Review: Rhum Clement XO (2022)

Review: Rhum Clement XO (2022)

Since we first explored the agricole rums of Rhum Clement way, way back in 2008, the Martinique distillery has changed their lineup considerably. The 15-year-old and Cuvee Homere expressions now sit at the top of the line with no less than eight other expressions rounding out the portfolio. One refresh that seemed to slip through the cracks for us was this bottle, Clement XO. In 2008, XO was the pinnacle offering with a slightly higher proof and potentially older stock. The modern version resides just below the age-stated offerings in the newest lineup and has been matured at least six years in ex-Bourbon barrels. Let’s check it out.

Going back to Chris’s original tasting notes, I have to say this seems like a very different rum. The alcohol, reduced from that original bottling (along with the price), doesn’t present with much intensity. It’s elegant and airy with a grassy sweetness and notes of light brown sugar, dried pineapple, and a little cigar box. While lightly textured, there’s a real depth and complexity here. On the palate, things are surprisingly floral at first with eucalyptus and honey suckle, orange blossom, and even some lavender. On the mid-palate, a subtle pipe smoke arrives, along with raw honey and orchard fruit notes. It’s sweet but not syrupy and, like the nose, rather light-bodied without being thin. It really changes across the palate, so much so that I’m not sure I’ve encountered a rum that evolves quite like this. The finish is long with a subtle warmth and fading notes of rock candy, black cherry, and lychee nut. A great value for a sipping rum of this quality.

84 proof.


Rhum Clement XO (2022)




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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