Pampero Aniversario Reserva Exclusiva (40%, Circa 2009, Venezuela)

Nearly summer, but already quite a lot of sunny days. Add to that that I live besides a lake, makes for an almost carribean feel. Well, no white sandy beaches, no palm trees, and not really crystal clear water, but you can’t have it all can’t you? Not so long ago I reviewed a trio of Rums, which I haven’t done for a while then and I must admit, I had quite a lot of fun with them. So why not do it again? Lets start with a Rum most Rum aficionado’s know very well. Pampero Aniversario. If you don’t recognize the picture below, this Rum is sold in a leather pouch, which also comes in handy when wiping moisture off of your windscreen.

Pampero AniversarioColor: Dark brown.

Nose: When you see the (dark) color of this Rum, you expect a lot nosing this for the first time, but it actually smells sweet, but also very elegant and middle of the roadish. It sounds worse than I actually mean. Reminds me a bit of Abuelo 7yo (which is sharper) and the 18yo Panamanian Rum from Rum Nation (which is less sweet). Light, fresh and fragrant. Hints of cinnamon and thick brown sugar. Lightly acidic fruit and cola. New leather and butterscotch.

Taste: Quite thin and for a brief moment sugary sweet, acidic, cola again. (Slightly burnt) brown sugar, but alas a bit thin (as in watery) and a bit too simple. It is even drier than expected. Hints of bitterness from wood and slightly burnt caramel. Creamy toffee with hints of vanilla. All flavours are well integrated. Short finish, which leaves you only with the burnt aftertaste.

The color alone made for great expectations. Alas the Rum itself is rather light. I can’t help but feel this has a lot more potential than it is allowed to show, so that everybody will like it. Just smell the Rum deeply, let it breathe a lot, its very complex, well balanced and nice. Taste wise a lot simpler and lighter, with a short finish. This Rum has a profile with lots of competitors. I already mentioned Abuelo from Panama, but also Diplomatico from Venezuela itself or Zacapa 23 from Diageo themselves.

Points: 79

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Rum Week – Day 1: Diplomático 12yo Reserva Exclusiva (40%, Venezuela)

Let’s finish off this first month of the year with another Master Quill week. I like doing these weeks and the theme can be almost anything. This third week will be all about rum. Isn’t that a surprise, since I never reviewed rum on these pages before. So time to pull up the drawbridge, leave the moat alone and lock myself between the thick walls of Master Quill’s castle.

Diplomático is a Venezuelan rum. Just click on the link and you’ll see how many awards this baby got in its life. It should be pretty good then…

Color: Copper Gold

Nose: Half sweet and very aromatic rum. Vibrant and lively. Hints of sharp dry wood. Not thick nor cloying. Grassy with oranges, and raspberry syrup. Fruit liqueur. There are some more wood influences and do I detect the smallest hint of smoke? Probably the cask toast. Also some pastry in it, cookie dough, cake with raisins. Toasted bread. Cocos and sappy oak again. Lots going on in here. The nose is lovely although I do feel it is covered under a sugar blanket. An effect similar to adding caramel coloring to Single Malt Whisky. Homogenizing the smell.

Taste: Sweet. Very sweet. Heaps of chewy toffee with quickly a hint of wood. Strange enough a very thin texture, nothing syrupy as you might have expected. Very much about toffee, caramel and fudge. Actually pretty clean this one, but it has a bit of a disturbed balance by something sour that doesn’t fit this type of sweetness. I feel the sweetness and the acidity are in a constant fight with each other, but obviously the sweetness wins since this is über-sweet. Cold chocolate sauce on vanilla ice cream. This is actually so sweet that it hides a lot of the aroma’s that must be there. The finish is also dominated by sugar, and burned sugar, (and a fruity note), making the finish fall flat on its face.

I poured this once over vanilla ice with warm chocolate sauce and it worked wonders. This rum is a dessert in its own right. It has a fabulous nose a somewhat less complex taste. I think there is a lot of potential to this, and I feel a well aged rum at a higher ABV with more wood ageing and less sweet and ‘thin’, should be pretty spectacular.

From a single malt point of view, I wouldn’t recommend this, and that is pretty strange. Venezuela is a good market for single malt scotches, so one would expect… Well it has its uses, but I don’t feel it’s a sipping rum. For me this is more a rum you should ‘do’ something with. Mix it, Cocktail it, or put it on your dessert. It’s good never the less, the super-sweet style is just not so much for me.

Points: 75