Flor de Cana Centenario 12

Flor De Cana 12 Year Old Rum Review NicaraguaFlor de Cana (Sugar Cane Flower) are a well known and well respected rum producer from Nicaragua, Central America.  This rum is slow aged for 12 years and bottled by Campana Licorera de Nicaragua.  UK distribution of the rum is handled by Amathus Drinks PLC www.amathusdrinks.co.uk.  Whom procure a number of more exotic spirit offerings.The Centenario 12 is bottled at 40% ABV and I obtained a 70cl bottle which cost a little over £40 in the UK.

The bottle itself as seen in the picture is flat faced, short and squat (a bit like the reviewer).  Although the enclosure looks like a cork it is in fact a plastic screw top with (unusually for the UK market) a diffuser lurking beneath.  I found this a bit of surprise for what is marketed as a premium rum.  It’s also a pain in the ass!  The rum is housed in a very elegant felt and card box which gave the rum a bit of WOW factor on the shelf.  Overall the presentation is good, the labelling is clear and uncluttered and the colour scheme is consistent between bottle and presentation box.  The Flor De Cana range will shortly be having a bit of a makeover and the bottles will take on a slightly more modern twist.  I think this is a bit of a shame as I find the bottle has a bit of a old world charm about it.  It looks very Central/Southern American.  The new style looks much more European.  See picture below.

I usually review my rum’s quite quickly after getting them (though I have learned not to do so after just one tasting).  Unfortunately despite ordering the photo shoot by my photographer a few months ago (okay my wife takes the pictures in our back room) I never got round to reviewing this rum.  There were reasons for this which I will explain more as I go through the reviewing process.

So onto the rum and how it looks in the bottle and the glass.  As you can see from the picture the rum is both a beautiful golden brown in the bottle and the glass.  The nose is full of sweet caramel, toffee-apple and a gentle mix of spices.  There is very little astringency or “booze” noted in the nose.  It’s indeed like a Sugar Cane Flower.  Sweet and light almost floral.  All upto now is going very well and I’m looking forward to tasting the rum.

A sip reveals a very smooth yet spicy rum.  There is very little burn it tingles on the lips and tongue for a long time. It is a long finish.  The spicy heat gives way to a bitter after taste which remains in the mouth for a long time.  The caramel and toffee so prominent on the nose seem to disappear.  I was expecting a much sweeter profile but all I am getting is a smooth yet bitter taste on my palate.  It reminds me a little of a single malt whisky, as it’s also quite dry.  From the nose the rum isn’t quite what I was expecting.  One of the reasons I have put off reviewing this spirit is that the reviews I have read have pointed out its consistency through nosing and sipping.  Yet I find myself  experiencing the opposite what smelt sweet and fruity has now become very spicy and bitter.  I’m a little puzzled so I’m going to add a little ice.  This may give way to some of the sweet flavours and notes of vanilla etc other reviews have spoken of.

The ice levels out the bitterness a little but it doesn’t introduce any further flavours to my palate.  Unlike the Cuban and Dominican syle rums the Flor De Cana doesn’t have that strange buttery petrol/tobacco taste in fact it isn’t very oaky and smoky at all.  I suspect the chocolate references must be in relation to the bitterness.  Personally I would say this is more a cocoa like profile than chocolate (even very dark chocolate).  The ice cube also helps with the dryness of the finish leaving it much less whisky like.Flor 2

The problem is I feel not that I have necessarily been swayed by the sweeter sipping rums such as Diplomatico, La Hechicera, El Dorado (well this may be part of the problem) or even Pyrat XO, it’s more the fact that the UK has such an obsession with dark fruity inexpensive blended rums.  These rums such as Skipper, Lambs, OVD and Watson’s are usually blended with a good chunk of Demerara Rum, which is as sweet as honey.  The cold climate of the UK means that more often than not we are drinking rum in quite large measures just to keep the cold out! Sipping a half pint of some super expensive 25 year old Bajan hand bottled super rum is simply economical.  I’m afraid our tastes are just a little bit sweeter the rum drinkers of the UK.  Think about it logically if we weren’t rum drinkers it would be whisky.

I always said that these rum reviews would be based solely on my personal preference.  So once again this is a review which many will disagree with.  That is absolutely fine.  Please do not EVER take these reviews as anything more than my own personal taste.

Anyway disclaimer over I’ll do what any self respecting Englishman would do…………Mix my rum with a wash of cola!  It works okay to be honest but at £40 a bottle I don’t really want to be drinking a rum that expensive that way.  It’s still quite bitter.

My final scoring reflects the fact that I am 100% aware this is a very decent, well made and crafted rum.  However, the score also takes into account that I could personally spend my £40 on a rum(s) I would enjoy more.

2 stars



Flor De Cana rum is available from






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