Rum Nation Peruano 8yo (42%, Single Domaine Rum, 2011, Peru)

For one reason or another, many Rums that were on my lectern were emptied around the same time. No, not down the sink, just finished them the proper way, enjoying them. Meaning, lots of new Rums got their corks pulled out lately! This Rum Nation Peruano 8yo is the indirect replacement of the Rum Nation Martinique Hors d’Âge I reviewed earlier. An indirect replacement in the sense that it is just a bottle from the same bottler. The true direct replacement is obviously another Rum from the island of Martinique. Which one? Well, we’ll get into that in due course.

Here we have a Rum from the-not-so-caribbean-island of Peru, yes I mean the South American country. Just goes to show that Rum is made all over the world, and why not, there are more South-American countries known for having a sugar-industry and subsequently making Rum, or Ron as they call it. You must have heard of Guyana, Brazil and Surinam? The Rum I’m about to review, was made at the Cartavio plant in La Libertad, where mainly sugar is made as well as ethanol. The facility is built and guarded like a fortress. Looking at the plant, I have never seen so much barbed wire since WW II. So, don’t climb over the wall, because you will be shot! I’m not kidding people, this message is painted on their wall. I guess they don’t like corporate espionage at Cartavio. I’m amazed Fabio got out of there alive, especially since they make their own brand of Rum called Cartavio. Soleras yes, but also with a minimum, yes, a minimum age statement. Not only did Fabio get out of there alive, he got out of there with enough Ron to produce his own brand of Ron Millionario, with the Solera 15 (no age statement intended) and the XO. Since both are quite the success, in 2008 Fabio issued a true 8yo fully matured in Bourbon barrels. So let’s have a look at the 2011 model, shall we?

Color: Copper gold.

Nose: This one starts out with a mix of fruit, paper, wood, leather and loads of fresh air. Underneath already a deeper, warmer more brooding note. Hot rainforest with some florality to it as well. Will it be sweet? I say this because the nose presents itself as a whole, rather than (many) distinct aroma’s. Usually this happens when a Rum has sugar added somewhere in the production process. Syrup and it even smells a bit sticky. Corn syrup with a refreshing vegetal note and some more fresh oak and an unexpected peppery note. More spices show themselves as well as wood and even some slightly scorched wood. Well integrated red fruit notes, like children’s lemonade. So again, I fear the sweetness this might have. Not very complex yet well-balanced.

Taste: Initially, and luckily, not as sweet as I feared, although it does taste sugary. It has some sweetness, and that may very well be (in part) added. Is it a problem? No, not really. Right after the sweeter more smooth part, there is a slightly bitter, oaky backbone, which stays around for a while. Some sugared yellow fruits. I struggle a bit to pick up the aroma’s in this, since, like the nose, this Rum presents itself as one whole. So added sugar, it must have. It’s friendly and nice. Simple, but definitely a sipper. I did use this recently to make my first brownies ever, which says more about the other Rums on my lectern than this particular one.

This is considered to be yet another entry-level Rum from Rum Nation and that is what it is. It’s might be rather simple, lacking a bit of complexity if you are a true aficionado. On my lectern this is the Rum I start with. It’s the easiest sipper, it’s good but it is also a bit unadventurous, smooth (usually spells sugar) and actually at times a bit boring as well. Due to a lack of complexity I like to follow this up with the El Dorado 15yo, which has more complexity (and definitely more sugar), but both go together remarkably well. Enough said.

Points: 83

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Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial (40%, Peru)

Rum, Rhum, Ron all words for the same beverage. The fact that there are so many ways to describe this drink shows us that Rum is made all over the world. But then again, which drink isn’t? Whisky is made all over the world now and so is Wine. This particular Rum, or Ron in this case wasn’t made on a small Caribbean island, but in the northern part of Peru, South America. Ron Millonario have a website, but somehow it only shows their 15yo Solera Reserva Especial. This Super Premium XO Reserva Especial is nowhere to be found. The  Millonario Rums are made by slow distillation of sugar cane molasses, using three old Scottish column stills. The distillery has its own coopers that make casks from American and Slavonian! oak. The 15yo Rum is made with four stage Solera system. Chip Dykstra mentiones that for the XO a fifth stage may be introduced, lifting the age by 3 to 6 extra years over the 15yo mentioned above. Mind you, in Rum, 15yo means that the oldest Rum is 15yo, whereas in Whisky 15yo means that the youngest Whisky is 15 years old.

The XO is limited to 6000 bottles per annum.

Ron Millonario XO Reserva EspecialColor: Copper Brown

Nose: Sweet, floral and quite light. The rum also brings a small hint of acetone and dry wood. Dry powdered raspberry sweets, which also resemble not quite ripe cherries. Toffee, old vanilla and wood again. It doesn’t promise heavy sweetness. Tiny hints of young Cuban tobacco and cookie dough and wet brown sugar, which still doesn’t make this Rum smell “sweet”. Very interesting smell, but not a powerhouse.

Taste: Well balanced stuff, this is (Yoda). Seems a bit light at 40% ABV though, but still has a lot going for it. Very sweet (honey) and well made. Small hints of licorice that goes extremely well with the honey I mentioned earlier. It has quite some staying power and the finish sometimes resembles a cognac. Very smooth stuff. Elegant.

The profile seems to be a bit middle of the road for me, but the view from the middle is quite spectacular. The sweetness is perfect as is the balance. The only thing wrong with it is that it’s quite expensive, but hey, most Whiskies cost (a lot) more than this, so I guess buying this it would be money well spent. Recommended!

Points: 85