Here’s a Clement I don’t believe is readily available in the UK. I got myself a one litre bottle of this VO from the French duty free because it was really affordable (€25) and… well, it’s a litre of aged agricole rhum, that’s enough said.
Clement’s story starts in 1887 when Homere Clement bought Domaine de l’Acajou in Martinique and later in 1917 he established the Habitation Clement Distillery. Due to some financial issues and unfortunate events, in 1989 the equipment and production for the Clement rhum was moved at the Simon Distillery where it was made until 2022.
Clement was also sourcing some of its unaged distillate from the Fonds Preville distillery due to its larger production capacity and they eventually made the change. So nowadays Clement is made exclusively at Fonds Preville, who also distill Rhum J.M – both brands are owned by Spiribam who also are in charge of their distribution.
I have previously reviewed their Canne Bleue, VSOP and XO expressions, so I’m excited to add the VO to the review collection. As stated in my previous reviews of Clement, they make rhum agricole in accordance with the Martinique Appletion d’Origine Controlee (AOC) and the VO on the label assures us that this has been aged for a minimum of 3 years in oak barrels.
Clement Rhum Vieux Agricole VO is cane juice based, creole column still distilled and aged in a combination of ex-Bourbon barrels and Limousin casks for at least 3 years. Bottled at 40% ABV without any additives as per the Martinique AOC.
On the nose it smells like an orchard. Red apples, maraschino cherries, red grapes and dried figs. Dusty cardboard, ginger puree and freshly cut grass. Seems very fruity for a rum this young. Mango and passion fruit puree, white pepper and some allspice. Quince jam as well.
On the palate it feels like a fruit juice. Passion fruit, red apples and quince. Blueberries, pink pepper and marmalade. It’s so fruity and bright, almost like an arrange but without the sugar. Some unripe pineapple and allspice. The finish is medium with tropical fruits.
Not incredibly complex, but it’s so fruity and it goes down so easily. Just a great mid-range and affordable agricole rhum – too bad it isn’t available in the UK.
Clement Rhum Vieux Agricole VO score:
Value for money: 15/15