Review: RUM COMPANY Aficionado – #78 hit

Never would I have thought that my favorite Rum would come from a European country. Least of all Germany. Aficionado is a blend of 3 to 25 year old Rums and slightly reminds me of the 12 year old Dictador with its characteristic burnt and roasted flavor. Even though there is some resemblance Aficionado has a lot more going on; instead of following a single line this rum implements both sweet and sour notes of caramel, spicy vanilla, fudge, and cocoa into the very predominant taste of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate. You can easily discern the different layers that work so wonderfully together.  A very unique experience indeed.rum_company_aficionado

This Rum was originally intended to be enjoyed with a cigar. Taken that I am not a cigar enthusiast – yet – I cannot say how they work together. What I can say however is that Aficionado works VERY well without a cigar. It is deliciously smooth and full bodied, almost syrupy, and has an exquisite complexity that will fulfill most rum lovers demands. The only reason why you would not enjoy/buy this rum would be if you are poor (it is pretty expensive), not into dark rums with burnt flavors or hate coffee.

VERDICT: This Rum reminds me of the 12yo Dictador, just a sweeter variant with more complexity. Its ability to combine different flavor profiles, like coffee and caramel, without ruining the experience is truly impressive. GREAT complexity, GREAT balance, GREAT Rum period!

  (9/10)

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Review: FLOR THE CAÑA 18yo – #75 hit

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?Flor the Cana.

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.

  (7.2/10)

Review: RUM COMPANY Cocorange Old Rum – #73 hit

3 weeks ago while attending a Rum & Whisky Festival in Copenhagen I stumbled (literally) into this unique newcomer; Rum Company.  It had been a long afternoon and I had reached around 17-18 tastings so my taste buds (as well as my view) was severely damaged at this point. Still I practically ended up staying at this booth until they closed down. Long story short I had more than a few tastings and eventually staggered away with 4 bottles: 2 x Cocorange Old Rum and 2 x Aficionado, both from Rum Company. If you have never heard about Rum Company before I don’t blame you. Neither had I 3 weeks ago.Cocorange

Rum Company was established by three German rum enthusiasts in 2009. Since then they have released several different blends as they import already matured rum from The Caribbean to Germany and blend it themselves.

My first impression of this rum was Pyrat XO with a small amount of Malibu Black. I guess it seemed reasonable at the time given the strong aroma of freshly crushed coconuts and chopped orange peel. After tasting it however I realized how wrong my assumption was. Obviously more sweet than Pyrat XO but I would also go as far as to say that the taste of citrus fruits (especially oranges) is more pronounced or maybe even more authentic than in Pyrat XO. Is it more on the citrus fruit or coconut side? This is hard to say but I would probably describe the taste more as freshly pressed oranges spiked with coconut milk than the other way around.  Mid palate is more on the citrus fruit side whereas coconut is dominating towards and during the finish. The balance between the two is perfect. The texture is creamy and the 40% abv. is nicely concealed. I believe this rum is going to be very popular and it is already harvesting medals around the world. Next stop Aficionado!

VERDICT:  Originally my intention was that Cocorange Old Rum would be for the female guests. However Gollum has come over me and I keep it to myself now. It is undoubtedly the best of the sweet rums I’ve tasted and you should definitely try it if you like Pyrat XO (even though it tastes nothing like it) and coconut rums.

  (8.9/10)

Review: FLOR DE CÃNA 12yo – #48 hit

Flor De Caña, one of the most praised rums in Latin America!

It is rums like the 12 year old Flor De Caña that makes me start questioning the integrity of my taste buds. Sometimes, I have noticed, you just have to force yourself to like things. Like with eggplants, humus, cabbage, cauliflower and asparagus (I still haven’t gotten completely used to these long weird green things). It took me years before I actually started to enjoy these vegetables. I guess the same goes for spirits.  But it is not like I haven’t given this Nicaraguan rum a chance. Now, a half bottle later, I still haven’t been able to fully appreciate the supposedly outstanding flavor of Flor De Caña. So I give up.Flor da Cana

First let me state that I don’t find this rum to be of poor quality. Not at all. But I do think it lacks character. In addition it is very light bodied, almost watery, and the finish is one of the briefest I have encountered. On the palate there is burnt vanilla and allspice but that is about it.

VERDICT: I really can’t see why this particular bottling gets so much attention. It is not like it is bad in any sense but at the same time I don’t find it remotely impressive either. Oh well again I am reminded about the subjectivity of taste.

  (6.6/10)

Review: EL DORADO 12yo – #15 hit

I tasted this rum some years ago and at that time I did not consider it being anything special. The other day I found it on discount and couldn’t resist. It was meant as a gift but weak as I am I “accidentally” opened it. I am glad I did. This is truly an amel-dorado-12azing rum and I really wonder why I never realized this. I guess my taste buds have been refined throughout the years. This multi-award winning rum is remarkably smooth and right from the start you are overwhelmed by the taste of dark brown sugar and vanilla. There is also a later entry of nuts and raisins as it gently continues down your throat. Not the slightest burn. Even though I usually refrain from drinking soft and mellow rums, mainly because I find them too dull and one dimensional, El Dorado is my one exception. There is something about the taste that I can’t put my finger on, but it is just so darn good. It is like being in love with a woman without knowing quite why.

VERDICT: The taste of El Dorado 12yrs is unexcelled and I can’t recommend it enough. Period.

  (8/10)

Review: PYRAT XO – #33 hit

Image yourself standing in the kitchen peeling a dozen of oranges and chopping the peel into small pieces. Imagine the aroma that would follow. If you add some vanilla and butterscotch to that then you have Pyrat XO. Brilliant!1829

Pyrat XO came out in 1998 and is a blend of 9 different rums from 7 distilleries around the Caribbean where it has matured in French Limousin and American sweet oak barrels for up to 15 years. I can honestly say that this is the most unique rum I have ever tasted. The Citrus fruits are overwhelming, in a good way that is, and I can certainly understand if people misjudge it for being a liqueur or something else. Entwined with the vanilla-citrus are less apparent notes of raisins and nuts that give the rum good depth. There is no burn and it is also very smooth and round bodied.

VERDICT: Even though I have to be in a certain mood to have a Pyrat I take my hat off for what they have accomplished here. The mouthwatering citrus flavors together with heaps of vanilla and butterscotch makes it downright delicious. Highly recommendable if you want to taste something out of the ordinary.

  (7.5/10)

Review: DOORLY’S XO – #30 hit

You never go wrong with Barbados rum, it is said. Doorley’s XO is no exception.

Doorly’s XO is a blend of different aged rum – 6 to 12 years – where the oldest has undergone a second maturation in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks making this Barbados rum very unique. The quality of this masterpiece is also backed up by severarum_doorlys_xol gold medals including from San Francisco Wine & Spirits, IWSC, Monde Selection and BTI.

Doorly’s XO is best characterized as a round, mellow, medium bodied rum with rich flavors of lush tropical fruits on the palate. It also has a certain sherry-laden complexity to it on top of the underlying bed of vanilla and butterscotch. The finish is light and soft with creamy toffee being most apparent.

VERDICT: Doorly’s XO is good, mild, and creamy and will satisfy most rum drinkers’ needs. The only reason to why I am not giving it a higher rating is because of its mild and light character and to a certain extent lacking complexity.

  (7/10)