This month we return to Martinique, to share another fantastic Rhum Agricole as our January Bottle of the Month.
Whilst L'Habitation Lajus, the heart of the distillery, has existed since 1670, it was in 1917 that Jacques Bally bought the land and set to creating a modern distillery and the brand we know today.
In 1924 Jacques started aging his rhum in barrels, taking inspiration from Cognac producers, a process that ensured J. Bally was known as one of the world’s best Rhum Agricoles by the 50s.
As a Rhum Agricole (find out more on our Blog Post Rum, Rhum, Ron), freshness and quality of ingredients are key. The sugar cane is harvested during a limited period in January and February each year, it is then pressed and the fresh sugar cane juice must start fermenting within 24, to prevented spoiling and impacting the flavour. This is why Rhum only represents 2% of worldwide rum production.
Since 1989 J. Bally has been produced by Distillerie Simon, which has been distilling Rhum on Martinique since 1862 and is one of the remaining seven distilleries on the island. J. Bally’s distillation column was transferred to Distillerie Simon, to ensure this fantastic range would continue to be produced the same way, by the same equipment, to provide continuity despite the change.
J. Bally’s single vintage Rhum Vieux Agricole range is the pinnacle of their work, with each single year vintage being subtly different from other years. We’ve chosen to share their 2002 vintage, a fantastic example of their craft.