Ron Espero – which roughly translates to “Rum of Hope” hails from the Dominican Republic and is bottled in Panama. They have a fairly uninspiring English language website and the rum is imported into Europe by Haromex Development GmbH.
The website has only been going since 2013. I’ve no doubt they’ve been producing rum for longer than that. I think that this may well be the first English language review of any of their rums. Online the rum seems to be getting widely ignored.
This is the most expensive of the three rums they produce. It is a 12 year old solero blended rum. I usually opt for a companies cheaper efforts when I’m first trying a new brand. In this case at £25.95 with their other rum £23 and £25 respectively I thought I may as well go for the best.
Despite being Reserva Exclusiva (think Diplomatico) I was disappointed to find that the attractive bottle had a metallic screw cap. I was even more dismayed when I found I had to cut some of the thread with a knife as they had broken and I was left with the unopen spinning bottle top. I hate that and it wasn’t a good start. The glass bottle however is very substantial and the bottle is fairly distinctive. The website continued a strong brand identity which I always like.
The rum is a darkish brown colour. It doesn’t give off a very strong smell initially. As a result I was expecting a light tasting rum despite the rums deep colour. Upon tasting neat the rum almost immediately causes the tongue to tingle with what tastes a lot like aniseed. A further taste confirms this as the rum almost numbs the mouth. This isn’t unpleasant if you like aniseed as I do but I would imagine this wouldn’t sit well with many people.
Upon mixing with a little cola the rum reveals a lot of smokiness along with the aniseed which is muted by the cola.
I had hoped I was getting myself a bit of a bargain with this rum an undiscovered gem perhaps. In all honesty I can’t see this rum really going anywhere. The packaging is okay, the rum is okay, there’s just so much competition that I can’t really see this rum turning up any trees.
With a bit savvy marketing and maybe a toning down of the aniseed flavour maybe they could have something but I doubt they have the clout to be honest. They’re probably just pleased to have a European Importer.
This is far from being a bad rum but it just doesn’t stand out. It’s an average mixer and an average sipper.