2 to 3 years. Mentioned characteristics: Dark mahogany warm colour, heady and rich aroma.

Hors d’Age (43% & 45 %) A blend of rums between 3 and 12 years old, although some mention the age of 15 years. Mentioned characteristics: Slight prickliness, soft underlying sweetness, light-bodied, cocoa, vanilla, cake frosting, bittersweet chocolate, honey, tea, molasses, roasted nuts, caramel. brief finish, moderately sweet, voluptuous.

In the end it is all a metter of taste. There is nothing wrong with Barbancourt. It is a good Rhum with much flavor. If you like that one better, than who are we to tell you different?

The more information, the better.

Rene van Hoven

www.Rumpages.com

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St. James is a very interesting rum because of all the Rhum Agricoles, it doesn't have that characteristic fermented sugar cane flavor of a Rhum Agricole -- this comes from the uniqueness of the St. James distilling process that separates them from everyone else on the island.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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El Ron de Cuba, can you determine where that bottle of Extra Old was bottled? Some of the St James rhums are bottled in France and some in Martinique. If it was bottled in France, it will be different from that bottled at the source. The water used to reduce the alcohol content will be different, probably not as good since it will be from a municipal source and not from a mountain spring as found in Martinique.

During my last trip to the states, I bought a bottle of St James Amber, called Ambre in the islands and I was sorely disappointed, then I discovered that it was in fact bottled in France.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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Ed and others,

Here's the skinny:

Right, I wasn't sure about Saint James' nomenclature system. It doesn't have French terms on the bottle (I don't think any rum is bottled XO or whatever like cognac, though, right?); "Extra Old" is above the St. James engraving in the bottle in English. The alcohol content is 42%. Color fits the "mahogany" profile well.

I must say I'm a little disappointed myself...I was expecting something a little smoother. I generally like the distilled-from-pure-cane-juice taste, but it's just not happening with this particular rum...okay, but not stunning.

As for the distillery location, I'm not positive. On the left side of the label (on the side of the bottle) it says "Product of Martinique" with "France" below it in the same type. I don't know if this is just referring to Martinique being a French colony (though it's probably independent now) or what.

Ideas?

Bruce

El Ron de Cuba, can you determine where that bottle of Extra Old was bottled. Some of the St James rhums are bottled in France and some in Martinique. If it was bottled in France, it will be different from that bottled at the source. The water used to reduce the alcohol content will be different, probably not as good since it will be from a municipal source and not from a mountain spring as found in Martinique.

During my last trip to the states, I bought a bottle of St James Amber, called Ambre in the islands and I was sorely disappointed, then I discovered that it was in fact bottled in France.

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Martinique is a D.O.M. which means it's overseas territory, not a colony. Officially it's France. It's on the other side of the world, but it's French ground.

The term XO does not only refer to Cognac. Sure, most people only know it from there. There are R(h)ums with that name (Dillon has a Grand Reserve XO). There are also Armagnac with that name.

It's a pitty you are disappointed, because Saint James makes some fine Rhum. :sad:

The more information, the better.

Rene van Hoven

www.Rumpages.com

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As for the distillery location, I'm not positive. On the left side of the label (on the side of the bottle) it says "Product of Martinique" with "France" below it in the same type. I don't know if this is just referring to Martinique being a French colony (though it's probably independent now) or what.

To be imported to the US, the country of origin must be stated. Martinique is considered France, like Rene wrote it is a department of France, Guadeloupe is another department of the mother country.

If that rhum was bottled in Martinique, St James probably would have made it clear that it was bottled in Martinique, France.

There are a few distillers that are using the XO Appleation, Depaz is another. But to date there is no agreement among the distillers about what constitutes an XO.

Sorry you were disappointed, but it has been my experience that rhum that is not bottled at the distillery just won't be the same as what you buy at the distillery.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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Tried the St James Vieux and find it a bit to raw for my taste with clear notes of burnt rubber both in the smell as well as in the taste.

The only Rhum agricol that I can compare it to is a nine year old La Favorite from 1993 which I like and my personal favorite Troi Rivieres matured six years from 1977 and another bottling from 1980.

I just think that the St james might need some more maturation than the two to three years that the Vieux bottling have.

The Hors d'Age might just do the trick, but Its not avaiable here in Sweden.

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  • 3 months later...
El Ron de Cuba, can you determine where that bottle of Extra Old was bottled. Some of the St James rhums are bottled in France and some in Martinique.

I'm interested if this may have changed after Remy Cointreau sold Société Martiniquaise de Canne à Sucre in 2003. Does anyone know who owns them now?

http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/news/pr...is.asp?id=30167

In any case, I recently picked up a bottle of St. James Royal Ambre here in San Francisco and was fairly impressed. It did start a little rough; but, it has an amazing depth of flavor.

Erik

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I'm a little confused by the article because Société Martiniquaise owns St James now. The Martiniquaise, as they are known in Martinique also owns J. M. Now the only two family owned distilleries are La Favorite and Neisson.

If you like the St James Ambre, you should try the La Favorite Ambre or, better yet, Neisson Eleve Sous Bois.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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you should try the La Favorite Ambre or, better yet, Neisson Eleve Sous Bois.

Thanks for the hints.

The liquor store I was at carries both of those and I looked at them; but, since this was my first experiment with Rhum Agricole, the price for the St. James was its big selling point. None of the staff had tried any of the recently, I don't think. Though someone did say they had tried the Sea Wynde pot still over the holidays and it had, "blown their head off".

:biggrin:

Next time I have some cash burning a hole in my pocket, I will have to give one of them a try.

Erik

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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In any case, I recently picked up a bottle of St. James Royal Ambre here in San Francisco and was fairly impressed.  It did start a little rough; but, it has an amazing depth of flavor.

Erik

May I ask, where in San Francisco did you find this?

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May I ask, where in San Francisco did you find this?

I found it at John Walker & Co at 175 Sutter in downtown San Francisco.

http://www.johnwalker.com/

It's a little fancy; but, they have a good selection of quality items and are nice folks.

I usually only go there for things I can't find at BevMo.

Erik

Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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  • 4 weeks later...
If you like the St James Ambre, you should try the La Favorite Ambre or, better yet, Neisson Eleve Sous Bois.

I think I've changed my mind on the St. James Ambre.

Initially, I really liked it because the flavor really reminded me of a trip to Hawaii when they were still actively growing sugar cane there. The taste of the rum really conveyed a similar flavor to the smell of the burning cane fields I experienced as a child. However, after the initial thrill of tasting those flavors captured in a rum, some of the off flavors are starting to bother me more. The "burned rubber" Mickeman describes is definitely there.

To me this rum seems to occupy an odd place where it is too distictive for mixing, yet a little too unrefined for sipping.

Other opinions?

Erik

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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To me this rum seems to occupy an odd place where it is too distictive for mixing, yet a little too unrefined for sipping.

Other opinions?

Having drunk St James in Martinique for many years, I was surprised when I tried a bottle of the Ambre in the states, I couldn't find any rhum blanc. Then I discovered that that rhum is bottled in France in 750ml bottles and then shipped to the US, which explained, in part, why this rhum is different from what I enjoyed in the islands.

Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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