We’re filling out our coverage of Martinique’s Rhum J.M. line, finally looking at an oddity called Rhum J.M. VO. The hitch: It’s aged for 3 years in toasted new American oak barrels rather than used bourbon barrels, which are the norm.
The result is a rather sharp and heavy rum, at least on the nose, one which naturally showcases plenty of fresh-cut lumber but also has an edge of fruity lemon peel, too. The palate is doughy and again quite heavy, offering lots of fresh linen notes plus a vaguely vegetal character, almost weedy at times. The finish is rather flat, with a moderate to heavy barrel influence that fades out on notes of green, wet wood.
New wood just doesn’t do this any favors, making it my least favorite J.M. bottling by far. It serves mainly as a curiosity in an otherwise top shelf lineup of agricole-style rums.