Location: Martinique, France
About Rhum Agricole & Clément
Succulent sugarcanes from the tropical estate of Habitation Clément are crushed for their pure free-run cane juice, which then naturally ferments over 2-3 days into a sugarcane wine called Vesou. After a short rest, the delicate Vesou is distilled to 72% abv very carefully in order not to distill out the beany aromas and earthy flavours of the sugarcane. The result is a clean and smooth pure Rhum Agricole, which then reduces slowly over several months to obtain balance, essential for the best cocktails; or to mature into the world's finest aged rums in cellars.
In the later half of the nineteenth century, Martinique was the source of the highest quality of sugar for Europe and was the epicenter for all Caribbean sugar commerce. By 1883, a great sugar crisis overtook the island because European countries used less expensive sugar from South and central America.
In 1887 Homere Clément, the mayor of La Francois, purchased the prestigious sugar plantation in his village, Domaine de l'Acajou, out of bankruptcy. His intentions were simply to stop the rioting planter's and have them return to the fields to harvest sugarcane again, not to be refined into sugar, but to be pressed for their natural juice and to distill rum.
He took this imaginative idea from the brandy producers of southern France who were distilling grape wine into Cognacs. Homere is now coined as the "father of the Rum Agricole".