Martinique, ultimate rum distillery tour, called “ Route des Rhums”, is the best rum-themed journeys you can experience anywhere in the world. You can taste the greatness of Martinique’s storied rhum-making tradition first-hand.
two annual rum festivals: the first in late-June marks the end of the harvest season, while the second in December simply celebrate rum itself.
How Martinique, the tiny Caribbean region produces such outsize rum. These five distilleries embrace the island’s artisanal approach to the popular spirit.
Located in Le Francois, Habitation Clément is the birthplace of Rhum Agricole and carries the culture of an ancient Créole sugarcane plantation rich with French West Indian history, which has been completely refurbished by the Hayot family to remain a Martinique a cultural icon for centuries.
Formerly known as Domaine de l’Acajou, Habitation Clément welcomes thousands of tourists every year who come to discover old world and new world Créole culture. Many people spend peaceful time touring the botanical gardens or visiting where Rhum Clément has been made for more than 125 years, and no one leaves without a special bottle for their home bar. Recently some of the older structures have been refurbished into galleries and frequent exhibitions of local Caribbean artists are always open for display. Habitation Clément has been a registered French historical land mark since 1996 and has hosted several significant world events and dignitaries. Browse through our gallery of pictures or better yet, visit Habitation Clément and take in the whole experience for yourself. You will find us in Le Francois on the east coast of Martinique, and we are open every day from 9:30am to 5:00pm. www.habitation-clement.fr.
Trois Rivieres Distillery
Thanks to Rhum, this little Martinique hamlet has become famous around the world – even if its distillery has been out of action since 2004. But the 120 ha plantation still provides its sugarcane juice, and the two distillation columns are still active on the Riviere-Pilote site, less than 5km away.Its windmill, rather than the three rivers, has become the emblem of the prestigious range. It’s not at all surprising that Trois Rivières became a well-known name amongst rum connoisseurs for its classic vintages, including the 1953, 1964, 1969 and 1977.
rois Rivières was more or less out of action until the end of the 19th century, thanks mainly to the creation of a railway line used to transport sugarcane from the refinery. This worked for a long time due to the energy produced by the windmills. One of these has lasted to the present day and was completely restored in 2005. It constitutes the point of reference for the buildings, which now serve as an information centre on the production of Trois Rivières Rhum.
In 1905, the new owner Amédée Aubéry, who was also an industrialist, modernised the site and most significantly halted sugar production in order to concentrate solely on the distillation of Rhum. In 1940, his son would go even further, deciding to abandon the use of molasses and using instead only fresh sugarcane juice, thereby producing the first Rhums Agricoles in Martinique.
Saint James Distillery
SAINT JAMES Agricole Rums are elaborated from fresh pure sugar cane juice only. This natural product does not undergo any rectification process. Therefore the share of non-alcoholic parts will be higher, giving Agricole Rum its one-of-a-kind aromatic strength. All SAINT JAMES secrets are well kept in the Rum Museum, located in the colonial-style SAINT JAMES House, next to the distillery in Sainte Marie. Through a photographic exhibition and a unique collection of engravings, labels and bottles, the entire history of SAINT JAMES and Agricole Rum from Martinique is explained.In a fascinating setting, the Distillery Museum retraces the history of the art of distilling through various machines used in the process, from pot stills to distillation columns.
Rhum JM Distillery
Viewed from above, Martinique’s northern tip resembles a pie cut into many jagged slices. Within the slices are a patchwork of bright green sugar cane or banana fields. Lush, forested valleys separate them, formed by streams flowing from Mount Pelée down to the sea. Below, the Rhum J.M. distillery, all its buildings and roofs a barn-red hue, sprawls out between the trees. It’s a breathtaking sight — a rhum distillery in the middle of Jurassic Park! Even from a distance, it’s clear that the distillery is very modern, clean and efficient. However, the site was among the earliest sugar plantations on the island. Rhum JM is the oldest operating distillery on the island. It’s out of the way and a bit hard to find – though no harder than Depaz.
The tour is incredible as you walk around to see them crushing/juicing the sugar cane, walk through the fermentation vats where they make the cane wine, and then see the still where they produce the rhum, before wandering outside to see the ageing warehouses.
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