Clément Canne Bleue 2009

Clément Rhum Canne Bleue 2009-RG1-USE

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  rested for 3 months before bottling per AOC 

Price: $35 (purchased in 2016 on Terre de Haut and St. Lucia)
Alcohol: 50% ABV 
Sugar:  0 g/L (estimate) 
Context: Rhum Agricole Blanc
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Color?  None, zero, transparent, as in; it’s crystal clear.  However, Clément’s 2009 edition of Canne Bleue rhum blanc does appear like some highly polished liquid white metal in my tasting glass, inviting me to explore with senses beyond my eyes.
Aromas?  In a word; delicate.  Grassy sugarcane is most prevalent, with some slight anise and white pepper - just enough spiciness to enhance the rhum notes when sniffing.  Once accustomed to the more immediate scents, you realize a bit of flaky flour pastry rich with butter, hint of pecan, and topped with sweet ethyl alcohol - rewarding rather than offensive to the nose.

The first sip immediately reveals a body more substantial than expected (wonderful surprise!), again the sugarcane grassy/leafy/herbal notes are carried into the flavors, and overall there’s a light sweetness to the rhum that entries the palate despite 50% ABV.  The finish is just off-dry, lingering considerably longer than most agricole blancs.

Anecdotes
Rhum Canne Bleue is unique in that is distilled only from blue sugarcane grown on Habitation Clément’s estate.  Clément is the only rhum producer on Martinique to issue an annual edition of a single strain of sugarcane.  The profile varies from year to year, a slave to Mother Nature’s idiosyncrasies, and the packaging changes in celebration of the new season’s harvest.  As a plant, the monovarietal is characterized by its purplish-gray color and rich sugar content.  For making rhum, it is prized for its exceptional aroma.  The finest of the blue cane distillates is reserved for Rhum Canne Bleue, and some is also used in the Clément’s aged Tres Vieux Single Cask Canne Bleue rhum.  

Clément Canne Bleue 2009 "Ti Punch-RG1

Opinion
Generally speaking, rhums blanc et rones blancos y white rums from any country aren’t known for their casual sipping manners.  Sure, they make sport for aficionados to evaluate and dissect them neat, but these spirits are more comfortable in mixed company.  Combined with complimentary ingredients in the right cocktail is where their personality comes out.  Enter the Old World classic Martinique-style ‘Ti Punch, i.e.: a zest of lime (not lime quarters), only enough sirop de canne to balance the citric acid, and 50cl of rhum (sans glace naturellement).   Then Clément’s Canne Bleue 2009 edition really shines, and finds its true calling.  Sante!

Reviewed:  October 2016 in the French West Indies and confirmed at The Rum Gallery, USA in January 2017.  


© Dave Russell 2017