A few Cléments are on the agenda: Two aged Canne Bleues, a bottling at 60% and a Vieux from the 1990s.
Clément Canne Bleue 20ème Anniversaire Vieux (42%): A few of those Canne Bleues by Clément have been some of the better Blancs in the world of agricole and we are very curious to see what an aged expression tastes like. Nose: We typically try to avoid that expression but this one really is grassy. Fresh cane, earthy notes, wet soil and the smell of earthworms, apples and walnuts are my main impression. Frankly, it doesn’t catch me at all, unfortunately. Palate: A bit more sound than the nose but the flavour profile still doesn’t do it for me. Apples (fresh and foul), earthy notes, a few pears, chestnut, vegetal notes and wood are very standard and not inspiring at all. It is by no means a bad Rum, but also not what “Canne Bleue” seems to promise. Finish: Relatively short with apples, wood and earthy notes again. Yes, this bores us but again, it is not a bad dram at all. (78/100)
Clément 100% Canne Bleue 2016 4YO (41,6%): Let’s just try another one. This is a single cask expression. Nose: Very sweet and extremely light. I get hay, coconut chips, vanilla, way more wood than you’d expect and a mix of yellow stone fruits. I don’t know… I don’t have a lot of use for this and I have said many times already that I prefer both, unaged and older Rums over these moderately aged cane juice Rums. It is just a rather odd maturity if you ask me. Palate: Relatively similar to the nose with the same conclusion: The level of maturity just feels wrong. While you can find elements of substractive and additive maturation, I am kinda wishing that there’d be more of both. Adding to the notes from the nose, we also find licorice and a few more bitter notes here but they don’t really help the profile. Finish: Quite short with apples and other continental fruits as well as oak and vanilla. I guess everything has been said – I don’t have anything more to add. (76/100)
Clément Cuvée La Confrérie du Rhum 2015 3YO (60,9%): Agricole at >60%? Wow! Nose: Oha! Smoky wood, hickory, smoked apples, smoky salt, chestnuts, pepper, BBQ and Worcestershire sauce. Spicy Currywurst perhaps. What’s special about this one is the profile, not the abv. Crazy. Palate: At three years this is surprisingly mild. We get chest- and walnuts, the sauces from the nose, some smoked apple again, charcoal, heavily charred wood, more apples, Mettwurst and other smoked meat. This is certainly different, but I don’t know if I should like this… Don’t worry, this is still proper Agricole though, no fancy finishing or whatever, but it just isn’t my favorite profile. Finish: More of the same, i.e. essentially an extension of the palate. All in all, it is probably better than I make it sound but it simply doesn’t hit my personal palate. (77/100)
Clément Vieux ~1990s (44%): And an old bottling. Nose: Right away I think that this is actually not how I would have described the Clément profile. The nose is quite sour with green apples, unripe fruits, later also vanilla, some wood and sweet chestnut. It is kinda unspectacular, slightly faulty, but not bad at all. With more time the sour and fruity notes move more and more into the background and highlight the cask aromas instead, which really suits this particular Rum I must say. Palate: Very mellow and not thin at all. We start with caramel and Crème Brûlée, custard, the sweet chestnuts, cinnamon, sugar, wood and an unidentifiable mix of spices. The palate is a lot better than the nose here, a real rarity! I like it: if only the nose would have been better… Finish: Longer than average, I’d say, with the apples again (riper now), wood, roasted marshmellows and cinnamon. It really turned the corner towards the end! (82/100)
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