Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum

Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum. This is a re-review. I originally reviewed this back in 2015. At the time it was my 100th review. To be honest I’ve since stopped counting but we must be approaching 500 by now.

Anyway Santa Teresa are a rum producer from Venezuela. This 1796 rum was originally released back in 1996 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Hacienda Santa Teresa distillery.

Since that review, like so many of the rums I reviewed a few years the presentation has been updated. I say in this case updated as they have kept a lot of the old presentation (blue and red cylinder, wax sealed bottle and general colour scheme). The main changes are to the font used on the front labels.

I like the presentation and at around £40-45 it is certainly more than in keeping with other rums at that price point. Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum is bottled at 40% ABV. Many commentators do not like the use of the term Solera in rum production. In many instances an actual Solera (as is popular in sherry making) is not in place. It is merely a blend of rums and the age statement used is the oldest rum in the blend. Regardless of how much of this is actually present.

Santa Teresa do not employ age statements on any of their rums. So they do not use big numbers to deceive their customers – unless you think the rum in this bottle was distilled in 1796. If that were the case it might be a little more than £45 a bottle!

Santa Teresa 1796 has recently been picked up by Bacardi International for global distribution outside of its homeland. Initially Bacardi are looking to the travel retail market (Airports) and have introduced a new 1 litre bottle to that particular segment of the market. Quite why Bacardi have opted not to carry the rest of the Santa Teresa range may have something to do with the strength of their own brand in the entry-level section.

Interestingly Bacardi have also decided to publish nutritional information on their website which shows that Santa Teresa has some added sugar. The original test of Santa Teresa I carried out in 2015 showed a reading of 0-5 g/L as per the Hydrometer. A re-test sees the hydrometer bobbing at 38% ABV. This would give a reading of 8g/L which is slightly “lower” than Bacardi’s stated 0.5 g/L per 1.5 oz serving. Which would work at around 12g/L. Bacardi have listed information on a lot of their other rums and the lowest I can for an actual reading is 0.5 g/L. It seems to be either 0.5 or 0. Though I have not checked all their results.

Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum Review by the fat rum pirateSanta Teresa 1796 is a molasses based rum. Most (though not all) the sugar cane is harvested on the Santa Teresa Estate. The rum is produced on a multi column still – Santa Teresa do have a Pot Still and it has been said that there is some Pot Stil rum, in this blend and the Bi-Centenario rum they released a few years back. However, I have never seen anything concrete beyond this claim. The rum is aged in both Ex-Bourbon and French Limousin Oak which will likely have been used to age wine or cognac. You can find some more information – particularly on the Solera method used here. It has also been noted that some of the rum in this blend is 35 years old.

So lets see how I find this rum or “ron” a few years further down the old rum journey.

In the glass Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum is a dark brown with very vivid orange flashes and edges.

Nosing reveals a sweet, light and very fruity style of rum. I am immediately but in mind of sherry and madeira. Plump juicy raisins, plums, redcurrants an a touch of raspberry. A slightly tart note at the end. Red wine and a hint of cinnamon.

Further nosing reveals.some dark chocolate and some smoky cigar like tobacco notes. All in all the nose is sweet yet complex with a very nice overall balance.

Sipping Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum is a very pleasant little drop. It’s not as sweet as the nose. Some slightly tannic red wine like notes are present alongside the sherry and madeira like notes. It is fruity initially but this fruitiness develops into a drier almost smoky mid palate.

Red and white grapes, raspberries and some juicy plum move into a beautifully balanced array of dry red wine, tobacco and some smoke. Present throughout is some dark chocolate and just enough woody oak to add an extra layer of complexity.

Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum Review by the fat rum pirateFinish wise Santa Teresa 1796 Solera Rum is perhaps a little on the short side. It’s lighter wine influenced character leaves the finish a touch on the short side. Such is the lighter profile of this rum the finish never quite gets going.

That said this is a much more authentic sipping experience than many of today’s “ron’s”. I would rank it alongside Botran and Flor de Cana 18 in terms of a lighter column Spanish style rum.

Whilst it may not be to everyone’s current tastes I wouldn’t knock this rum without having first tried it.

As Bacardi have recently taken over distribution of this except to see a lot more of it. If all “ron” was more like this, it perhaps wouldn’t be looked down upon so much by rum enthusiasts.

 

 

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