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Clément Rhum Agricole Blanc
About Clément Rhum Agricole Blanc
Clément Rhum Agricole Blanc is produced by Habitation Clément, a historic distillery and estate in Le François, Martinique. Purchased from a struggling sugar plantation in 1887, Habitation Clément was transformed into a legacy by Homere Clément, nicknamed the “Father of Rhum Agricole”. In 1989, distillation was moved to local distillery Distillerie du Simon, which holds the Creole Column Stills from Habitation Clément.
Homere Clément himself led a fascinating life. He was the first Black man to recieve a doctorate in France, as well as the first Black physician on the island of Martinique. He also had an illustrious political career, during which he used local rum production to help revitalize an economy in crisis. He was integral in establishing the mass production of Rhum Agricole for exportation. After his death in 1923, the family rum business was rebranded with the Clément name as a tribute to his legacy.
This particular bottle of Rhum Agricole Blanc is distilled from sugarcane juice, and rested in stainless steel tanks for about 6 months.
❖ ABV: 40%
❖ Distillery: Habitation Clément, Distillerie du Simon
❖ Aging: N/A
❖ Price Point: low price
❖ Black tea
❖ fresh cutgrass
❖ green beans
My Tasting notes
My first whiff of this Rum was bold and sweet. The aroma was almost like brown sugar, except with a fresh, bright quality that I found difficult to describe. There was no alcohol bite to the aroma at all. After several more sniffs, I could pinpoint the black tea notes just a bit, although I would never have thought to describe it that way without the power of suggestion.
I moved on to my first sip, and it was much sweeter than I expected. The flavors were smooth and blended together, making it hard to pinpoint individual notes. During my second sip, I began to taste more of an earthy, grassy quality in addition to the sweetness. Overall, there was a harshness to the flavors that fizzled into sweetness as it melted into my tastebuds. In between sips, my mouth was left with a marshmallow aftertaste that is perhaps better described as an after-mouthfeel. After several more sips, I could begin to taste what must be the cutgrass notes, which were strongly vegetal.
For my cocktail, I knew I had to try the Ti-Punch – Martinique’s national cocktail! I learned all about this drink while doing research for my review of Barbary Coast, but decided to wait to taste it myself. After all, a Ti-Punch made with a rum not from Martinique seemed like blasphemy.
This time, I was excited to finally make one with Clément Rhum Agricole Blanc. Unable to find a suitable cane syrup in my area, I decided to substitute homemade demerara syrup as the sweetener.
❖ 2oz Rhum Agricole
❖ 1 lime disc
❖ 1/4 oz sugar cane syrup or demerara syrup
- Gently squeeze the lime disc into the glass.
- Add in the syrup and rum.
- Swizzle the mixture.
- Serve without ice.
My overall experience with this cocktail was very nice. That said, I found the experience of each sip to be a bit of a roller coaster ride. I think the Ti-Punch requires an acquired taste. Each sip was strong at first, but mellowed into a sweet aftertaste. Notes of lime and earthiness were also mixed in. There was something quite spontaneous about the flavors, which left my tastebuds perplexed. I can’t remember the last time I had so much trouble describing a cocktail!
Still, I very much enjoyed the journey. While I was busy trying to analyze the flavors, my brain was mellowing more and more with each sip. The alcohol effects of this rum were magnificently calming.
While Clément Rhum Agricole Blanc was enjoyable, I feel that it didn’t leave much of an impression at the end of the day. More than anything, drinking this rum made me curious to try other agricole rhums – not so much excited about this particular bottle. While I see myself finishing the bottle, I can definitely see why it’s priced relatively low.
If you’re looking for a budget option, this rhum is certainly a fine choice. However, it’s difficult to get excited about if you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars. I look forward to trying other brands of agricole, as well as some of the nicer bottles from Clément.
As always, drink responsibly.