Ron Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos

Ron Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos rum review by the fat rum pirateRon Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos. I use the exact naming convention adopted on the bottles I review, so apologies for the extra brevity of this reviews title. I guess much like me, these Cuban rum producers have a tendency to waffle…..

For those of you who are unaware and I guess this is where my review is designed to assist, Ron Santiago de Cuba (formerly just Santiago de Cuba) has begun working with global booze conglomerate Diageo. This has led to a re-brand and increased availability here in the UK and Europe.

Ron Santiago de Cuba was first brought to my attention by JBE Imports. It’s a bit of a shame to see that they are no longer involved. They did a great job getting Cuban rum beyond the Havana Club brand, more of an audience here in the UK. I’m pleased to see they are still importing Ron Cubay and many others spirits to the UK. I’ll be honest seeing Diageo taking over a spirits brand, rarely fills me with joy. Then again they don’t pay me to suggest otherwise…………..

Whilst Ron Santiago de Cuba was still being imported by JBE, I was able to review their Carta Blanca, Anejo and 12 Year Old. I did try this bottling at a Rum Festival or two but I never got to sit down at home with a bottle or even a tot.  I heard a lot of good things about the 11 though on Social Media.

A lot of people rate it over the 12. I’ve always found it very curious that a brand would have a entry level white, an “Anejo” and then an 11 and 12 year rum. You wouldn’t expect to find all that much difference between rums only one year apart. Certainly it’s not common practice amongst brands to have continual releases, so close together alongside much younger rums.

Availability of Ron Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos will increase. As I write I can only see it stocked at The Whisky Exchange for £55.95. I don’t think they are opening a ballot on this one so you should be able to secure a bottle. Even if you’ve never bought a rum before in your life.

Ron Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos is bottled at 40% ABV (quite commonly Cuban rum is bottled at 38% ABV). It is said to be the second best selling Cuban rum brand in the world. The first despite not being widely available in the US – one of the biggest rum markets is Havana Club (as in Cuban Havana Club NOT the Havana Club branded rum released in the US market by Bacardi).

The rum is produced from sugar cane grown in the Oriente province of Cuba in the Sout East of the island. Ron Santiago de Cuba is a molasses based rum. Following fermentation and distillation the resulting spirit is charcoal filtered before being transferred to white oak barrels for ageing. The new Santiago de Cuba website notes the rum is aged in “Don Pancho” warehouse which is said to be the “Cathedral of Cuban Rum”. Hmmmmm……..

In terms of presentation Ron Santiago de Cuba are now using 3/4 size stubby bottles with medium size necks. Thankfully the diffusors have now gone. In terms of presentation it looks more modern but not typically Cuban. Still I can imagine the re-design prompting the younger market to make a purchase should they see this in a bar. It fits in very nicely with the type of branding used in the Revolution de Cuba chain of bars here in the UK. Particularly their menu’s.

As tends to be the case with Diageo led brands. You get a pretty website, with some nice stories and some tasting notes and the very basics on the rum. However, there is little of any real substance. Pretty much what I have read about this rum I could have just guessed at anyway. I’ve learnt little new. Should you be interested in the changes to Ron Santiago de Cuba since they began working with Diageo the old website, is also still available.Ron Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos rum review by the fat rum pirate

I have seen in the past Cuba and parts of Cuba being referred to as “The cradle of light rum”. This theme is now being used by Ron Santiago de Cuba.

 

As far as marketing is concerned I’m always a bit suspicious but in this instance I think it is an important distinction to make from a consumer point of view.

Cuban Rum is lighter in style than a lot of other rums. It is also rarely bottled above 40% ABV by domestic producers. A lot of people shy away from such rums. I don’t buy a great deal of them but I usually try to have some lighter rum kicking about. As far as possible I try to make sure these are “additive” free but there are never any guarantees, sadly.

In the glass Ron Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos is a dark brown almost mahogany coloured liquid with an orange hue.

On the nose I am getting quite lot of orange zest and some tangerine. Further nosing reveals some light spices, some subtle woody notes and some tobacco and leather arm chairs.

The nose is actually quite robust for 40% ABV. Whilst its not going to knock anyones socks off there is plenty there to be enjoyed. It is complex with notes of green apple, almonds, pistachio and some fennel.

It’s warm and inviting and nicely balanced.

As a sipper Ron Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos is initially quite sweet with toffee and caramel. I’m also getting some zesty notes of orange again. It’s warm and fruity. Further sips build on the sweeter profile with more of oak and spice coming into play particularly on the mid palate.

Ron Santiago de Cuba Ron Extra Anejo 11 Anos rum review by the fat rum pirateTobacco, oak spices and leather become more prominent and bring a drier and smokier profile to the rum. Making it a much more complex and enjoyable sipper than the initial entry might suggest.

Coffee and toasted almonds come in alongside some dark chocolate and a touch of raisin as the rum progresses towards the finish line.

Finish wise it is quite long and has a nice complexity. At the same time maintaining a good balance. It fades out gently with a lingering sweetness which is balanced by some of the drier tobacco and oak notes.

If you are looking to explore the “lighter” side of rum. I would recommend this as a sipper. It’s quite easy going but at the same time has enough going on to remain interesting. The balance of this rum is really good.

It is suggested on the rear label that can be enjoyed “on the rocks, in a luxurious cocktail, or even straight”. I don’t tend to add ice to my rum (personal preference only).

I was a little surprised to see that the neat option for this rum wasn’t seen as the starting point though!

Sure this works great in things like an Old Fashioned but I think its best enjoyed on its own. Cigar optional I only smoke when I’m on fire……..

 

 

 

 

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