Best rum ever. A cognac or whiskey of this age and quality would cost more than my car.
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 Première Canne, Clément V.S.O.P., and Clément Cuvée Homère.
This particular version is hand selected blend of what is widely regarded to be the best 4 vintage years of Martinque Rum aged in both French Limousin and American oak, then carefully blended to bring out the best points of each vintage year in one bottle.
Appearance: Rubbed bronze/dark baltic amber gold/brown, like a very expensive armagnac. Bright,clear with no hazing, separation or floating sediments. Long legs and beading develop on swirling.
First Impression: Wonderfully deep, like a really outstanding bourbon: sweet, not overly woody, lucscious. Slightly woody/fiberous sugar cane smell, fuitcake and cassius root, fruits, nut butter, (well cared for and oiled) saddle leather, toffee, honey and nuts, vanilla, mulling spice, pepper/oak around the edges.
Taste: Again, an almost Tennesee-Whiskey-like charcoal and sweetness, but much smoother,with demerrera sugar, maple, vanilla with nice oak touches, then getting sweeter and silky smooth, wood notes, dark dried fruit, tarragon, floral notes then and a fair dose of drying oak. Finish is not too sweet, but like walnuts and almonds with carmelized maple syrup.
Drinks: Best enjoyed on its own as a sipping rum.
Cigars: A cigar a little darker than the rum is a good guide. Monte Cristo or good Davidoff Cuban – nothing less.
Bottle/Packaging: Flattened tear drop shape decanter with heavy base (similar to The Paaradis, Louis XVI, and other obscenely expensive cognacs)) Gold script and an incised seal with a crown at top, cane stalks on the sides of the oval and line drawing of the Plantation house on the front of the bottle gold neck with concave crown, cork closure. A magnificent package for a even finer rum.Nicely done overall, lovely to look at. Impressive as a gift package.
Final Thoughts: This Rum is an excellent example of a older Rhum Agricole and really showcases the difference between a sugarcane juice rum, and a molasses rum. If this was a cognac or scotch of similar age and quality it would be at least twice the money probably more. Rums this old are quite rare (much more so than a scotch or cognac) and in most cases exceedingly expensive (such as the last British Naval Rum which costs about $3000), making this one at $150 a steal. Just upgrade the cabin locks on that 38 ft sailboat you are using as window dressing for the bottle.
Adequate information if you read French. Could be a bit more detailed for my taste.