Destilleras Arehucas have been producing rum in the Canary Islands since 1884. So they have over 130 years of rum making experience.
Honey Rum (or Ron Miel) from the Canary Islands is quite famous. It is basically a golden rum blended with honey. The ABV of which is usually around the 20% mark. Making it more of a liqueur than a rum.
As well as producing Ron Miel Guanche, perhaps the most recognised brand of Honey Rum Arehucas also produce “straight” rums. Carta Oro is their entry level rum.
Bottled at 37.5% ABV Carta Oro has quite a distinctive yellow label and cap which makes it stand out from the crowd. The presentation isn’t anything too exciting but Arehucas do have a standard red and white logo which is consistent throughout their line up. The price of this rum varies greatly, even in Spain and on the various islands surrounding Spain. I’ve seen it as low as 6 Euros and as high at 20 Euros. If you get a bottle imported into the UK expect to pay upwards of £20 for a 70cl bottle. From what I can gather, the rum in this bottle has been aged for only 1 year.
The Arehucas Distillery is situated on the island of Gran Canaria. Their website speaks of modern industrial techniques and a state of the art bottling plant. They produce other spirits, so I’m guessing that their rums are produced on multi column stills. If they do have any old Pot Stills they do not mention them in their marketing. They do mention however that the Canary Islands are the “cradle of rum” which I find a little puzzling and no explanation is really given!
Arehucas rum’s go right up to a 20 year old Golden Rum – Captain Kidd which retails at around £180 (probably a lot less in Spain/The Canaries). I’ve never seen this rum reviewed or tried it myself. In fact I’ve heard next to nothing about it.
The distillery has a museum and a visitor centre so I’ve I’m ever in Gran Canaria I’ll try and get along for a visit.
Anyway moving onto the contents of the bottle.
First up for a rum aged for only 12 months its remarkably dark. Clearly amongst the modern industrial techniques lurks one of adding Caramel Colouring. I’ve no real issue with this. It’s a fairly standard practice. Some insist it alters the taste but I have no real way of determining if this is true. I’ve been told that the small amounts needed to alter the colour do not in anyway change the taste or smell of the rum. I’ll leave others to argue the toss about it. I think the rum world has a lot more problems to worry about such as fake age statements, suspect “finishing” and reviews for freebies.
Again I digress apologies. Back to Arehucas Carta Oro.
The rum is a nice golden brown colour. A classic rum colour if you like. It’s quite vibrant and certainly looks the part.
Unfortunately the nose isn’t very inviting. It smells mostly of young slightly gritty alcohol. It’s a kind of sweet tobacco like nose. It reminds me a little of Havana Club. There is a little vanilla on the nose and flashes of oak but all in all it all smells a bit too smokey for my liking.
Sipped it is a little subdued (possibly due to the low ABV). It’s quite sweet – vanilla, maybe a trace of chocolate. The sweetness though is mainly the young aggressive alcohol which makes sipping quite an unpleasant experience. Initially it seems quite light and nicely balanced but it quickly turns in the palate and becomes almost metallic tasting with far too much of that tobacco note. I don’t think it is so much bitter more just unpleasant with to many off notes.
Mixed in a rum and cola its passable. It’s fairly innocuous but you notice more on the finish how young and unbalanced the rum is. After a while it just becomes unpleasant.
Other than being cheap this rum doesn’t really have any redeeming features. Young, alcohol heavy with some metallic, tobacco-ey notes which just all meld into a pretty awful experience be it as a mixer or a sipper. I suppose at only 12 months of ageing you shouldn’t expect much.
To be fair I didn’t expect much so I wasn’t overly disappointed. This rum itself is extremely disappointing though.