Cuban Rum has been in the headlines quite a bit lately due to the news of the Cuban/US embargo being at least partially lifted.
Bristol Classic Rum have also been high on the radar in the Rum World due to a number of new expressions hitting the markets in recent months. Bristol really seem to be expanding into different countries to increase their repetoir of fine rums.
Rums from distilleries such as Barbancourt and Foursquare have continued to grow respect and love for Bristol Classic Rum along with their classic Port Morants (sic) and other Demerara Rums.
The rum under review today is a 10 year old Cuban rum from the Sancti Spiritus Distillery in Central Cuba. Which has been in operation since 1946. This rum has recently been re-released with an extra 2 years ageing 2003-2015. This one is 2003-2013.
The presentation of the Bristol series of rums is something I really like. I like the hand made aspect to the stickers on each tube and the consistent choice of bottle and tube. I don’t know why but I like a consistent brand identity. This Cuban rum comes with pale blue labelling. The label gives all the details required regarding the rum. 10 year old rum from the Sancti Spiritus Distillery distilled in 2003 bottled in 2013. It notes that the rum is column distilled (as with most “ron”). Matured in charred oak barrels (Bourbon). It is another rum which the CEO of Bristol Rum John Barrett notes as to “enjoy on the rocks, with your favourite mixer or in good “cocktails”. This is something many rum snobs should note!
Overall, I haven’t been that impressed with Cuban rum and “ron” in general. I find its light style works well when mixed but offers little excitement, on many occasions when aged. Still there are always rums out there that can surprise.
A bottle of this rum in the UK will set you back around £40-45 for a 70cl. It is bottled at 43% ABV.
Much like Bristol’s Diamond 1998 I find that the nose on this rum is quite “vegetal” with some very grassy like notes and a kind of plant like spiciness. A further nosing reveals some nice notes of light fruits. Green Apple and a Pears. Some little oak ageing is also in the mix with some notes of slightly spicy pepper and some light slightly vegetal like woodiness. It’s very clean and smells almost “fresh” like a freshly mowed field.
Sipping the rum offers very nice crisp, clean experience. It’s not a big hitting rum like say a Jamaican or Caroni nor is it similar to the more premium sugary kind of rums. It does have quite a lot of complexity and flavour but it is subtle. Again much like the Diamond 1998 – that is not a “full on” Demerara but is good on its own merits.
It is most like Mezan’s Panama or Barbancourt 8 (without the wine/cognac like notes). It’s very smooth and easy sipping with a lot of light and vibrant flavours. Light fruits as mentioned, some very well balanced light oak and a finish which gives a nice peppery flavour, mixed with some charred bourbon sweet/sour like notes.
As a sipper, I wouldn’t put in the upper tier of but is a very enjoyable easy going drink.
However, whilst mixing this rum gives good results it’s perhaps at the upper end of most peoples budgets when it comes to mixing drinks. Maybe adding a bit class to special cocktails is its best use rather than having it as an everyday Rum and Coke mixer.
It’s not quite as rich and complex as the Mezan Panama. I suppose many will expect me to compare this to Havana Club rums but it doesn’t display much of the tobacco and petrol notes of the younger Havana Club rums. It doesn’t have all that much in common with the Seleccion de Maestro offering either. It’s quite a distinctive rum.
This rum definitely offers something different and is certainly one I am pleased to have tried. A hard rum to try and pigeon hole.