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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 ;-)
I wasn't able to write down tasting notes for this one, but among all the whiskies and rums I had during the evening when I got to try this, I remember this the most.
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 previous episode that was Barbancourt vs Trois Rivieres. Tonight this is Clairin vs Neisson - more mighty couple.
Nose: both are pretty aromatic and just Ok. Clairin's is a bit more stronger, full of ripe fruits. Neisson's has some ethanol.
Palate: both are absolutely smooth, rich. Clairin is more oily, fruity, citrus. Neisson is somehow subtile, a little spicy and peppermint. Both cores are delicious licorice, sugar cane.
Aftertaste's duration is infinity.
I have not found favorite between them. Maybe Neisson is easiest to consume. But let Clairin breath for minus 5° - it can open more aroma, taste.
Compared to S1E1 this pair is perfect.
Aroma is fresh with typical agricole style. First taste is slightly sweet with grass and herbal tones. After a bit burning (but less than you would expect from 56%) Aftertaste is long and complex with many different tones.
The funk is for real in this one. It might not be for everyone, but it is for me.
The smell is fantastic; it reminds me guarapo juice with lime (sugarcane juice), for newcomers will suggest either lowering down the alcohol with water when trying neat. Mix with whatever you like, Coconut water or lime 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.
During a Rumtasting at Nuremberg Village, I could taste this exciting Rum at his natural spirit. Very surprising and dirty...
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.
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Mezcal adjacent 9 out of 10
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.