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Rum Review: Clement VSOP

Clement VSOP

Clement VSOP

From the island of Martinique comes today’s selection: Clement VSOP / Rhum Vieux Agricole.

My high school French teacher would remind you at this point that the accent aigu over the first “e” means it’s pronounced pronounced “Clay-mohn”.

The Clement bottle is substantial with a label reminiscent of a fine wine or Cognac. The natural cork stopper is well made and initially covered by thick foil.

With the bottle uncorked, I poured a generous amount into my tasting snifter. The color is a light copper bronze amalgam. As I swirled the contents of the snifter, slender legs appeared, retreating slowly from whence they came.

The nose has a mild astringency, and the tell-tale vegetal signs of a rhum agricole are present. Orange peel and apple are are prominently featured in the aroma.

The mouth feel is slightly oily and there is a significant amount of heat and spice. As I swallowed the first sip, the heat lingered in the back of my throat telling me this rum means business. There is a smoky, grassy character that conjures up images of fresh cane juice entering old copper pot stills.

As I continue to sip and refine my tasting notes, I keep coming back to the notion that agricoles are truly in a category unto themselves. They are rums to be sure, but they are also belonging to a different world–a world with a completely different set of rules. This is what I find so intriguing about cane spirits. There are so many uniquely different products that come from this humble stalk–the mind boggles when I think of how many there are left to try. But I digress…

Harder to define are the subtle hints of nuttiness. There are almonds and walnuts with a smoky quality that suggests roasting over an open flame.

In summary, the Clement VSOP is an aged agricole through and through. If you like agricoles, then you will likely be most pleased with this offering.

I realize this is blasphemy to some, but to be honest, I have yet to find an agricole that gets me really excited. So for me it’s a stretch as a sipper, but I could do so with a few ice cubes. My primary use for this particular spirit is in Mai Tais along with the Appleton 12-Year. In that context, it’s fantastic, but the scores below are for a neat presentation.

Now on to the scores:

  • Appearance: 1/1
  • Nose: 1.5/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 2.5/4
  • Aftertaste: 1.5/2
  • Total Score: 7.5/10

Buy Clement VSOP online

Love Clement VSOP? I’d love to hear why. I’d love even more to hear about an agricole that will really knock my socks off.  Please share your comments below.
8 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill Briggs permalink
    December 1, 2011 5:54 pm

    I have to agree. I used to sell the Clement , but was never a fan of it. I just didn’t get sold pretty well

  2. jean-michel permalink
    February 29, 2012 12:07 pm

    I love Clement VSOP tried a bottle Christmas and now my spirit of choice! I usually drink cognac or cuban rum, typically Havana Club, Anejo 7 Anos.

    Once the Club is gone will just be buying Clement! I do not do ice and find the Clement smooth and a nice flavour, also not too expensive unlike cognac, so no need to re-mortgage or sell the children’s organs!! ;0)

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      February 29, 2012 12:20 pm

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Clement, Jean-Michele. You are certainly not alone in your love of this spirit. Cheers!

  3. Andrew Johnston permalink
    September 28, 2012 6:30 am

    Great review!
    The knock-your-socks-off agricole you are looking for may just be this:
    Neisson Rhum Réserve Spéciale
    Though a bit pricy and a little hard to find, I love it and I’d love to hear what you think as we’ll.

    • Josh Miller permalink*
      September 28, 2012 8:11 am

      Many thanks, Andrew! I am currently increasing my agricole collection, so I will defintely keep an eye out for the Neisson. Cheers!

  4. March 8, 2013 7:45 pm

    I’ve wanted to try this for awhile but it’s next to impossible for me to find. My favorite aged Agricole currently is neisson eleve sous bois. I doubt it would change your mind about Agricoles but it’s lovely in cocktails.

  5. Danny Baffoe permalink
    May 19, 2018 11:27 am

    I think that’s because you’re linking this with all other rums, perhaps you’re not. I just think the whole point is it’s summer substitute for scotch drinkers, and nothing more, in that context, it’s pretty good.


  1. New Rum Review: Clement VSOP « Inu a Kena

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