The 12 year old Flor the Caña did not leave any lasting impression; at least not a very good one. Hence the expectation level for this 18 year old Nicaraguan rum was relatively low! While being one of the most popular rums in Central America Flor the Caña has also won more than 100 international awards since the year 2000. This is pretty impressive! Why all this recognition?
As a rule of thumb I would always say that rum gets better the more time it spends in the barrel – granted there are exceptions. Because of this I was surprised to read that the majority of people prefer the 12yo Flor the Caña over the 18yo. Again my expectations were lowered. Now, after having tasted it, I can honestly say that I couldn’t disagree more. The 18 year old is definitely superior in my opinion.
Even thought there is a resemblance in taste between the 12yo and 18yo the latter is far smoother, creamier and more complex. One thing that I especially appreciate is the dryness that appears because of the longer maturation process. Common notes of cocoa, vanilla, spices, dark chocolate and hints of leather come together in a very balanced way. The flavor of this rum is not revolutionary in any way and actually pretty common I would say. Still the balance between the different flavors is superb and combining that with the creamy texture and lack of alcoholic punch I can almost understand why it is so popular. The only thing that curbs your enthusiasm is the short and vague aftertaste. Almost watery.
VERDICT: The 18 year old Flor the Caña is a good everyday rum. I could imagine that some people would be put off by the leathery notes and dry taste but in my book this is just extra points. I still can’t grasp its huge success though. Especially considering its brief and watery finish.