Clément Créole Shrubb

As you may have noticed, if you read my Orange Liqueur Throwdown post, I like oranges. Actually I just seem to like the taste of oranges complimenting other foods and drinks. I almost never buy oranges and eat them plain, but if someone adds orange to a cocktail, a spirit, chocolate, coffee… Yum.

Being in an orange mood, and not having any Pyrat XO handy (it’s at camp), I decided to try the Clément Créole Shrubb. The bottle says that it’s “A subtle blend of rum, sugar, cane syrup and orange peel, all brewed through a slow maceration process in oak casks.” I certainly liked the Clément VSOP (though I’ve yet to review it) and also liked the other rums I have from Martinique: Kaniche and two types of St. James. Let’s hope that I’m 5-for-5 for Martinique rums.

Initial Tastes
The initial smell is of bitter oranges, but sweeter than Senior Curaçao or Cointreau. I barely get any hints of rum in this initial smell. And the stuff is thick – pouring it caused a slow “glugging” and swirling in the glass moves slowly. Interesting.

The initial taste is thick, too, and sweet as all heck. (Not that I mind that at all.) Wow, this is not what I had expected. I guess that I had expected something closer to Pyrat XO but this is more of an orange liqueur. Well throw me down – the bottle does say “Liqueur Créole Clément” but it also says “rum” too. Sue me for expecting a rum. I guess I’ll have to go into liqueur mode…

A Liqueur, Not Quite A Rum
Yep, this is an extremely sweet orange liqueur, made with rum but not what I would call a rum. It is very good – high quality orange tastes, mild burn, crisp, medium-length finish. It will be, for many, exceedingly sweet – all that cane syrup, which you can feel coating your lips and mouth. But it is very high quality. I’d be very curious to try this in a Mai Tai in place of orange curaçao – why not have a 3rd rum in there?

Holy cow, this stuff is 80 proof. You’d never know it by the taste or burn, that’s for sure.

Past The Initial Shock
OK, I’m past the initial shock I guess, now that I know I’m not reviewing a rum. I keep sipping, and I like it. The flavor is high quality orange, on par with Senior Curaçao but not quite Cointreau. It’s got a burn between the two, also, though far milder and closer to Senior – Cointreau’s burn makes that unsippable in my opinion. For sipping, since I like rum, I’d probably lean more towards the Clément Shrubb than the Senior Curaçao. I’d be very tempted to try the Clément Shrubb in a cocktail, though it would have to be the right one since it’s much sweeter than Cointreau and doesn’t quite have the very strong orange taste of Cointreau.

On its own – probably with some ice – this would be a very nice, very sippable liqueur.

But it’s not a rum, IMHO.

Clément Créole Shrubb is a very high quality, extremely sweet, orange liqueur made with rum. It’s quite smooth and very sippable and can stand on it’s own, and I’m very willing to try it in some cocktails. But it’s not a rum, so pass it by if you’re a rum purist. But if you like orange liqueurs – and I do – this is highly recommended. Alas, it’s bit expensive – I paid $27, two-thirds of what a bottle of Cointreau costs, and a dollar more than I paid for Senior Curaçao. I’d have a hard time giving up either of those for a bottle of the Clément Créole Shrubb – so the final decision is up to you.


10 Responses to “Clément Créole Shrubb”

  1. Don Maslanka Says:

    Had my first taste of Creole Shrubb this past week and was very impressed with how smooth it was as well as the excellent finish. We enjoyed on ice, very nice, and added to a blood orange martini recipe where it balanced out the Campari and blood orange juice. Tempted to try in a traditional rum cake recipe as the sweetness may work well in a dessert.

  2. Scottes Says:

    Blood Orange Martini? Sounds delicious, and it sounds like a perfect match for the Shrubb.

  3. IceSixxx Says:

    People there in Martinique do their own Shrubb. The Clément which is very very good doesn’t have the same high quality as artisanal ones with special recipes from your favourite doudou!
    Mmmmm, shrubb is good for you!
    Otherwise, Clément Rhum Vieux is probably the best one in the world (imho).
    If Scottes agree, if you want to see the Clément factory and the Habitation Clément, follow me there:

    IceSixxx 😉

  4. Tiare Says:

    Hi! Do you have a recipe for the Blood Orange Martini?

  5. Scottes Says:

    I don’t, but Google lists a bunch, like this one:

    I don’t know if I’d use the Clement though, since it would probably overpower the blood orange. The recipe above calls for Cointreau, which seems a better bet.

    But experimenting is part of the fun for sure!

  6. Reverend Thumper Says:

    I subbed this for orange curacao in a Mai Tai this evening and the result is really interesting. Not exactly a Mai Tai but also not exactly not a Mai Tai if you take my meaning.

    The lime juice really gets tamped down by the Shrubb, and that is after I proactively increased the line juice from 3/4 to a full ounce.

    There is a foundation for something interesting here, needs work.

  7. Charles Says:

    Try the Madras Shrubb, it’s from the French Island of Guadeloupe. It has been given the 2008 best in category over the Clement Shrubb at the International Rum fest.

  8. Nathan Says:

    2 ounces Appleton 12Yo
    1/2 ounce Clement Creole Shrubb
    1/2 ounce Monin Orgeat
    1 ounce fresh lime juice
    1/6 ounce rocky candy (5ml)
    Shake strain into rocks glass filled with crushed ice
    Garnish: Clapped mint sprig and lime wedge right alongside two straws.

    Giddy up

  9. NZContractor Says:

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  10. Blaise SCHMITTER Says:

    I lived in Martinique for years and my wife is from there too. She is from the city called Le Carbet where the most famous (and best in the minds of many from the French West Indies) rum is being distilled (NEISSON) Therefore you would think that her family who lives a stone throw away from the distillery would dismiss Clément… Not at all, and this Schrubb Orange liquor is almost revered within the family! But I’ll give you their tip to drink it and fully appreciate it. Yes you could add it to a cocktail but you would lose the delicate (yet powerful) elements of this long aged liquor. The best way to drink it is on the rocks and if you have a freezer, leave the bottle there and only take that bottle out when you’re ready to pour the drink. If possible use a chilled glass, and pour the liquor which would now be slowly dripping from the bottle (because it’s very cold) do not add ice cubes which would raise it’s temperature and dilute this drink. You will loove this!

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