2018 has been an eventful year for the U.S. rum market with the entrance of several new products releasing every month. One new product line that arrived during the first quarter of the year was the Clairin line of rums. Each expression in this line is from either a blend of rums from different distilleries or a single rum In this case Clairin Casimir is a rum that is double distilled using a copper pot still by Faubert Casimir in the village of Baraderes Haiti and blended to 48.3% abv.
The rum is crystal clear in the bottle and glass. Swirling the liquid creates a razor thin ring, that slowly thickens before reluctantly releasing a few thick tear drop legs that crawl down the glass. The ring and legs evaporate within in a minute, leaving behind large pebbles around the glass.
The aroma of the rum provides a boldly pleasant lemongrass note, with hints of ginger and herbaceous vanilla. Then I let the glass sit for a few minutes before revisting it. The bold aroma were still present, but now a whole new array of note had joined them. Roasted nuts formed the baseline with black tea, fresh cut cucumber and melon rounded out by the slightest hint of salt and other minerals.
After the experience with the aroma I was completely unprepared for the experience of the first sip. The rum shyly delivers a lovely herbaceous kiss of sugarcane, immediately followed by a punch of fresh mint and salty olives. In quick succession I detected lemongrass, cinnamon, fresh fennel, and a touch of moldering earth and ethanol to round out the experience.
Clairin Casimir in one of three Haitian rums released together in the U.S. market and I sampled them all for the first time at a trade event as a guest of La Maison and Velier at the beginning of the year along with rums in the Caroni line. This did in no way bias me one way or the other toward the rums, but did raise my understanding of how they are produced and the families in Haiti that help create them. The other two in the Clairin line; Vaval and Sajous will be reviewed other months. Since that presentation I have enjoyed Clairin Casimir rum neat, in a Ti punch, Daiquiri, Planters Punch, and its array of flavors shined in each experience. For those who are curious the Daiquiri and Ti Punch while they are made of the same ingredients, I found the Ti Punch was more citrus forward and played well with the herbaceous notes, in the rum, while the sweetness in the Daiquiri pulled the mint and mineral notes in the flavor profile. Reasonably priced at the time of this review, the three Clairin expressions are accessible in New York and a few online outlets. I am happy to add the Clairin line along with Rhum Babancourt to my collection of Haitian rums.