Pure Spirits: Clément 10 Years Old & Ye Olde Rhum Chest

Gedankenexperiments are often used to illustrate certain principles. This is not only the case with science or basic philosophical research, but of course also in everyday life. They are also often used to express certain personal feelings – you know the question what the one item would be to take with you to the lonely island? Well, today I would also like to state something similar: “If I had to decide immediately for a rum style and should no longer drink any other rum, I would definitely choose Rhum Agricole”. (provided test product)*

Ok, of course the nitpicky r(h)um connoisseur could ask me, which Rhum Agricole I do exactly mean and that there are many differences here etc., but I didn’t want my introductory words to be understood so hair-splittingly. What I simply wanted to say is that I really appreciate Rhum Agricoles a lot and especially mature variants (not only for me) are an absolutely fantastic thing. Some information about the background of it and about the question what Rhum Agricole is after all, you can find out in in my article about the Clément Rhum Vieux Agricole VSOP. However, a Clément Rhum Agricole is also on the agenda today – and a very interesting one: namely the Clément 10 Years Old.

Ten years of maturity – and thanks to the AMC/AOC seal we can be sure that it really is a ten-year-old Rhum (not ten pseudo years like the ominous 23 years of a Zacapa for example) – are of course a proud age. Especially when you consider that barrel ageing in the Caribbean is a little different from Scotland for instance. In this respect, you have to rethink your expectations when it comes to nominal age information if the whisky segment should primarily have influenced you. Ten Caribbean years are more than ten Scottish years. This would certainly be a strange phrase in a tourist brochure, but at least when it comes to the influence on spirits, you can leave it that way.

The maturation took place in a mixture of fresh oak barrels (whose effect on the rhum produced from fresh sugar cane juice should be all the greater) and already used, re-charred oak barrels. Finally, it is bottled at an ABV of 42%. The ten-year-old Clément costs around 60 euros. But how does this rhum taste and what will be the effect of the barrels here? Time for my tasting notes!

Tasting notes:

Aroma: Once again, I am inclined to start my notes with the word “Wow!” The ten-year-old Clément unfolds an intensely aromatic and seductive nose. It combines a spicy honey scent with oak wood, roasted cocoa (and also some coffee), orange jam and associations of dried fruits. In fact, there is a minimal smoke in the background (hardly noticeable and not at all predominant, but still there) and also some leather.

Taste: Spicy oak wood with a fine, characteristic bitterness, vanilla, roasted almonds and nuts, a minimal smoke (again only associations), in addition some light fruits like mirabelles or nectarines and a little cinnamon. Mature, complex and wonderful!

Finish: a very long finish with spices from the oak barrels, in addition the wonderful, slightly woody touch, which distinguishes many Rhum Agricoles and again some mirabelle.

Such a beautiful rhum is of course first and foremost a sipping spirit, for which you can take your time and which you should enjoy in a special moment. Nevertheless, of course, it also offers what it takes to make a truly wonderful cocktail. And that is exactly what I would like to present here. It’s an old fashioned version for which I made some fig syrup (you could also say it’s a New Fashioned version). And although the Clément 10 Years Old itself is already perfect, I wanted to add an additional taste dimension and infused a small part of the rhum with chestnuts for 24 hours. The interaction is simply wonderful and in order to understand it, there is no way around trying this drink. Oh yes, I named the drink “Ye Olde Rhum Chest”. On the one hand an allusion to the chestnut infusion, on the other hand to the Old Fashioned. And it makes me think of pirates. Pirates always work well with R(hum).

Recipe “Ye Olde Rhum Chest”:

3.5 cl Clément 10 Years Old
2.5 cl Clément 10 Years Old infused with chestnuts (see below)
2 bar spoons of fig syrup (see below)
1 Dash Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Aged Bitters

Clément 10 Years Old infused with chestnuts: Since I calculated for two drinks, I infused about 6cl Clément 10 Years Old (a small part is absorbed by the chestnuts). For this I quartered four roasted and cooled chestnuts and let them infuse in the rhum. Finally filter after 24 hours.

Fig syrup: Bring 250 ml of water and 200 g of sugar to the boil in a frying pan over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Finally, quarter 4 fresh figs and carefully add to the simmering syrup. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes (not too long, otherwise they disintegrate – which is not bad if it happens, but later does more work in filtering) and finally remove the syrup from the stove. Leave the figs in the syrup and place in a lockable container for 24 hours. Finally, remove the figs (if necessary, filter out floating fig particles through a fine sieve or filter cloth).

Preparation: The drink is built in your glass. Simply put all ingredients on some solid ice cubes, stir briefly and you’re ready to go.

Glass: Tumbler

Garnish: a piece of freshly cut fig (possibly also some chestnuts)

Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online

*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.

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