Clément 10 Year Old Grande Réserve Trés Vieux

Rhum Agricole 10 YR Bottle & Cylinder-OK

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  10 years 
Price: $69.95 (SRP)
Alcohol: 44% ABV 
Sugar: 0g/L
Context: Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Extremely Smooth. Clement 10 Year Old Grande Réserve Trés Vieux exhibits the trademark burnt orange-amber color we have come to love from Habitation Clément, only this rhum also shows well developed greenish tint, the result of prolonged maturing in oak.  A cabaret of legs populate the inside edge of your tasting glass. Although their short stature is more reminiscent of Toulouse-Lautrec than Andre the Giant, delivering the former’s aristocratic artistry and lasting impression, some lingering for so long that they never do drip all the way back into the well of your tasting glass.  Okay, the preamble was perfect; now let’s move onto the heart of the matter.  Nosing reveals beautifully presented anise spice up front (mmm, black licorice candy to me), balanced by dried fruits (figs, dates), charred oak, smoke, tobacco, oaken vanilla and mild phenol, yet the typical caramel or earthy cane juice aromas are minimal.  Then initiate your tastebuds to rhum agricole heaven, and taste sultry flavors of smoky oak, anise, cardamom, mild white pepper, caramelized pecans, and mild vanilla.  The medium-weight body is bit lighter than suggested by the palate senses, but the flavors carry through to a medium-long finish, ending with the essence of what a delightful, classic A.O.C. rhum agricole should leave behind.

Anecdotes
Clément shows impeccable timing in releasing two fantastic new versions of their classic rhums agricole.  The latest expressions include the 10 Year Old Grande Réserve Tres Vieux and a 6 Year Old.  Both deserve your attention and appreciation.  

Always the definitive Martinique rhum – after all, Homére Clement was instrumental in the invention of the agricole style Distillerie Clément delivers evermore approachable rhums with their latest expressions.

Benjamin Mélin-Jones; Director of Clément North America and descendent of Homère Clément, the distillery’s founder, provides a classy summary about the latest expressions:  “We always were confident we had the attention of the rum connoisseurs who have known about our rhums for generations, but to see the stunning attraction … from those who appreciate other fine spirits has been a joy to experience. The Clément 6 and 10 Year Old aged rhum really push the envelope on what one defines as the typical flavor profile for dark or aged rum.” 

Opinion
Introduced in 2012, Clément’s 10 Year Old Grande Réserve marks the distillery’s first new release into the American market in five years.  The rhum also celebrates 125 years of the producing rhum on Martinique.  Clearly, Habitation Clément has developed an unprecedented expertise in making some of the world’s finest rhums agricole.  The spirit is fermented and distilled from fresh sugarcane juice, then aged a minimum of 10 years in a combination of old and new 200 liter oak barrels, some virgin French barriques, while others are re-charred ex-Bourbon barrels.  The result is an incredibly complex rhum, full of flavor, but with a softer character that is a much improved over their previous 10 year old.  Habitation Clément simply gets better with time.

Reviewed: Bottle from lot number L174/12, October 2012 at The Rum Gallery, USA.  

© Dave Russell 2014