Clément Colonne Créole

Clément Colonne Créole Blk-RG2

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  rested at least 6 months 
Price: €50 in FWI
Alcohol: 49.6% ABV 
Sugar:  0-5 g/L (estimate)
Context: Rhum Agricole Blanc
RG Rating: 9.5

Tasting Notes
The bouquet is gentle, needing some encouragement to release its clean and sweet with mild grassy sugarcane bouquet as the stout cork stopper is pulled.  Clement Colonne Créole shows a very pale green  color in the bottle, but appears clear in a tasting glass.  A moderate quantity of legs appear quickly after swirling and run rapidly down the side of a glass. 

Clément Colonne Créole Cap-RG1

Sniffing rewards with more grassy bagasse aromas, and perhaps citrus flowers but it is difficult to discern these floral scents as they are masked by the beautiful semi-sweet ethyl alcohol.  Sniff carefully and imagine pomelo flesh, white nectarine and waxy tropical hardwood, then scents reminiscent of basil and turmeric.

Take an initial sip to revel in the firm medium-heavyweight body that provides ample support to powerful herbaceous flavors.  While the woody, star anise and spicy white pepper are more subdued than we’re accustomed to from Clément and other Martinique AOC rhums (esp. Rhum J.M) – make no mistake, this is a substantial rhum blanc of great magnitude on the palate.  The finish pulls the mild star anise flavors forward and linger substantially.

Clément Colonne Créole Box-RG1

Anecdotes
Firstly, the column is not an AOC-specification column still.  Neither the bottle nor box bear any AOC marque.  So this is a rather rare Martiniquan rhum. Distilled on the old copper creole column still, mid-20th Century, at the Simon distillery on Martinique (where all Clément rhums are distilled, as well as those of HSE).  Befitting this special cuvée, the bottle is a luxe item, and the wide cap is rendered in heavy copper-look metal.  Perhaps most significantly, Clément Colonne Créole was not produced according to strict AOC stipulations. 

Clément Colonne Créole Cap & Bottle-RG1 Crop

Opinion
The bottle of Clément Colonne Créole was presented to me by a special friend.  He was born on Martinique and now resides on Guadeloupe – literally born into a rhum family.  If he wasn’t such a kind gentleman, I’d say rhum runs in his veins.  But he’s better than that.  A few hours before the gifting, he told me if I was very fortunate, someday I would taste Clément Colonne Créole.  In his esteemed opinion, it is the finest sipping rhum agricole blanc.  My expectations thus set, and then exceeded:  Marcel-André was right.  I am fortunate.  Ahh, merci beaucoup.

Clément Colonne Créole is unique among commercial Martinique rhums, the kind of rhum the island’s distillers reserve for their personal  consumption.  It’s in a production class by itself, setting the bar very high.

Reviewed: February 2016 at The Rum Gallery, USA.  

© Dave Russell 2017