Rhum Saint James, from the French Caribbean Island of Martinique, are the only sipping rums dating back to 1765.
When the French King, Louis XIV, banned the sale of rum in France, an enterprising priest moved to Martinique and founded Plantations Saint James, where he produced and sold his rum to the settlers in New England. Rhum Saint James was consumed from Williamsburg to Boston, and became the most popular West Indian rum in the American colonies before the American Revolution, it has been enjoyed by rum connoisseurs ever since.
The SAINT JAMES DISTILLERY is the most visited distillery in Martinique and hosts the Museum of Rhum Agricole (Agricultural Rum).
Created in 1981, in a very old colonial house, this museum relates the history of agricultural rum in Martinique through an exhibition of photos and old posters showing the different steps of rum production, from the growing of the sugar cane to the ageing of rum.
Rhum Saint James rums are fermented from pure sugar cane juice, in a continuous single distillation process, similar to Armagnac, and then aged in limousin and American bourbon cask for a number of years. Most commercial rums are made from molasses, which is a by-product of refining sugar cane into sugar.
The quality of rums produced from pure sugar cane juice is so special, that the French government created the appellation “Rhum Agricole” exclusively for products made in the manner of Rhum Saint James.
Rhum Saint James is still sold in its trademark square bottles, as it was in the XVIIth century, where they were designed as the most efficient shape for packaging and shipping from Martinique.