Rum Nation Solera No14 – 2012 Release

Rum Nation Solera No14 Demerara Rum Review by the fat rum pirateA Solera aged Demerara rum from Italian Independent bottler Rum Nation. Sounds intriguing  This is a release from back in 2012 – they have released subsequent vintages in later years.

Rum Nation buy bulk blends of Demerara rum aged for approximately 5 years.  This bulk rum is from the Port Morant and Versailles Wooden Pot Stills at Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana.

It is then transferred to PX and Oloroso Sherry casks and aged for at 12 to 14 months.

After this process stocks of Rum Nation’s 1997 vintage Enmore rum was added before bottling.  So as you can see a true Solera rum it is not.  It’s just a blend really.

I picked up this bottle fairly recently in a specialist retailer (the name escapes me and I’ve struggled to Google it) in San Remo.  It cost a rather exact 29 euros and 80 cents.  When I have seen this rum for sale in the UK I’m sure it has cost around £40-45.  It is bottled at 40% and the tall functional bar style bottle is 70cl.  The more recent 2015 bottling has been changed to the dumpier bottled used by other “cheaper” rums from Rum Nation.

The presentation isn’t bad a nice plastic and card tall sleeve and the usual stamp labels on the bottle showing the island the rum originates from.  Which is a feature of nearly all Rum Nation’s bottlings.  They use old historical stamps as the basis of their labels.  There isn’t a great deal of information on the actual contents of the bottle – which I always find disappointing from an Independent bottler.  Still this is the firm that produces Ron Millonario so a good marketing story is rarely far away.  On this instance we get it on the rear label.  It’s interesting but as the bottle is lacking any real information regarding its contents I find it to be superfluous.Rum nation Solero No14 Demerara Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Fabio Rossi who runs Rum Nation has been keen to conduct Laboratory tests on his rums and has supplied information to other rum reviewers and commentators.  I haven’t seen any information regarding this rum besides on Drecon.dk.  Johnny’s findings like mind indicate around 17-19 g/L of “additives” in this rum.

Rum Nation are not an Independent bottler that have a stance that I’m aware of that is “anti additives”.  They produce Ron Millonario as well (though not under the Rum Nation banner) so I guess they aren’t……..if they are then they need a word with someone involved in production!

I never quite got to the bottom of what the No14 denotes either.  I’m sure we’ve all seen numbers attached to the solera “age statement” of many a bottle.  Quite why you use No14 for a blend between 4 and 6 years old is of course subject to speculation and people have a right to be sceptical……..The ageing information I found for this bottling was not from the Rum Nation site or the bottle.

Am I being a overly critical and perhaps a touch cynical? Maybe but I like to speak as I find.

As some of the rum in the bottle is from a 1997 vintage I won’t speculate further on the colour of this rum.  To be honest colour in most spirits is a bit of a moot point.  Most are coloured as people just won’t buy a bottle that looks like urine.

I will speculate however on the nose.  One of the things I’ve always conceded about DDL El Dorado rums is that despite the use of added sugar they still display plenty aged character and “rummyness”.  Some altered rums are so far away from being “rum” they just don’t smell anything like it.

So what exactly is on the nose of the No14 Solera.  The answer is I’m not entirely sure.  The initial aroma is one of caramel and butterscotch.  It has notes of a more classic Demerara rum but even by El Dorado standards its pretty sweet.  It’s reminiscant of sticky toffee pudding/caramel.Rum Nation Solera no14 rum review by the fat rum pirate

Beneath the dominant note you get more familiar notes of Demerara rum – raisin and other dried fruits, a little chocolate.  There is a little kick back on the nose a very slight reminder of the youth of the blend. As I delve further and nose more I’m reminded increasingly of Pusser’s rum.  A little perhaps of the Port Morant rum in the blend is showing its teeth.  All in all the nose is fairly well balanced and quite pleasant.

Although this is a younger rum there is nothing in its presentation which indicates it is intended as a mixer.  Entry level for Rum Nation is not your typical entry level rum.  At £40-45 this might still be in the realms of quite expensive for many rum drinkers.

Sipped the rum shows more of its youthful make up.  It has sufficient oak and spice to reveal some ageing but the spiciness has a hit of younger alcohol amongst its richer hints of ginger and cinnamon. 

I’m pleased to see genuine oak ageing at play here because that sadly is not always the case when it comes to Fabio Rossi’s creations.  I’m also pleased that the additions to the rum do not amount so high as to remove some of the alcohol heat from the younger rums.

The sticky toffee pudding notes shine through as you swallow each sip.  Nice notes of caramel and some almost milk chocolate notes make the finish of this rum surprisingly quite smooth.

The influence of the Sherry casks are evident most on the initial sips with a slightly bitter sweet red wine almost “tannic” note.  They may also be adding to the sweeter caramel notes as they seem slightly more complex with each sip. 

Mixing this with cola doesn’t really add a great deal nor does it detract much from the rums profile.  It makes a very nice long drink but its no better or worse then when sipped.

Personally I would have preferred a little more of the richer fruiter more familiar Demerara notes – raisin and dried fruits.  The overall profile of this rum is pretty sweet and I don’t think I would have many glasses of it before I went for something a little more challenging.

It’s pretty decent though overall.

3.5 stars 

 

 

 

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