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Martinique

Friday Happy Hour: Flirting with Rhum Clement Tres Vieux 1952

Friday Happy Hour: Flirting with Rhum Clement Tres Vieux 1952
Rhum Clement 1952/SBPR

This is Rhum Clement’s Tres Vieux 1952 from Martinique. I first met her on my last trip to the Isle of Flowers this past May. She was sitting on a shelf in the swanky boutique at Habitation Clement flanked by several other beautifully packaged Clement blends, each vying for the attention of gentlemen and lady suitors in attendance.

I played it cool, surveying them all surreptitiously while struggling not to appear over-anxious. Anyone who saw me, though, could tell I only had eyes for Ms. 1952. For me, she stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Was it her classic style and sexy curves that held my gaze? Was it her string-bikini-like accessories that tickled my fancy?

Yes and no. I mean, those characteristics certainly caught my attention, but the thing that really separated her from the rest was her price – a whopping 818 Euros, or about $1,032 as the current exchange rate goes.

As you can well imagine, our courtship ended right there, leaving me to go home with another, less costly Clement beauty. Ever since then I wondered what a thousand-dollar rum might taste like. I mean, at that price I imagine this sweetest of sweet nectars would cure all that could ever ail me, and possibly even reverse aging, make me taller; who knows?

Anyway, I just found someone who has a history with Ms. 1952 – Ed Hamilton, author of The Complete Guide to Rum: An Authoritative Guide to Rums of the World, and the man behind the Ministry of Rum website, one of the best sources of info on all things rum anywhere. Here’s his take:

  • I tried it about six years ago in Martinique. It’s very dry, woody with hints of spice and dark fruit in the body. This is the oldest of the rhums still available that was distilled at Habitation Clément before production was moved in 1989, which adds to the cachet. I would drink it with a dark chocolate or a medium to light bodied cigar.

I knew it; she’s special. She also plays hard to get, as by all accounts you can’t find her in any U.S. liquor store. If you have the means, though, I can think of few better reasons to head to Martinique than to win her favor.

On this Friday Happy Hour, I’m drinking to the memory of my chance encounter with Ms. 1952, while also hoping that our lips meet when next I’m in Martinique.

À votre santé!

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