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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”.
Kristallklar im Glas.
In der Nase brutal und aggressiv, da wird dir eine Tube Klebstoff in die Nase gerammt. Früchte und eine harte Briese vom Meer werden dazu gestopft, Gras und Lehm dichten alles ab.
Am Gaumen zum Glück etwas anständiger im Umgang. Eine Unmenge von Aromen überschwemmen die Geschmacksknospen. Angegärte überreife tropische Früchte im Zuckerrohrsaft und grüne unreife kontinentale Früchte mit verschiedenen leicht geöffneten Blütenknospen sind nur einige dieser irren Aromen Palette.
Im Abgang schwingen die Aromen noch lange mit ihrer eigenartigen Einzigartigkeit nach.
Was für ein Gebräu ! Ist ja eigentlich ein Brand, und was für einer ! Wildvergärung, wie mutig ! Nichts für Einsteiger, Süssrümler und Zartbesaitete, nur für Entdecker, Geniesser, Liebhaber von Experimentellen Agricoles und Experten. ;-)
Crystal clear in the glass.
Brutal and aggressive on the nose, a tube of glue is rammed up your nose. Fruits and a harsh breeze from the sea are stuffed into it, grass and clay seal everything.
Fortunately a bit more decent handling on the palate. A plethora of flavors flood the taste buds. Fermented overripe tropical fruit in sugar cane juice and green unripe continental fruit with various slightly open flower buds are just a few of this insane flavor palette.
On the finish, the flavors continue to resonate with their peculiar uniqueness for a long time.
What a brew ! Is actually a spirit, and what a one ! Wild fermentation, how brave ! Not for beginners, sweet drinkers and the faint-hearted, only for explorers, connoisseurs, lovers of experimental agricoles and experts ;-)
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!
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!
After reading comments about how fantastic a Daiquiri this Rhum makes, and my amazing experiences in that regard with Clairin Le Rocher, I decided to give Clairin Sajous a go.
This is an unaged pot still rum made in Haiti from fresh pressed Cristalline sugar cane juice and distilled at 56.2% ABV. It contains zero additives of any sort.
On the nose I get fresh sugar cane, Castelveltrano olives, Sour Patch Kids candy, Lime Peel, and Sour Apple Jolly Rancher hard candy. The nose in many respects is very similar to a good unaged Rhum Agricole with the fresh pressed sugar cane and olives notes being the most noticeable.
Taking a sip, the comparisons to unaged Agricole end abruptly. Immediately my mouth is flooded with Sour Apple Jolly Rancher followed by a Dirty Martini in combination with Licorice, Anise, Rubber, Starfruit, faint rubbing alcohol, and a slight brine. Its not as psychedelic as Le Rocher but it still definitely different from other unaged rums. Here the flavors are different but less bizarre and intense than they are in Le Rocher.
The finish at first lines up somewhat with the palate. The finish is short but builds up over time. It starts with Sour Apple Jolly Ranchers, rubber, and fresh sugar cane. Ok, that tracks…but after a while newer different notes appear. After putting down the glass I am left with a fresh earthiness like Georgia clay after a rainstorm followed by the taste of used cigarette…but somehow not in a terrible way? I know that sounds weird because I hate cigarettes and I especially hate used damp cigarettes and this has all the hallmarks of that experience, but yet it’s not bad, but rather just interesting.
Overall this is a pretty decent Clairin. It is nowhere near as bizarre or intense as Clairin Le Rocher but it is definitely interesting in its own right. In some respects it’s like a good unaged Agricole; but in other respects it is very different from that.
True to the suggestions to try it in a Daiquiri, I did just that. It makes an excellent Daiquiri - not as unique or impressive as the Clairin Le Rocher to my tastes, but still quite excellent. Dare I say, the 2nd best Daiquiri? Man these Clairins are building quite the reputation in Daiquiri form.
Anyway this is a fine Rhum and Clairin. It doesn’t send me on a psychedelic trip through life sensory experiences like Le Rocher does, but it is still quite delectable and different from other rums in its own right. I will bet this makes an otherworldly Ti Punch, but that is perhaps for another day.
Short Description: Smoke a cigarette in
Georgia red clay territory in the rain while drinking a dirty martini. Pop a Sour Apple Jolly Rancher and some Sour Patch kids in your mouth to freshen your breath, and then step into the Doctor’s office. Now dial the intensity down a notch and mark it as a pleasant memory. You are very close.
Nose: Sugar Cane, Castelveltrano Olives, Sour Patch Kids candy, Lime Peel, Sour Apple Jolly Rancher
Palate: Sour Apple Jolly Rancher, faint Dirty Martini, Rubber, Licorice, Anise, Starfruit, faint rubbing alcohol, slight brine
Finish: (short) Sour Apple Jolly Rancher, Rubber, Fresh Sugar Cane, Earthiness, Cigarette
Country of Origin: Haiti
Distillery: Saint Michel de L’Attalaye
Final Thoughts: This is not as intense or psychedelic as Le Rocher, but it is still a pretty tasty pot still sugar cane juice rum. It is in some respects similar to a good unaged Agricole; but yet it is different still to that. It makes a mighty fine Daiquiri; not quite as spectacular as Le Rocher, but still pretty damn good. I am not sure this warrants buying a back up, but I will definitely enjoy this bottle.
Eternally thankful for Luca's persistence. This is absolutely delicious. Mushroom stock, fermented pineapples, and an intense umami quality, like tomato beef stew. The second sip becomes more floral and sweet: wild thyme, overripe lemons, green olive juice.
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