Ron Cartavio XO 18 Anos

Ron Cartavio XO Rum Review by the fat rum pirateRon Cartavio XO is the top of the line for this Peruvian rum maker. It is now noted as being an 18 year old rum – it is no longer labelled as a Solera system rum. I reviewed their 12 “Year” Solera rum a while back and found it to be pretty average. Other than that my own experience of Peruvian rum has been with the frankly abominable Ron Millonario XO.

Ron Cartavio XO comes housed in a very nice decanter style bottle with a  nice black and gold box to store the rum in. As you would expect at the price it comes with a cork sopper complete with a wire mesh to keep it in place before the buyer opens it. It very much screams “gift” bottle. It will appeal to the more casual luxury consumer.

A 70cl bottle of Ron Cartavio XO will set you back around £70. It is produced by Destillerias Unidas, S.A.C inTrujillo, Peru. From what I can gather it is a Pot/Column blend (though I suspect its probably just column) and the rums contained in the blend have been aged solely in Peru in American, Scottish, Slovenian Oak and French Limousine casks. The master blender is a Don Federico Schulz. They have been producing rums since 1929 for the domestic market. Only more recently have they began exporting worldwide

Further information on the brand can be found here.

The Hydrometer showed that 44g/l of “additives” are present in this rum. Which is comparable to Ron Millonario XO’s 40g/L. It will be interesting to see how different the two rums are.Ron Cartavio XO 18 Anos Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

In the glass Ron Cartavio XO is a dark brown with a very deep reddish hue.

Nosing the rum is a familiar experience. There is a lot of sweet toffee and caramel on the nose. Hint of butterscotch. Its quite floral and a little sickly smelling. From memory it seems to have a bit more of an oaky profile than the Millonario XO. It’s very sweet and light.

It’s really easy to sip – there is minimal burn. You don’t really get a sense of really drinking a spirit. It doesn’t even feel like a 40% drink. It tastes a bit like cheap strawberry bubblegum. There is a hint of spiciness in the finish but only once the cloyingly sweet sugar water taste has disappeared.

It has also has quite a bitter sweet saccharin like after taste which really jars with me. It reminds me of that final swallow of sweet milky tea when you have put far too much sugar in.

Surprisingly its not very “gloopy” or viscous. The mouthfeel is very thin and it really doesn’t go anywhere in the mouth. Next to no finish and barely any kind of mid palate. You can drink this how you would drink a mixed drink. It really is that easy to knock back.

It’s not much cop. In fact its the weakest rum I have every had in terms of alcohol burn. Its some achievement to mask a rum in such a way with dreadful cloying synthetic sweetness.

Ron Cartavio XO 18 Anos Rum Review by the fat rum pirateI’m not sure if it is quite as bad as the Milonario – but its very similar. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are one and the same to be honest.

If you want this kind of rum then you can pick up any number of Venezuelan and Guatemalan rums for half the price DRE, Zacapa and Cacique. All of which whilst far from wonderful are better than this.

Its pretty shocking really and worrying that people think they are enjoying a fine rum with this. It’s just appealing to our love and weakness for sugary food and drink.

Dreadful stuff.

1 star

1 star



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5 comments on “Ron Cartavio XO 18 Anos

  1. I find rather courious this review; specially, considering that this is the same rum that in 2009-2010 wan the silver medal at The International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, Gold medal in 2014 at the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, Premio “Sabor Superior” at the competition Superior Taste Award 2015, in Belgium. But, what do they know, right? The despective guy on the internet knows best… LOL

    • I can only give me one opinions on such rums. It is full of additives as the review states.

  2. Wow! One of the worst reviews I’ve ever seen! Taste is subjective but, come on!

    • Taste is indeed subjective. Which is why objective information is supplied regarding the additives present in this “rum”. There are any number of high scoring reviews of this rum. However I review a rum from the perspective of what rum should taste like. A column distilled rum aged for 18 years shouldn’t taste like a synthetic sugar syrup. If you want to keep up the pretence you are spending £70 plus on a fine rum by all means do so. There are many reviewers out there who will not address things such as additives. Some will even tell you Captain Morgan’s Jack O’ Blast is a quality sipping rum. Each to there own but don’t expect that level of freebie seeking here.

      • Exactly right, this kind of rum and stuff like Diplomatico Ex Reserva is not for real rum drinkers it’s just sweetened stuff for people with sweet teeth. It has it’s place of course but is a stepping stone to serious stuff like Foursquare exceptional cask series

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