Clément 2003 Single Bourbon Cask #20070023
The Le Simon distillery, also referred to as Rhumerie du Simon, has origins dating back to 1862. It was built by the architect Emile Bougenot., and for over 100 years produced bulk rum for blending alongside various other sugar products. In 1971 it was bought by the Groupement d’Intérét Economique, a company run by Yves Hayot, and focus was turned exclusively to rum. The distillery operates four creole column stills, one each for the production of the Clément and Habitation Saint-Étienne (HSE) brands, and the other two for its contract-distilling operations. It is believed all four originate from the Habitation Clément.
The Clément estate was established in 1887 when Homère Clément acquired 43 acres of land from the Domaine de L’Acajou. This was a period of decline for the Martinique sugar trade, and Homère was an early advocate of utilising the increasingly unneeded sugarcane in the area for the production of agricole rum. The distillery stayed in the family for 100 years, but financial trouble in 1987 saw them offer it to Yves Hayot’s brother, Bernard, as they desperately sought an alternative to the hostile takeover bid of Remy Cointreau. Hayot promptly moved production to the Le Simon distillery, installing the Clément stills there in 1989. The rum is still matured in the warehouses of the brand’s native Clément estate, the rest of which was transformed by Bernard Hayot into a spectacular modern art gallery and outdoor sculpture museum, and one of the most visited locations on the island.
This is a 2003 vintage single cask, bottled in 2016 from an ex-bourbon barrel.