Rum Review: Clement 10-Year
Rum Review: Clément Tres Vieux Rhum Agricole Grande Reserve 10-Year
Rhum agricole is the one family of cane spirits that didn’t immediately speak to me. But rather than shy away from it, I took it as a challenge to find rhums agricoles that I enjoyed. Soon after, I learned that I quite enjoyed the rhums from Clement. Still grassy and funky, but perhaps a bit more refined than some of its competitors from the French West Indies.
Today we look at their Tres Vieux Rhum Agricole Grande Reserve, a ten year-old rhum from the island of Martinique that’s aged in a variety of new and used oak barrels from France and the United States.
The Clement bottles are mostly the same shape—medium height and flat topped save for the short neck. I expected to find a cork under the shrink wrap, but this bottle has a plastic screw cap. The label is very handsome and understated. A bit of gold foil sets off the edges nicely.
In the glass, the rhum is a very deep copper bronze with flashes of gold as I swirl it in the snifter. Several legs form and move slowly from the ring at the top of the glass.
As I move in for a nosing, there is just a hint of alcoholic astringency, and I’m taken by the Scotch-like qualities of the aroma, which can be attributed to the notes of smoke, tobacco and leather. After the smoke, there is a dose of licorice and fennel. Off in the distance, there is a host of dried fruit notes: dates and apricots among them. Let’s have a taste…
The rhum bursts onto palate with a spicy heat that makes me sit up straight in my chair. This 44% ABV distillate surely presents itself as something a bit stronger. The initial flavors are similar to the aromas: smoke, tobacco and leather with a heavy dose of anise and fennel. If you don’t like black licorice, this may not be the rhum for you. Subsequent sips provide more of the same, but additional minor notes including cocoa and cinnamon begin to appear. Finally there is a bit of cardamom. The finish is dry and smoky with a hefty dose of licorice.
The Clement 10-Year has been a welcome addition to my rhum collection, and I find that folks who appreciate Scotch really seem to love this one. Furthermore, the Clement 10 plays well in cocktails that call for Scotch, such as the Bobby Burns, Rob Roy, and Blood and Sand.
On to the scores:
- Appearance: 1/1
- Nose: 2/2
- Mouth feel: 1/1
- Taste: 3/4
- Aftertaste: 2/2
- Total Score: 9/10