Clément V.S.O.P.

Rhum Clement VSOP

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  Single vintage, 4-5 years 
Price: $37
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar: 0g/L
Context: Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 8.5 

Tasting Notes
Clément Vieux V.S.O.P. presents itself beautifully with an amber color. From prolonged aging in two types of oak barrles, Clément VSOP shows moderately complex aromas, exhibiting delightfully fresh organic smells like cane fibers, slightly sweet like caramelized cane juice, a nicely understated oakiness and vanilla, slight char and milk chocolate, but overall it is light and mild on the nose – more delicate than we’ve come to expect from many agricole rhums.  At the initial taste, flavors present themselves rapidly, starting at the tip of the tongue then moving across the palate in quick succession, with notable agricole cane taste and some roasted sweet potato, more expressive then the aromas would cause you to expect, but appreciated nonetheless, with a medium-to-heavyweight body that hangs in the mouth a short while before giving way to a more powerful finish of anise and black licorice that is only slightly sweet.  The overall experience from sniffing to sipping reveals a rhum that is a bit more complex from start to finish than expected.

Anecdotes
Clément Vieux V.S.O.P. Rhum is distilled from fresh cut cane from the tropical habitation Clément on Martinique. The cane juice is fermented 2-3 days naturally and the resulting sugar cane wine or vesou is distilled to 144 proof. Its put into new French limousin oak barrels for over 1 year where the aggressive new wood imparts impressive flavor characteristics. VSOP is then matured for another 3 years in re-charred used oak bourbon barrels to finish its aging process while it gains color and a smooth polish.  

The bottle has a slight taper with wide flat shoulders, is medium in height, and heft with a thick bottom. It has a natural cork stopper under heavy foil seal – always a welcome touch.

For a brief history of Rhum Clément, click here.

Opinion
Consider adding Clément VSOP as a staple for your collection.  Suitably complex in aroma and flavor, this is an agricole you can enjoy over and over again.  Clement VSOP is one of those rare rums that always tastes fresh yet distinguished, consistently rewarding the connoisseur without asking being fussy or demanding much from your pocketbook.

Reviewed: February 2010 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017