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Rhum Agricole

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Underhilltab

Has anybody tried Rhum Clement X.O.? Also, has it been discontinued?

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tanstaafl2
Has anybody tried Rhum Clement X.O.? Also, has it been discontinued?

I don't know if it has been discontinued but I still see it on the shelf here and there. I bought both XO and Homere when I found them a few years with old (or incorrect!) prices still on them and have tried them both. Both are nice but not sure they warrant the extra cost for what you get. Give me the Single Cask every time! I just wish they would make that one available in the US.

The XO is still on the website but that is no guarantee of course. Given that it includes rums from several very old vintages I suppose it could eventually run out (or they could start using different vintages). Currently the website notes the 1976, 70 and 52 vintages, which to my knowledge hasn't changed in a long time, as making up part of the rhum. I presume they have been tanked or otherwise stored for some time or there would likely be nothing left! Of course they don't say how much or what other vintages are included, just "very old aged rhum".

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Underhilltab

Tanstaafl2...how'd I know you'd be the one to answer my question! I noticed an XO on the shelf the other day as I was browsing the rum aisle in a local store. When I looked it up on the web to see if I could find a review, I saw the blog entry linked below mourning its demise due to the apparent depletion of the '52 stock...but I haven't seen any mention of that anywhere else. Drinkhacker gave it a high grade in a review from several years ago (although slightly lower than the Homere). Thanks for your input and maybe one day I'll get my hands on a single cask.

http://www.therumcollective.com/2014/10/rhum-clement-xo-death-in-family.html?m=1

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tanstaafl2
Tanstaafl2...how'd I know you'd be the one to answer my question! I noticed an XO on the shelf the other day as I was browsing the rum aisle in a local store. When I looked it up on the web to see if I could find a review, I saw the blog entry linked below mourning its demise due to the apparent depletion of the '52 stock...but I haven't seen any mention of that anywhere else. Drinkhacker gave it a high grade in a review from several years ago (although slightly lower than the Homere). Thanks for your input and maybe one day I'll get my hands on a single cask.

http://www.therumcollective.com/2014/10/rhum-clement-xo-death-in-family.html?m=1

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sailor22

Clement and Rhum JM are both owned by the same company - it would be an interesting back to back comparing both their XO's.

Edited by sailor22
misunderstood question

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tanstaafl2
2 hours ago, sailor22 said:

Clement and Rhum JM are both owned by the same company - it would be an interesting back to back comparing both their XO's.

 

Interesting. I was not aware of that. What is the overall company called?

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sailor22

The same company just bought St. Lucia Distillers too.  Hopefully it means that SLD will likely get much larger distribution.  Groupe Bernard Hayot - owners of Clement and Rhum JM

 

 

Edited by sailor22
added info

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tanstaafl2
6 minutes ago, sailor22 said:

The same company just bought St. Lucia Distillers too.  Hopefully it means that SLD will likely get much larger distribution.

 

Ah, GBH it would seem.

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BFerguson
The same company just bought St. Lucia Distillers too.  Hopefully it means that SLD will likely get much larger distribution.  Groupe Bernard Hayot - owners of Clement and Rhum JM

 

 

More of these would be a good thing. Until it becomes the next big thing, and becomes hard to find.

B

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tanstaafl2

More fun with sugar cane!

 

Rhum agricole from Astor 1.JPGRhum agricole from Astor 2.JPG

 

Top row are the cask strength aged Capovilla "Liberation" rhum agricole (116.8 pf) and Capovilla rhum agricole blanc bottled at 112 pf) both from Marie Gallant in Guadeloupe. In between is a Plantation 1998 Guadeloupe finished in cognac and Tokay casks (basically a restock of that one. Appears it was a store pick of sorts).

 

The bottom row has a couple of Duncan Taylors that were aged and bottled in Scotland at cask strength and noted as being without color or other additives. One is a 1998 16yo (110.4 pf) from the Uitvlught plantation in Guyana before all the rum production was nationalized and centralized in 2000 and the other is a 1998 14yo (104.6 pf) from the Bellevue distillery in Marie Gallant, Guadeloupe. Interestingly the Bellevue distillery is made on a column still rather than a pot still. The tasting notes for it claim dry spices, mustard, earthy smoke, campfire, pure sugar, maple, and dried bananas. Hmm. Pretty interesting for a rum with presumably no color or additives.

 

In the middle in the frosted bottle is a 1 litre Neisson Rhum Agricole Blanc at a modest 140 pf. Couldn't resist as I figured this might be the closest thing I could get to "white dog" right off the still!

 

Traveling a bit for the next couple of weeks so not sure when I will be able to get to them but soon I hope!

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sailor22

Results from last weeks shopping on a French Island.  Only the Bielle is higher proof. Had to sneak in a Blanton's Gold. 

Bielle-s.jpg

Depaz-s.jpg

J Bally-s.jpg

Mixed-s.jpg

St James-s.jpg

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GeeTen
On 5/8/2016 at 3:07 PM, sailor22 said:

Results from last weeks shopping on a French Island.  Only the Bielle is higher proof. Had to sneak in a Blanton's Gold. 

Bielle-s.jpg

Depaz-s.jpg

J Bally-s.jpg

Mixed-s.jpg

St James-s.jpg

 

How did you get all of those beauties through Customs??????   :ph34r:

 

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sailor22

They didn't ask - I didn't tell.   Packing them required 4 suitcases.  I took those inflatable sleeves and bubble wrap with me.  

 

Customs is an interesting question - there is no prohibition on the number of bottles you can bring back but the law states you can only bring back two (one produced in the country your returning from)  without paying the duty.  The duty is very low ($2 per bottle?) and the customs agent faced with a line of a few hundred people waiting is not anxious to stop and fill out the forms for something a trivial as that. So in the unlikely event the agent asks how many bottles you have he is hoping you answer "two".  All that matters to him is that by asking he's doing his job.

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callmeox

I picked up a Clement 6 at Party Source on my way to Bardstown and I couldn't be happier with the choice. Thank you to the Rhum geeks for the recommendation. 

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tanstaafl2

I didn't have the pleasure of getting to sail around the Caribbean but I did make it out to San Francisco this past week. Visited a fellow SB member, stomped my way around Yosemite in the rain and visited a few distilleries and local watering holes to include the highly regarded Smugglers Cove. 5 or so hours after going in I decided it had met my expectations. Along with several delightful and, umm, potent tiki cocktails I managed to have a great time discussing rum in general and rhum agricole in particular with the excellent bartender who was providing my libations. The surprising part is I still remember it! Well, most of it...

 

The "discussion" included some of the following.

 

St James rhum 70's.JPGSeverin rhum agricole.JPGCourville rhum agricole.JPGClement 10 year rhum.JPG

 

The St James was excellent. The Severin (a Guadeloupe rhum from Basse Terre which still exists as best I can tell although no longer owned by the original family) and the Courville (a brand name of rhum made in Martinique created for a French importer that apparently no longer exists?) were both from many years ago and just a bit more than I wanted to spend on a pour ($100 plus if memory serves!). My favorites were a side by side of the Clement 10 from today and the past (not blind but the old stuff was better I thought) and an older Dillon blanc (not pictured) that had a truly amazing nose of the perfume of fresh squeezed cane.

 

Most enjoyable and I recommend Smugglers Cove for the rum/rhum and tiki fan if you can get in (It is quite small so go early!).

 

I also purchased several interesting rhums recently including "Rhum Rhum Blanc" and "Rhum Rhum Liberation" that were reportedly made at Bielle in Marie Gallant and a column still rum made on Marie Gallant at Bellevue distillerie but aged by Duncan Taylor in Scotland. They happened to be featured in this weeks Wednesday tasting (which I need to get around to posting!). 

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sailor22

In last evenings impromptu tasting these three finished in this order 1- Depaz,  2- J. Bally  (really it was more like a tie as each had their strong points) and a very distant 3rd for the HSE.  Compared to the other two the HSE was artificial and unbalanced with a strong turpentine and chemically caramel nose. I learned this morning that they use wood chips in their aging  process. At any rate save your $ and skipthe HSE XO when you run across it.

Three Way.jpg

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tanstaafl2

Should one skip all the HSE offerings? Since the base rhum is the same as Clement as I understand it, it was one I was curious about. A friend spoke highly of several of the "World Cask" finishes, especially the PX. And a port finish is always of interest.

 

Might be traveling to Martinique in the near future so trying to plan early!

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sailor22

This is the only HSE I have had the opportunity to taste so don't have an opinion about any of the others.

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quazi

I went to Martinique last December.  In addition to being a tropical paradise, it is truly a rum and distilling nerd's paradise.

 

I would recommend going from january to June to see distilleries in operation.  That time period is cane cutting season.  You will be able to see them crushing cane and distilling the fermented juice.  It is like visiting a craft distiller where you can get up close and personal to the process.  Check out some of the pictures in the Facebook groups for more.

 

I had limited time to visit distilleries so I was only able to visit the tasting room at Dillon and visit Clement.

 

At Dillon I arrived at closing time(2:00 pm) and they let me taste and ponder for at least an hour.  I picked up the Depaz Cuvee prestige, some cane syrup and a few Dillon  blancs.  I got to try their entire line.

 

Clement has a walking tour where you can walk through the grounds including the old distillery, plantation house and the new art museum.   The cross section of the old column still is truly a thing of beauty.  At the end of the tour you can taste anything they have on offer.  They don't let you taste the vintage years of 1970, 1952 and 1976 and the 15 was not available when I went but I tasted at least 7 rums.  They will even make you a Ti' Punch.

 

Half of the distilleries are not open on Saturday and many that are open close early on Saturday.  Clement is open 7 days a week until at least 8:00 pm.  There are seven working distilleries on the island and an additional 5 tasting rooms.

 

On a return visit I would put Rhum JM, Neisson and  La Favorite at the top of my list.   I would also check out a very small distillery named Hardy(Tartane).  

 

Before I went to any distillery I would check out rum prices at a Carrefour.  The carrefour often has lower prices than the distillery, though usually not by much. There is one near Dillon in Fort de France.  They sell everything from high proof Blancs to vintage auricles.   I went to the Carrefour near Clement and they had a pretty decent rhum selection.  There is also Compagnie du rhum located on the island.  They are actually located across the street from the Simon distillery where HSE and Clement are made.  and there is a beautiful restaurant next door.  Compagnie du rhum sell a number of vintage offering and they have rhum from Guadeloupe.  Their online prices are high but I am not sure how their on island prices compare.  

 

Overall rum on the island costs 60-70% less than it does in the U.S. even in Duty free.   I loaded up 14 bottles that added more once I got to duty free.

 

Let me know if you have any questions and I will answer what I can.

 

With respect to HSE I have only had their rhum finished in Islay barrels.  I like it but have no idea how their distillate compares on its own.  While they are made at the same plant I think their cane is grown separately.  I am not sure if other factor such as yeast and cuts are different as well.  The most respected brands on island seem to be JM and Neisson.   If you have time for HSE I say go for it.  

 

 

 

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bdrinker

Never tried a rhum agricole before. I understand that it is has aoc regulation, and therefore no sugar is added to these rhums, except for caramel coloring. This means that it is a purer form of rum, compared to molasses based rums, which have additives.

 

So which rhum do I go for? what would you recommend? looking for a sipper.

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tanstaafl2

I have had good success recommending the Clement 6yo from Martinique as a starting point. Fairly available here but no idea about Israel!

 

The AOC is most tightly administered for Martinique. As Sailor22 mentioned recently (in a post that I can't find at the moment!) there is not an AOC for rhum agricole for Guadeloupe (or it is not as tightly regulated?).

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garbanzobean

I opened a bottle of J.M. Rhum VSOP recently.  I purchased it months, maybe a year or two ago at this point, based on Serge's Whiskyfun review.  It is good, solid rum.  Seems like another decent intro to the agricole style.  Hasn't scared me off, at any rate.

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tanstaafl2
On ‎6‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 9:43 PM, quazi said:

Let me know if you have any questions and I will answer what I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looks like you don't have enough posts to get a private message.

 

Did you have any suggestions for hotel or Bed and Breakfast style accommodations in the Fort du France area? Doesn't need to be anything fancy or a beach resort. Just something clean and comfortable!

 

Did you rent a car while you were there? Since it is strongly French speaking I was wondering how difficult it was to get around for an English speaker.

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quazi
On 7/7/2016 at 2:39 PM, tanstaafl2 said:

 

Looks like you don't have enough posts to get a private message.

 

Did you have any suggestions for hotel or Bed and Breakfast style accommodations in the Fort du France area? Doesn't need to be anything fancy or a beach resort. Just something clean and comfortable!

 

Did you rent a car while you were there? Since it is strongly French speaking I was wondering how difficult it was to get around for an English speaker.

I would definitely rent a car.  I think relying on a driver would have driven me crazy.  Book early especially if you are going during the high season of Jan to June.   Book earlier if you need an automatic.   My lack of French skills was never a big issue.  Where it really counted, at the airport and when checking into my resort, there were english speakers, but otherwise it was hit or miss.  Again it was never an issue.

 

I stayed on the southeast(atlantic) side of the island which I would  not do again.  It was convenient enough and everyone was friendly but the beaches were not the best on this side.  I would stay on the southwest side specifically in the Trois Ilet area.   Unless you have something specific to do in Fort De France I would stay on a beach.   The highway system was pretty smooth and  I think Trois ilet or a similar beach locale would be a good jumping off point for exploring without the heavier traffic in Fort De France.  

 

The bulk of vacationers rent a house for their stay and hotels and resorts seemed second tier choices for most.  During my search most home rentals seemed pretty reasonable in comparison to hotels etc.  Unfortunately I can't give any real guidance on accommodations.

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sailor22
On July 5, 2016 at 4:15 AM, bdrinker said:

Never tried a rhum agricole before. I understand that it is has aoc regulation, and therefore no sugar is added to these rhums, except for caramel coloring. This means that it is a purer form of rum, compared to molasses based rums, which have additives.

 

So which rhum do I go for? what would you recommend? looking for a sipper.

 

Not all Rums made with molasses have sugar and wine products added.  Most products from former British colonies have strict regulations regarding additives that are enforced.  Look to products with these labels Foursquare, Real McCoy, Doorly's, R.L. Seale, St. Nicholas Abby, Mt. Gay, Appleton, Mt Gilboa for unadulterated Rum made with molasses.  Several different kinds of stills so there is a wide variety in character of the product.

Also look at products from St. Lucia Distillers. Two pot stills and a column still  and rums made from both sugar cane juice and molasses allow them plenty of opportunity for creativity in aging and blending. Some of the later 1931 commemorative editions are particularly sophisticated and complex. They make Admiral Rodney (a light column still product) and Forgotten Cask among others. A couple releases from a couple years ago have some small amount of sugar added so while they are mostly pure not everything is.

Also there are several rums distilled from molasses in Puerto Rico that don't have additives and they represent a light style of column still product.  Don Q comes to mind.

 

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