Antiquity Collector

Saint James 1885

Typologies: Rum
Provenance: Martinique
Format: 100cl.
Alc Vol: 47% Vol.

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There is no Saint James vintage older than this one, a true GRAIL for many enthusiasts. In 1885, the date of this vintage, Zola published Germinal, Victor Hugo left our world, and the Saint James distillery was already distilling rum.

At the time, Pasteur's work on pasteurization was not yet widespread and St-James heated his cane juice (without boiling it and therefore without reaching the syrup stage) to eliminate all germs, before inoculated with yeasts for fermentation which took place in the open air, in wooden vats, and for several days. A process that lasted until the 1930s, when the first stainless steel tanks arrived.

It is therefore indeed an agricultural rum (rhum agricole), marketed for the first time in the 1900s according to period advertisements found. It was only (re)discovered late (nearly a century after its bottling), when Saint-James found traces of a stock in Amsterdam in one of its branches.

At the beginning of the 1980s, a certain Luca Gargano discovered it and decided to invest in the purchase of some 300 bottles at the beginning of the 1990s, in partnership with a certain Pepi Mongiardino (director of Moon Import, another great figure of Italian trading). The rest is just history, and this vintage is undoubtedly the rarest of all.

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