Santiago de Cuba Anejo

Santiago de Cuba Anejo rum review by the fat rum pirateSantiago de Cuba rums are quite frustrating bottlings to find.  This is not because this site is American but imports of these rums seem to be quite sporadic. All manner of different aged expressions seem to come out of the distillery as well.

It is quite confusing sometimes to work out which is which. It is not unusual to see older style bottles still for sale online.

Luckily for the UK, JBE Imports (who also import the excellent Ron Cubay) are now importing three Santiago de Cuba expressions. Carta Blanca, Anejo and Extra Anejo 12 Year Old.  The latter is reported to be Fidel Castro’s favourite rum.

This rum is often noted as being a 7 year old.  To be fair to the brand, I have never seen this on any of the bottles.  The Extra Anejo is noted as a 12 year old rum – age statements are also present on the 11, 15, 20 and 25 year old rums.  How often all these expressions are actually released is unclear.  They do seem to appear only briefly and irregularly.

This rum is currently available online at Master of Malt for £24.95.  It is bottled at 38% ABV.  It comes in a stubby 3/4 height 70cl bottle.  The presentation has been updated in the past few years to align with the logo used in the older expressions – its clear and unfussy. If a little uninspired.

Santiago de Cuba Anejo rum review by the fat rum pirateFrom what I can gather, Santiago de Cuba is produced at the same rum distiilery that the Bacardi family were forced to leave during the Cuban revolution.  Ron Caney is also produced at this facility amongst others.  From researching Cuban rum it seems that a great number of different brands all seem to come out of the same distilleries.  Which makes me wonder just how different each expression actually is!

Part of this curiosity has led me to invest in a few different Cuban rums.  I can then taste a few alongside each other and look for similarities.  It would be quite embarrassing if I awarded brands different scores and then found the juice to be exactly the same.  Not that I am saying that is the case, not yet anyway!

In the glass the rum is a nice reddish/golden brown.  The nose is unmistakably Cuban.  It is reminiscent of the older Havana Club rums.  It’s sweet smelling, an almost red wine like note – almost descending into a vinegary aroma, slightly acidic.  There is a little vanilla and some dark chocolate notes and tobacco.

As an “anejo” it may or may not stand up as a sipper.  To be fair most don’t really stand up to being sipped as they are only a few years old.  Many Gran Anejo’s aren’t that impressive as sippers either!  They are terms to be taken with a pinch of salt.Santiago de Cuba Anejo rum review by the fat rum pirate

Sipped the Anejo is very spicy.  It doesn’t taste young in terms of alcohol burn or overly sweet immature notes. It is pretty sharp on the palate though.  You get a spicy burst, followed by some oak.  Most of the flavour – the vanilla and chocolate leaves the taste buds almost instantly.  The finish whilst reasonably long is very one dimensional, oaky and bitter.

Sipping this rum is not an unpleasant experience but its a pretty short lived one in terms of flavour.

As a mixer the rum works very well.  A Cuba Libre made with the SDC Anejo is a very tasty experience.  The oak and tobacco notes shine.  You get the sweeter red wine like notes and you get a nice spicy rummy kick along the way as well.

All in all not a bad Cuban rum and if memory serves me correctly, its a good deal better than Havana Club 7.

3.5 stars






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4 comments on “Santiago de Cuba Anejo

  1. I see that you have a hydrometer test for Santiago de Cuba 12 year old. Any plans to review it?

    • You are hawk-eyed Mat. I only recently realised I hadn’t reviewed it. Going to fast track it now

      • Cheers mate!

  2. Like this one quite a lot as a mixer. Especially in ginger beer and lime.

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