Ron Montero Gran Reserva

Ron Montero Gran Reserva Rum Review by the fat rum irateRon Montero is a rum producer from Motril, Spain. Ron Montero Gran Reserva is the premium end of their regular line up of rums.  They also released a “Super Premium” rum to celebrate 50 years of rum making the “Ron Francisco Montero”.

In 1963 the Ron Montero distillery was founded by the Montero-Martin family.  The family had been cultivating sugar cane for three generations. Finally the owner Don Francisco Montero-Martin decided to produce rum.

There is a lot of information to be found on the companies website.  Which is also translated into English. This has proved invaluable when researching this rum.

Unlike many other producers (including many from the Caribbean) Ron Montero still cutivate their own sugar cane.  Cutting and processing the cane which produces the molasses they use in their rums.

This molasses is then fermented for a period of 24 to 30 hours. Ron Montero then use a four column still set up to distill.  They use two different kinds of alcohol in their rums a 80% proof sugar cane “agua aguardiente” and a 96% proof alcohol (you might term this as neutral spirit).

They also mention that they create a vacuum in the first column, which allows them to boil the alcohol at 65 degrees centigrade rather than 80.  As a result they claim that this produces a better quality rum.  I’m no scientist or distiller so I have no idea how feasible this claim is.

Ron Montero then age their rum in 500 Litre Virgin American Oak barrels.  So if If I am understanding correctly this means that the barrels are brand new and have not contained bourbon previously.  I can only wonder that such barrels must be pretty expensive?  I suspect they really mean they have been used once for Bourbon but never for rum.

The rum is then matured in a four tier Solera system. Similar to the one detailed at Santa Teresa in Venezuela.  Aware of the controversy regarding age statements in the rum world, Ron Montero do not employ age statements. They blend and bottle their rums when they feel they have the right flavour rather than the right age. This claim has also been made by Caribbean producers such as Mount Gay for their XO.

Ron Montero’s rums are then blended and reduced down to 40% ABV. Rather than 37.5 or 38% which is quite common in the Latin World.

As you can see from the production process Ron Montero are producing what would be termed a “Cuban, Latin or Spanish” style of light column distilled rum.  The level of detail on their website regarding the production has to be applauded.  Having said that I do have concerns with snippets about “secret formulas”.

If you do travel to Motril (some cruise ships dock there) then there are free distillery visits in both Spanish and English most days.  I would contact them ahead of time if you wish to visit – they have a contact form on the site.

In the UK a bottle of Ron Montero Gran Reserva costs around £30 and is bottled at 40% ABV as mentioned earlier.  It is imported by Amathus who have a great selection of rums in their portfolio.  In Spain the price is likely to be much cheaper.  I confess I can’t recall seeing any the last time I was in Spain but it was Benidorm, so probably not the best place to find anything authentically Spanish!

The rum has no age statement but is presumably made up of rums older than the Ron Plata (White rum) and Ron Palido (Amber Rum).  These are also available – around £20-24 in the UK.

So with out further ado lets move onto a tasting of what the rear label claims “considered by experts to be one of the best rums in the world”.

In the glass the rum is a nice golden brown colour.  It has a very “typical” appearance so is likely coloured to ensure consistency.

The nose is sweet and very Cuban in style.  It is very definitely a “Ron”.  Toffee, chocolate, cocoa combine with tobacco and leather.  It is reminiscent of Havana Club 7 though I feel it shows more balance.  It doesn’t have too much tar and tobacco.

There is a quite refreshing hit of alcohol. I don’t get the feeling the rum has been sweetened or dosed to much.  It has a nice cleanness to it.

Sipped Ron Montero Gran Reserva is very approachable.  Th

Ron Montero Gran Reserva Rum review by the fat rum pirate

ankfully it has a little more bite than “ron” from the Dominican Republic (particularly Oliver & Oliver products).  It is much fresher and vibrant than some of the heavily dosed Abuelo products.

It delivers an initial sweetness – brown sugar and a little nuttiness.  This soon gives way to a nice smokiness – its quite a woody rum.  Definitely one you would pair with a cigar.  It’s very sippable whilst it isn’t particularly challenging – you can soon get to grips with its profile it is reasonably complex.

The finish is a reasonable length though its not particularly strong.  After the initial mouth feel and mid palate the rum does become just a little on the thin side.  Maybe a slightly higher ABV might help with this.

If you are fond of the readily available Havana Club rums in particularl the 7 Year Old then I think you would get a lot of enjoyment from this.  For its style it is well constructed and quite tasty.  It also works well as a mixer but it is best enjoyed on its own in my opinion.

Likewise if you are looking for a drier more oaky “ron” to try this also may appeal.

All in all this little known rum is pretty decent performer.  It’s certainly a lot better than some of the “ron” which sells by the caseload!

 

 

 

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