Overview

Brand: Clement

Origin: Distillery Simon, Le François, Martinique, France

Still: Creole Column

Age: Unaged

Finish: n/a

ABV: 50%

Incredibly, this is our first look at a Clément rhum, even though this was one of my formative bottles, and one that set the standard of rhum agricole for me.

The story of Clément starts with its namesake– Homere Clément, a prominent figure in Martinique and mayor of Le Francois; in 1887, he purchased Domaine de l’Acajou, a sugarcane plantation, during a major sugar crisis. Homere is regarded as the "Father of rhum agricole", due to his efforts to promote the style in order to revitalize the Martinique economy.

In 1917, a distillery called Habitation Clément was built on the estate's grounds, which was used to produce the rhum for Clément's brand. By 1989, production had moved to the nearby Distillerie du Simon, which also produces rhum for the Habitation St. Étienne (HSE) brand. Today, the Clément brand is managed by Spiribam, who also own Rhum JM and Chairman's Reserve, among others.

Clément Canne Bleue is a fairly unique product for a core line: it is a rhum agricole that only utilizes one varietal of cane– Blue Cane (or in French, canne bleue). The rhum was produced via a Creole column still per AOC rhum agricole guidelines, and rested for 6 months in stainless steel vats, slowly proofed down to 50% ABV before bottling.

Appearance

Clear, low viscosity

Nose

Fresh-cut grass, vanilla frosting, sugarcane, hint of white wine vinegar, coconut

Palate

Fresh-cut grass, green bell pepper pith, sugarcane, coconut, banana, vanilla syrup

Finish

Long, warm, vegetal; sugarcane, sweet grass, vanilla syrup, touch of spice

Rating: 9/10

Summary

Canne Bleue's profile is, in my opinion, the near-perfect balance of grassiness, funk, and tropical flavors that I've found in rhum agricole.

It opens with a grassy and heavily sugarcane-influenced nose, that is followed by vanilla frosting, coconut meat, and a hint of white wine vinegar. The freshly cut grass note continues on the palate, joined by pith from a green bell pepper, and some slight tropical fruit notes before going through a warm, vegetal finish.

For the proof and enjoyability, I think this is one of the best values for single-varietal AOC rhum agricole out there, and one of my favorites. I highly suggest trying this rhum in a Ti' Punch, which is how I came to love this expression.

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Further Reading