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Recommendable to most
This is a stunning product. The wild yeast fermentation provides such a rich pallette of flavours and aromas that it is guaranteed to provoke some, but I find they are all balanced — if such a word is proper for a rhum this overly funky and rich. Unaged, untamed but still balanced, I find, classic cane juice nose initially but a bit of breathing will add perfumed rubber, cottonsedge and anise-citrusy spices (those who dislike it will rather say it smells of a randy ram on a rainy day and burnt tyres).
You might want to add a few drops of water if you are not used to cask strength, and you will be surprised how it is turned into a spiced, fruity rhum experience with its own idiosyncratic style reminiscent of eccentric rhums agricoles, Jamaican funk and outer space juice. You might also want to follow Zaphod Beeblebrox’ advise and "never drink more than two (...) unless you are a thirty ton mega elephant with bronchial pneumonia”.
In a single sitting, I tried three Clairin brought to us by Velier. Like the others (Clairin Le Rocher and Clairin Vaval) it's a mix of Jamaican and Martinique/agricole styles. Clairin might not be to everyone's taste, but I'd urge every rum nerd to at least try a glass if they have the opportunity. (The reasonable price point should help.)
This one was the most balanced and subtle of the three. Mineral, a hint of green olive, and just a little funk to make it interesting.
After having some, I tried the rest ti' punch style (just a wee bit of lime and cane syrup), but I think it dulled the subtleties more than the burn. It would probably be good in a daiquiri, but I think a little wasted. This one is probably best straight.
First tried the 2015 version of this at the Manchester Rum Festival in 2017 and for me this was the best rum/rhum at the event.
Never tried a Clairin before, so was amased by the amount of flavour in this rhum.
Ordered a bottle of the 2013 once I got home and its very similar (to me). If this is the general quality of Clairins, I'll be buying loads of this stuff.
Une merveille de rhum blanc, au nez de la canne fraîche, citronné, acidulé, en bouche une douceur incroyable et une superbe longueur sur la cannes, le citron... magnifique
fresh sugar cane juice. dry rhum.
opening the bottle. putting the rhum into a nosing glas.
sniffing. grassy. citrus. pepper.
drinking. sugar cane. grassy. citric. peppery. and salty. and salty.
yes, for a rhum very salty :).
9/10 for this fresh powerhouse!
With flavours this strong, I guess there can be a fine line between the sublime and the repellent.
Only had a single shot, and didn't get to pop it in a mojito, so I can't truly compare to Communal or Rocher. Both of those, I wouldn't choose to drink neat but make amazing mojitos.
This though. Wow. Intense grass and fermented funk of death. The smell and taste seem to linger in my throat, and in the room, and not in a good way.
Good to learn that I might like all agricoles. Will tread a little earlier now
This has the most ABV% of the four clairins that I recently bought. I also can barely notice the burn. The aroma and taste is of leather, and dominates. Unlike two of the other clairins, the cork did not fall apart on this bottle.
So how strong is the aroma and taste of leather in this clairin? When first poured, one can smell the aroma from two feet away! I then mixed it with George Dickel #12 Tennessee Whiskey, since my collection is devoid of rums that taste anything like bourbon or whiskey. My first attempt was two parts of Sajous to one part GD, and then poured over lots of ice. This Sajous still dominated the drink! Then I tried equal parts. The Sajous still dominated, but one could now barely tell that GD is in the mix. Hopefully, this experiment will provide a start for any craft bartender to finish this drink off as they see to it. I just wanted to find out how truly strong this clairin is in aroma and flavor. And I would buy it again!
And if one has the patience to let this one breathe for at least 20 minutes, the leather notes dissipate a lot. Then the notes of olives and brine come through. Amazing juice!
On the nose: yogurt, mild smokiness, and brine. On the palate: almost peaty, some burnt sugar, celery/fennel, fruit and briny vegetal notes. Long finish.
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