I was trying to decide what rums to review and a friend of mine, Steve Leukanech mentioned that Rhum Clément Six-year old was one of his favorites. Steve does not recommend anything lightly so I thought it was worth looking into. Every year Habitation Clément goes through their collection of aged Rhums and make selections for their Grand Reserve portfolio. The Rhums in the blend of this product like all Agricole products is made from fresh pressed sugarcane juice and then aged in a combination of new and used/re-charred 200 liters oak barrels for a minimum of six years. At the 2019 Tales of the Cocktail event it was brought to my attention that the rhum has undergone a name change to become their XO product.
The Rhum bottle comes enclosed in a brown tube that is covered in details about the history of Clément in English and French. The bottle is the squat short handled 750 mL bottle seen throughout the Clément line and shares a few details about the Rhum and how it was made. At the time this product was bottled the Rhum met the criteria to receive Appellation d’Origine Controlee de Martinique.
The Rhum has a lovely golden-brown amber color that does not vary between bottle to glass. Swirling the liquid created a medium ring that drops one wave of fast moving legs. The band slowly thickens and drops another wave of legs before evaporating, leaving a thin line of residue around the glass.
Pouring the Rhum in the glass, lovely floral notes of vanilla, orange blossoms waft from the glass. As the aroma settles, I detect a bit of herbaceous rose, subtle spice notes of cinnamon and allspice, rounded out by wild honeysuckle and a touch of charred oak.
Sipping the Rhum revealed an interesting flow of flavors. Leading the way charred oak notes coat the tongue, followed by fresh orange zest, caramelized vanilla, lightly roasted coffee, with spicy notes of black pepper, cinnamon and brown sugar linger in a herbaceous cane filled finish.
Personally, I have enjoyed Clément VSOP for years as a cocktail ingredient and this six-year blend could easily replace it in everything from a Tí Punch to Mai Tai and become my go to Agricole for cocktails. Overall this six-year-old Rhum is quite complex and I discovered it was a fine sipper. It is worth tracking down if you are looking for a new Agricole Rhum to explore and add to your bar.