Rhum Agricole Vieux, like all agricole rhums, are an AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) designated and protected spirit produced from fresh squeezed sugar cane juice, instead of molasses, and aged in oak barrels for at least 3 years. These rhums are distilled on the French Caribbean island of Martinique in single column copper pot stills or traditional alembic style pots stills and aged in either used Cognac, brandy or whisky barrels. These rhums are noteworthy for their strength, often bottled at 100 proof, as well as their complexity, which is comparable to fine Armagnacs, and should be enjoyed neat in a snifter and if so inclined, with a cigar.
These are formally differentiated from fresh cane juice based rhums from other French Caribbean islands, like Haiti and Guadeloupe, by the AOC designation, but it is common practice to refer to all fresh cane rums as 'agricole rums'. Different vintages or batches are blended together to insure a continuity of flavor in brands of rhum from year to year. Some rhums agricole vieux brands will give age statements stating the age of the youngest rhum in the blend (e.g., 10-year-old Rum contains a blend of Rums that are at least 10 years old). A small number of Rhum Agricole Vieuxs are vintage dated.