Rhum Agricole is different.
But it’s not just the complexity, the artistry, the overwhelming quality.
It’s that every year, the sugarcane harvest is different; and when you’re dealing with a pure agricultural product, with pure sugarcane juice, that means every year the rum is different. (That’s without mentioning the incredible diversity of terroir one finds in Martinique and Guadeloupe).
For some years now, the legendary Rhum Clement has been putting out a special bottling of its Blue Cane rhum blanc, a vintage made exclusively with the company’s blue sugarcane.
And its release is one of the biggest moments in the rhum agricole calendar, including an exclusive, high-design bottle design.
It’s the essence of what makes rhum agricole and the producers in Martinique and Guadeloupe so unique: the bottle is itself a work of art; the rhum is made exclusively from a single sugarcane varietal; and every year, with the harvest, it’s unique.
Indeed, rhum blanc, or white rhum agricole, has become an ultra-competitive sector within the world of rhum agricole; increasingly, more and more distilleries are producing unique expressions; red cane, black cane, blue cane; even higher-proof bottlings; and, most recently, parcellaires, or white rums made exclusively from the cane of a single corner of the sugarcane plantation.
Because in the world of rhum agricole, creativity is the driving force; smaller sizes and real terroir mean the chance for endless experimentation, for sugarcane journeys with no preordained destination.
Rhum Clement helped set many of those trends with its early focus on the annual blue cane bottling, and now it’s done it again.
It’s called Rhum Clement Single Cask, and it’s a 100 percent blue cane aged rum, meaning Clement has taken one of its rhum blanc vintages and aged it, in this case for four years and five months in oak barrels.
It’s bottled at 41.3 degrees and, crucially, the one we tasted is one of just 611 bottles.
In other words, it’s unique, and it’s unique.
So what’s it like?
The aroma has notes of pepper, fennel, cane stalk, confectioner’s sugar and a tiny hint of green banana.
The flavor profile is marked by white pepper, a hint of pineapple, a bit of roasted kiwi; a whisper of cucumber.
The finish is rounded by licorice and a glow of vanilla.
It’s clean and endlessly fresh, the classic Clement Cane Bleue with the elegance and refinement of nearly five years in oak barrels.
More importantly, though, it’s just cool, a refreshingly creative rum experiment, of the kind that these artisanal rhum agricole producers in the French Caribbean can attempt — and do so with regularity.
Because rhum agricole is just different.
And that’s why there’s nothing else in the world like it.
Rhum Clement Single Cask 100 Percent Canne Bleue
Rum Journal Rating: 93 Points