What do George W. Bush, Francois Mitterand and a 19th century Mayor of Le Francois, Martinque have in common? Surprisingly, the Rhum Clément distillery. In 1887 Mayor Homère Clément bought the Domaine de l’Acajou sugar plantation and soon transformed it into the Habitation Clément distillery and estate. Just over a century later United States President Bush and France’s President Mitterand met on the grounds to discuss the Gulf War. Whether the two 20th century leaders actually drank any rhum agricole while visiting the island is not known. I know I would have sampled one of everything.
The distillery is one of the premier tourist attractions on Martinique today, receiving over 160,000 visitors a year. It’s no wonder, as they produce some of the world’s finest rhum agricoles (rum made from sugar cane instead of molasses).
GSN was recently sent two bottles of some of their most recent products for review.
Canne Bleue (100 proof)
Nose: Very vegetal and fresh with cane. Clean, dry and expressive. mouth-watering.
Taste: Remarkably smooth in spite of the high-proof. Crisp, flavorful and with a tannic element that makes a lasting impression.
Finish: Dry, with percolating hints of sugar cane and cask wood.
Overall: Absolutely perfect in a Ti Punch, or as a powerhouse rhum in a tiki style cocktail. This rhum does not disappoint.
GSN Rating: A
Select Barrel (80 proof)
Visual: Brownish gold.
Nose: Vanilla, clove, green banana, caramel and nutmeg.
Taste: Light, elegant and smooth as silk. Hints of green apple, peppercorn, and a definite hearty cane sugar heart play with the taste buds.
Finish: Medium long with a lot going on. Spices lead to fruitiness to woodiness and back again in a never-ending harmony of flavors.
Overall: An XO rhum. So good, you’ll be saddened when the bottle is empty. Absolutely one of the finest rhums I’ve ever had.
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Rhum Clement USA