Clément Single Cask Tres Vieux (Canne Bleue)

Clément Single Cask Bleue Canne Vieux Blk-RG1

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  8 years 
Price: €16.49/50cl in FWI
Alcohol: 43.6% ABV -bottled at cask strength
Sugar:  0-5 g/L (estimate)
Context: Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
A lively, spicy bouquet emerges from Clément Single Cask Canne Bleue rhum as the cork is pulled, with wood, leather and sweet caramel filling your immediate surrounding air.  Pour, and observe the shade of reddish-mahogany that well cared for furniture takes on with age.  The difference is; this rhum absolutely sparkles in my tasting glass.  Rhum beads and slow legs amass in the tasting glass after swirling, adding volatility to an already scent-rich rhum.  Swirling also shows the tell-tale fleeting green hue of barrel aging, as the quantity of rhum thins along the side of a tasting glass, and summons aromas both fruity and spicy of prunes, ripe mango, fennel seed, mild vanilla, roasted nuts and paraffin on a grassy sugarcane husk foundation.  An initial sip introduces more anise flavors and some white pepper – balanced well with all the flavors pre-announced by the aromas.  The body is a creamy, medium-weight masterpiece of rhum agricole vieux, sensitive to the palate yet with depth of texture. And the finish is, oh, yum.

Anecdotes
Clément Single Cask Canne Bleue is made from sugarcane harvested, fermented and distilled during early 2004, then placed In barrel for aging in December 2004 and bottled 04 March 2013.  Each bottle is signed by Robert Peronet, Cellar Master for Rhum Clément.

The rhum is distilled solely from blue sugarcane (canne bleue) after a brief fermentation period using an alcohol beverage quality baker’s yeast.  After distillation, the spirit is rested for about nine  months in stainless steel tanks, and diluted with water at a rate of about 1.5% ABV every two weeks (approximately.) [?] This rare single varietal, single vintage rhum is aged for seven years plus three months in used American white oak and French Limousin oak barrels, then bottled at 43.6% ABV - cask strength.  The Single Cask was available only at Habitation Clément when I visited in March 2013, so I was certain to buy a bottle while touring Martinique.

The distiller notes that all of the sugarcane for their Bleue Canne rhums, both the rhum blanc and tres vieux expressions, is grown on Habitation Clément’s estate.  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.  

Opinion
Clément’s Single Cask Tres Vieux (Canne Bleue) in an herbaceous treat.  I’ve come to expect such flavors after their excellent 6 Ans, but this limited edition Canne Bleue Tres Vieux eight year old tames the younger rhums edges and offers better balance.  Note this rhum in not marked as AOC.  A rose by any other name … Touché.

Reviewed:  March 2013 at Habitation Clément, Martinique, and confirmed with Bottle # 045 of 469 from cask No. 20080059 in May, 2016 at The Rum Gallery, USA.  

© Dave Russell 2017