Rhum Clement Vieux Select Barrel

Rhum Clement Vieux Select Barrel Rum Review by the fat rum pirateRhum Clement Vieux Select Barrel. We’ve featured a couple of Rhum Clement offerings on the site so far. As I continue to expand my horizons in the r(h)um world I will be trying a lot more Agricole Rhum and Cachaca.

Rhum Clement hail from the island of Martinique. Although Martinique rhums are often produced in line with the AOC, this particular rhum has not been made within the strict confines of the AOC guidelines. So you do not see any AOC markings on the bottle. This is noted as being a contemporary Rhum Agricole on their literature.

Rhum Clement Vieux Select Barrel is produced using fresh sugar cane juice which is then distilled on a column still. The barrels used, so Clement tell us, are specially selected and are heavily toasted. The rhums in this blend are aged for a minimum of 3 years.

It is interesting that Rhum Clement have a European website and US website which give differing descriptions of their rhums.

The rhum has been bottled at 40% ABV. Presentation wise – as with most “Premium” Agricole (or non-white) it is given 5 star treatment. The familiar 3/4 stubby Clement bottle is topped off with a synthetic cork stopper. In the UK a bottle will set you back around £32-35. The black and gold colour scheme is attractive and overall its a classy package.

But lets move onto the most important part – how does it perform when poured down my throat!

In the glass Rhum Clement Vieux Select Barrel is a golden/orange brown colour. On the nose it is sweet and very inviting. Freshly cut sugar cane and a hint of barley. Further nosing reveals a very bourbon like sweet/sour type note, with a lot of grassy but very fresh smelling notes. Rich, sweet and slightly floral. There are some nice oak aged notes as well and a tiny touch of tobacco.

Sipped Select Barrel is sweet – again very bourbon like, only with waves of sugary grassy sweetness on top. It’s quite fiery with some real peppery notes. Maybe a touch young to be a sipper per se but I find it quite enjoyable on its own.

From what I understand the Select Barrel has been brought into be the “amber rhum” in the Clement range. Replacing a rum I previously reviewed Clement Rhum Ambre (funnily enough).Rhum Clement Vieux Select Barrel Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

The mid palate is spicy and full of lemon zest. The finish fades into a very oaky and quite dry finish with a bitter undertone of cocoa or very dark chocolate.

It is not a hugely complex sip but it is pretty pleasant taken on its own.

Mixed it works well in a Ti Punch or Caiprinha. It also holds up nicely along more traditional molasses based rum drinks such as Rum and Cola and it works particularly well when mixed with Ginger Beer or Ale. The spicier bourbon like notes really stand out and play nicely with the Ginger.

It’s nicely put together – maybe a bit pricy for a mixer but its decent enough overall. It is a “step up” in terms of complexity and sippability compared to unaged Agricole but maybe not a step far enough in order to truly be a sipper. More a premium mixer. Even then it perhaps misses some of the “funk” of white Agricole.

A bit of a funny mid tier rhum that does most things well but nothing wonderfully.



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