- Suggested retail price: $145
- This Thursday at 6:30 p.m., we're pouring a one-ounce pour for $5
Martinique has long had the reputation of having the best terroir for sugarcane cultivation. It became a rich and lively island on an economy based on the export of sugar. But in the 1880's clouds rolled over this beautiful island. The introduction of sugar beets and the increasing availability of cheap South American sugar lead to the collapse of the Martiniquean economy. Many planters were out of work and took to the streets rioting against the bankrupt plantation owners.
Homère Clément was a popular member of the Martiniquean community and the mayor of Le Francois. In 1887, at the height of the sugar crisis, he stepped up and purchased Domaine de l’Acajou, one of the most respected plantations on the island. It was 43 acres just 3 kilometers from the center of town.
His idea? Rhum! As it turns out, it was a good one. He had the planters return to the fields to harvest sugarcane once again, not for refined sugar, but refined rhum agricole. His idea was to press his quality estate grown sugarcane to extract first-pressed aromatic and flavorful sugarcane juice to distill into pure rhum. Homère had studied in Paris and had always loved great Armagnac. He borrowed from their methods of distillation and aging and his choices were informed by his early experience in France. The result was a truly refined spirit.
Rhum Clément X.O. is the top of the line. It's a blend of old aged rhums including the highly regarded vintages of 1976, 1970 and 1952, which have been recognized to be the finest ever in Martinique. Each vintage brings to the bottle different spice, toffee, and tobacco flavors. Thursday, we will open one bottle at 6:30 precisely. When it's gone, it's gone.