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Terrible... Just terrible ! Grassy notes with lots of alcohol....
Clairins are the funky, voodoo-infused cousins of agricoles but Vaval is the young and most reckless one.
Nose reveals a yeast strain reminiscent of lambic beers, restrained rubber and cottonsedge.
Palate with aniseed and citrus, esters and grass notes. Aftertaste is a bit brief after a hefty main act.
This was my first clairin, but compared to Sajous and Casimir it is a bit more clumsy. Great entry level clairin, though.
It is damn amazing that I can sit in a Pittsburgh tiki bar and enjoy several rhums made with "spontaneous" fermentation in a "homemade unique pot still" on a farm halfway around the world. The unique methods produce a unique spirit that's kind of hard to rate. 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.)
In a single sitting, I tried three Clairin brought to us by Velier. Like the others (Clairin Le Rocher and Clairin Sajous) it's a mix of Jamaican and Martinique/agricole styles. This one is HEAVY esthers on the nose, all kinds of spoiled banana and tropical fruit, a heavy smell that carries and makes me want to sit an open glass in my room like an air freshener. When tasting it, though, I get gentle flavors of grass and hay.
After drinking some straight, I found it phenomenal as a very simple ti' punch; just a little lime peel and a few drops of cane syrup complimented this one perfectly.
Smells/tastes like a blend of grassy Rhum Agricole and a medium ester Jamaican...but still something very unique that can only be described as CLAIRIN!
Primitive means great! Small pot still, a rum full of esters and congeners. WOW.
Salinity, aggressive flavors, but not too intense or harsh. Tastes somewhat like excellent baiju mixed with Agricole
White rum is not my thing. Only good for cocktails. Wrong. This one is worth sipping straight. Tropical fruit, bit like 'grappa', eau de vie, licquorish, still not 'my' thing, but I'm sure there are fans out there. Worth a try.
White, better taste than smell. Burn more at the end. Not really my taste. Wild fermentation...
Very bad aroma - remind my cheapest homemade russian vodka :-(
Taste is bit better but still not consumable straight for me...
Bought a bottle of Clairin Vaval Rhum Agricole from Haiti while vacationing in Guadeloupe. Nice artisanal bottle and label design. Super dry Rhum Agricole flavors alongside grass, spices, funk and plenty of floral notes to the nose and palate. Very strong burn at the end being so dry. Rhum Agricole fan boys can add 2 points to my score. I just simply haven't found a single enjoyable Rum from Haiti.
Un rum rustico, quasi primordiale, prelibatezza per veri intenditori
2016 harvest. 48.8% ABV. 100% spontaneous/wild fermentation.
Nose: cheese pizza with oregano, fennel (also added: ginger, lemongrass). Very herbal. Palate: a little sweeter. Rather prickly. Wild stuff, literally. Herbal finish as well. After a few minutes, smoother finish.
This is one of the weirdest rums I've ever had. It even stands out from the other clairins in Velier's lineup. I recall them saying something about how Mr. Vaval adds fruits/herbs to the wash to accelerate fermentation (helps with the acidity, like the use of much pits in Jamaica). That certainly would help explain the weird oregano/greasy cheese pizza nose.
Again, wild stuff. But not quite my thing...
Le nez est très fruité mangue, banane, litchi et citron vert.
L’attaque en bouche est agréable, l’alcool est présent mais bien intégré. On retrouve des notes d’agrumes et fruits ainsi qu’une pointe vanillée (et peu être du cacao ?)
La finale reste sur de la canne à sucre principalement.
Un rhum excellent qui se boit tout seul.