Santiago de Cuba 12 Anos Extra Anejo

Ron Santiago de Cuba 12 Anos Extra Anejo Rum Review by the fat rum pirateSantiago de Cuba 12 Anos Extra Anejo is rumoured to have been Fidel Castro’s favourite rum. Which is interesting. A lot of the reasons why researching Cuban rum can be so complex is down to him and his revolution!

Which is about as political as I am ever likely to get on this blog.  Whether this was Castro’s favourite rum is an interesting aside but nothing more.  I dare say if I was the President I would have wanted something more luxurious. Maybe he just liked this one the best.

This “ron” is produced at the distillery there the Bacardi family fled during the Cuban Revolution.  The brand Ron Santiago de Cuba is controlled by the Cuban Rum Company and in turn the Cuban Government.  The Cuban Government oversee all rum production in Cuba.

Santiago de Cuba 12 Anos is produced in the typical Cuban style. The rums from Santiago de Cuba distillery are known as being from “the Cradle of Light Rum”.  That is light in terms of style, not colour necessarily.

Cuban Rum production is quite a complicated matter. Like Martinique and the AOC they have their own regulations on what can be called Cuban Rum.  The “DOP” Denominación de Origen Protegida (in English, “Protected Designation of Origin”).  So in short we have a DOP Cuba which recognises Cuban Rum.  In addition to this you will also notice green stamp like stickers on bottles of Cuban Rum.  This denominates a “Guarantia” that the rum is official Cuban Rum.

Ron Santiago de Cuba 12 Anos is a column distilled rum produced on a multi column still.  In Cuba, rum must be aged a minimum of 2 years. Any age statement on the bottle must represent the youngest rum contained in the blend.  Much like Jamaica.

However, with Cuban rums being much lighter and lower in esters that is perhaps where the likeness to Jamaican rum ends.  Cuban rums are very, very different.

In the glass Santiago de Cuba 12 is a deep, reddish brown.  The nose is typically Cuban.  There is a initial sweetness mixed with smoke and tobacco.  A touch of leather.  The sweetness is very apparent and is a little like candy or boiled sweets.  Very sugary.

There are notes of raisin, banana, a hint of coconut and a caramelised note.  There is a hint of oak and spiciness but it is slightly overwhelmed by the sweeter notes.

Sipped the rum takes on an a much different character.  The initial sip is nowhere near as sweet as the nose suggests.  It’s very spicy with a lot of oak and moreish sweet/sour bourbon notes from the oak.  It’s not hugely hot but does have a sprinkling of white pepper and a touch of clove.

After a couple of sips your palate becomes more accustomed to the spicy, drier notes in this rum and some further complexity comes through.  Some sweeter note of dried fruits and a nice smokiness.

The finish on the Santiago de Cuba 12 is reasonably long especially in the first few sips.  It’Santiago de Cuba 12 Year Extra Anejo Rum Review by the fat rum pirates quite an oaky and spicy rum.  It is certainly a more authentic take on Cuban rum than some of the more “sugary” Panamanian immitators.  It’s also a fraction of the cost of some of those.  I would say from tasting this the age statement is likely a fair reflection as well.

If you are looking for a latin style rum that is not as full of additives as some of the “rons” on the market then this might be worth seeking out.  I would also say someone who enjoys drier Bajan rums may also enjoy this rum.  There is quite a lot of interaction with the spirit and the barrel and it makes for a very interesting and pretty complex sipper.

I didn’t try this with cola as whilst I’m sure it would make a perfectly decent Cuba Libre I would go for the younger Sanitago de Cuba if I wanted that experience.

Fidel might not have been right about everything but I can certainly see why he enjoyed this rum as much as he did.

Definitely one of the better Cubans I’ve tried thus far.

 

 

 

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3 comments on “Santiago de Cuba 12 Anos Extra Anejo

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  2. Thanks for this article, nice read.

    I visited Cuba 2 years ago and I ended up purchasing a bottle of the 11 year old Santiago de Cuba. I can see why it was his favorite. I couldn’t actually find any luxurious rums. This was it and maybe Havana 15yr, if you want to consider that as luxurious! These where the only high end rums I could see in bars and shops.

    When I tried the Santiago 11yr, it is an unusual rum. But yes a typical Cuban rum. I defiantly wouldn’t mix it with coke. I sipped it and loved it! And is my favorite special Cuban rum. However there was a handfull of good cheap rum which was ideal for mixing.

    Santiago wasnt cheap (like most other rum and items in Cuba) and was similar in price there as it is here. Which to means that it is highly rated in Cuba and well produced.

    Worth a try if you get a chance.

    • Thanks for your comment Rachel. The 11 year old is also now being imported in the UK. So keep your eyes peeled.

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