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Clemente Select Barrel

Review: Clemente Select Barrel    90/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December 13, 2019

The word “rhum” is the French spelling for our English word “rum”. However, the differences between Rhum agricole and Rum are much deeper than just a twist in spelling. This is because the French traditions of making rhum in the French West Indies differs from the Spanish and English traditions of rum production in the rest of the Caribbean. A major difference in the production of agricole rhum is that it is distilled from fermented sugar cane juice rather than fermented molasses.

Clément Agricole Rhum has been produced on the Isle of Martinique since 1887. Although the agricole  Rhum is distilled at the Simon Distillery, the rhum is finished at Habitation Clément (built on the site of a former sugar refinery) which was purchased by Homére Clément in 1887.

Clement Select Barrel was developed at Habitation Clément. It is produced from a blend of rhums matured from selected heavily toasted oak barrels. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Clément Select Barrel is sold in the squat cylindrical bottle shown to the left. The impression one gets when looking at the bottle is one of quiet masculine elegance. The heavy glass bottom implies substance and the sharp angled shoulders of the bottle lend that masculine appeal. The neck of the bottle is of medium length just long enough to allow you to pour a nice dram without the hazard of spilling.

The label is attractive with a font style and colour scheme which is easy on the eyes. Overall, this is a solid rhum presentation.

In The Glass 9/10

Colour:  Amber/Gold

Legs: Slender legs

Initial Nose:  Assertive oak spice with butterscotch almond and vanilla already melded together

Decanted Aroma: Light baking spices with orange peel and marmalade as well a light herbal grasses

In the Mouth 54/60

Alcohol push and Spice: Very Smooth

Initial Taste: A touch of herbal grass with layers of butterscotch and honey. Oak and light baking spices followed by vanilla and almond with a light raisin-like quality underneath.

Follow up: The flavours begin to meld together nicely with a very pleasant sweetness wrapped around the dram

With Ice: Milk chocolate notes come forward

In The Throat: 13.5/15

Body and Length: Medium body with a lingering lightly sweet finish

Flavours during Swallow: butterscotch toffee and vanilla with hints of herbal goodness

Lingering Flavours: A light sweetness of butterscotch lingers

The Afterburn  9/10

Final Thoughts: A lovely lightly sweet french-style rum which can be sipped easily although I suspect that it would work very well in a Ti-punch or French Mojito.  Of course you might also like the cocktail suggestion (Darling Clémentine) I have shared below.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


Suggested Recipe

This cocktail is a variation of the modern Side Car . I have of course substituted Clement Select Barrel in place of the Brandy in the serving, and added a dollop of orange juice.

Darling Clémentine

1 1/2 oz Clément Select
3/4 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Lemon Slice (optional)

Add the first four ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a lemon slice (optional)

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing spirit.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


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