Rum - Rhum Clément V.S.O.P.
Rhum Clément V.S.O.P.
H. Clément, Martinique-French West Indies
Sugar Cane Juice
Proof: 80 (40%)
Age: 4 1/2 -5 Years
Price: $34.99 750 ml
Notes: One of the few rums (NB: French spelling "rhums") in the world to claim a terroir as the sugar cane is grown in a unique microclimate in volcanic soil on a single estate making it a unique microclimate and small circumscribed geographic area (and granted an AOC because of it) - much like the great houses of Bordeaux, Cognac or Champagne claim weather, soil and geographic demarcations and resulting effects. Produced and bottled on the estate.
Another noteworthy point is that it is a Rhum Agricole or made directly from sugar cane juice rather than molasses. Less than 5% of the worlds production of rum is made this way and the process yields a dramatically different product.
distilled and a small single column copper pot still, which yields a lower proof spirit full of flavor, rather than a highly distilled relatively flavorless spirit.
It is one of a series of rums (which differ in age) the others being Premier Canne, Clément Cuvée Homère, and Clément XO Rum. This particular version is aged in both French Limousin and American oak.
Appearance: Burnt orange/yellow,mahogany. Bright,clear with no hazing, separation or floating sediments. Sparse but long legs and beading develop on swirling.
First Impression: Exceptionally clean, cocoa/alkali ,oak (both types). Dried fruits and spice notes (nutmeg, tarragon, allspice). No off notes of bitter/burnt smell you can get with a molasses product and a dryness to the bouquet.
Taste: Smooth, spicy and fruity, wood notes with dry fruit, tarragon, licorice root, floral notes with slightly oaky/peppery finish. Dryish finish; medium long. Delightful. This is probably what those godawful spiced rums are trying to emulate through chemical additives rather than aging a quality product.
Drinks: Mixes well, more spiciness and more understated than the Premier Canne and yields exceptional drinks particularly those calling for a aged rum. Rhum Agricole yields a very different flavor t han the average molasses-based rum and so brings some unique flavors that enhance almost any drink. This version puts a number of other rums to shame.With its delicate but assertive character it makes for a wonderful,but not overwhelming mixing rum. Just don't be a philistine and mix it with Coke. Clément's literature have a number of cocktail recipes well worth trying.
Cigars: A cigar a little darker than the rum is a good guide. Try a Fuente Hemingway or Avo, natural wrapper with this one, so as to not to lose the the subtlety of the rum.
Final Thoughts: Another excellent example of a Rhum Agricole. In this case a lightly aged one (compared to their other offerings that is). Again, well worth the extra money over the molasses stuff!
Bottle/Packaging: Tall clear cylindrical bottle and raffia/wicker wrap, with understated label showing main house of plantation (unchanged since 1949). Bottle has the perfect look to Tiki up your bar a notch.
Adequate information if you read French. Could be a bit more detailed for my taste.