Santa Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva

Santa Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva Rum review by the fat rum pirateSanta Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva. The Santa Teresa brand hails from Venezuela. The Hacienda Santa Teresa is situated in the valleys of Aragua near the capital Caracas. The estate was founded way back in 1796.

Indeed, Santa Teresa’s flagship rum is name after the year the estate was founded. Santa Teresa 1796 is one of the mostly widely recognised “Premium” rums the world over. Bacardi took over distribution of that rum, but not the rest of the Santa Teresa line up in December 2016. This has enabled Santa Teresa 1796 to become available more widely, particularly in Travel Retail Duty Free.

I have previously reviewed both the 1796 and the Linaje rums from Santa Teresa.

Hacienda Santa Teresa grow and harvest their own estate sugar cane. Once the juice is extracted, the remaining molasses is used to produce Santa Teresa rum. The molasses is then fermented for 12-16 hours. The resulting wash of around 8% ABV is then distilled on either a Continuous Column Still or a Copper Pot Still.

Two different cuts of alcohol are taken from the Continuous Column still. From the fourth column a light, pretty much neutral spirit is taken at 95% and from the first column a oilier, more flavourful spirit  at 75% ABV. These two cuts form the base of every rum Santa Teresa produce.

From what I can see the Pot Still at Santa Teresa is only used for the 1796 and the Bi-Centennial Blend, they bottled a few years back. There is nothing which indicates that any Pot Still rum is contained in this bottle.

It has also been noted that all Santa Teresa rums are aged in ex-bourbon and I understand that Santa Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva is aged up to 5 years. The minimal amount of ageing required under the Venezuelan DOC Denominación de Origen is 2 years to call the spirit a rum. Although Santa Teresa operate a “solera system” (which is perhaps more genuine than some) I do not think the solera is used for this expression. It is far more likely just a blend of different barrels of different ages.

Santa Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva is particularly popular in mainland Spain and its islands, where it is in pretty much every liquor store and bar. Especially in tourist areas such as Benidorm, Mallorca and Salou (in my experience). In the UK a 70cl bottle will set you back around £22-26. It iSanta Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva Rum review by the fat rum pirates bottled at a respectable if unremarkable 40% ABV.

Presentation wise it has a unique contoured bar style bottle. Label information is minimal and isn’t translated into English. So it’s not terribly useful to me. When pouring, as is the case with many rums and spirits from South/Central America it has plastic diffuser. This is to prevent the refilling of the bottle with a cheaper spirit by nefarious bar owners. The label has been updated and re-jigged a fair few times over the past few years. It’s likely you will find a few variations for sale especially in bricks and mortar stores.

So let’s move on and see how Santa Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva goes down.

In the glass we have light golden brown spirit. The nose is light with lots of vanilla. There is a note of tobacco and some toffee. Warming woody spices float over the top and they are nicely integrated and balanced.

It’s not a hugely complex nose. Nor is it particularly “big”. It’s a light gentle rum which isn’t trying to be anything it’s not. It smells like a fairly simple and straightforward mixing rum. As seems to be a theme, the rum registers 8g/L of additives. These are probably softening the spirit a little to reduce the burn and astringency of the younger rums in the blend.

Sipped it is best described as light, slightly boozy, woody, tobacco water. Which doesn’t sound all that appealing and to be fair in terms of a sipper, it’s not particularly good. It’s just too light and lacks in any real flavour. There is nothing really to distinguish this from many other similar “rons” at this price point.

It is though marketed and priced as a mixer. To expect a Premium Sipping experience at £22-25 is a big ask.Santa Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva Rum review by the fat rum pirate

It’s popular with cola, I drink quite a lot of this type of rum when I am on holiday. It’s usually readily available in most bars and in the supermarket you usually get rums like these for less than €15.

Santa Teresa Anejo Gran Reserva does seem less sweet than some other “rons” and has a bit more of a tobacco, smoke and woody profile. I don’t mind this as a mixer at all to be honest. If the price is right. It’s the kind of rum for long lazy days on the beach or in the garden.

That said though, this is in the grand scheme of things pretty average. Well maybe a touch above. So we’ll give it an extra 1/2 star. Not a rum I would go out of my way to find but if it was more readily available and less than £20 I’d buy the odd bottle for weekend mixing.




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