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If you haven’t tried rhum agricole, beetle down to the Proper Pour in the Source, which has one of the better rum collections in the city. Agricole is rum that doesn’t cloy like pancake syrup: It has lots of character, good burn, and it’s best drunk neat or on the rocks. It’s my favorite rum variety by far.
Most rums are made from molasses, and seem to be in a sweetness race. I had old rums in Havana a few years ago that were so treacly they tasted like dessert.
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Rhum agricole, on the other hand, is made from fresh cane syrup and has some of the reedy flavors you get from chewing cane. It’s mostly from Martinique, and its production is classified, like French wine, by appellation. I like the white stuff—try Rhum J.M. Blanc—for maximum grassy notes, and I enjoyed the bottle of Depaz Blue Cane I bought at the Proper Pour. Depaz is a pale amber spirit whose edges are smoothed by barrel aging, but it’s still unmistakably an agricole.
Proper Pour’s rum selection seems to change often, so if the shop doesn’t have a particular brand, enlist help and try another. Other suggestions: St. George Spirits makes an awesome white agricole from California cane, and Brazilian cachaça (also made from cane juice) has those same grassy flavors.
The Source, 3350 Brighton Blvd., 720-389-7905