Sol Tarasco Extra Aged Charanda Hongos

Sol Tarasco Extra Aged Charanda Hongos rum review by the fat rum pirateSol Tarasco Extra Aged Charanda Hongos. We are diversifying once again. This time our journey into other Sugar Cane derived spirits is taking us to Central America. Charanda is to Mexico what Cachaca is to Brasil. Whilst it is essentially “rum” it has it’s own little nuances, defined by the “terroir” of the spirit.

This Charanda from Sol Tarasco is produced in Michoacán. The sugar cane used to produce this rum is grown at over 1300 metres above sea level. It is said that distillation has taken place by the indigenous Purepecha people for over 300 years. Charanda derives its name from the “Cerro de la Charanda” hill range in the local area. Sol Tarasco Extra Aged Charanda Hongos is a blend of rums aged for 12,24 and 36 months. So it is effectively a blend of rums aged between 1 and 3 years. It’s not perhaps what we might think of as “Extra Aged” but the Agricole world often use such descriptors for fairly youthful products.

I mention Agricole Rhum in part because this is a blend of “distilled virgin sugar cane juice” (they must have been reading the Ron Zacapa site) based charanda. For this particular offering the Master Blender selects all the barrels personally from the aged stocks. The sugarcane juice is then “double distilled” (distillation then rectification) which is then placed in oak barrels for ageing.

Sol Tarasco Extra Aged Charanda is now available in the UK via Master of Malt. It retails at £51.95 for a 70cl bottled at 40% ABV. Presentation wise this Charanda looks good alongside rum on the shelf. It has a tall thin bottle with clear and distinct labelling and some decent information about the Charanda. However, this particular bottling is not the same as the one available at Master of Malt. In fact this bottling isn’t available in the UK just yet.

This Sol Tarasco Extra Aged Charanda Hongos has a not so secret ingredient. Dried mushrooms – in some territories this charanda is called Hongos and in others it is labelled as Funghi Extract. The Funghi is the genus Cordyceps Sinensis which is said to generate a sense of energy and vitality. The local Purepecha people use this for its medicinal qualities.

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It should be noted that you may notice bits of funghi floating in the charanda.

In the glass we are presented with a gold spirit a couple of shades darker than straw. The nose is light – some soft chewy toffee, a touch of green apple and some light baking spices. It has a slightly perfumed almost confected nose.

I wouldn’t say it was the most complex or boldest of noses but everything is pleasant enough if perhaps a little pedestrian.

Sipped, its more interesting than the nose. It’s quite easy to sip on with a fairly minimal burn of alcohol. Pretty smooth for such a young rum. The only other Mexican rum or Charanda I have tired before is Mocambo and Los Valientes. I found this to be very spicy. A lot of hot curry like heat.

When sipping Sol Tarasco Extra Aged Charanda you do get a bit more spice than on the nose. It’s reasonably “hot” but nowhere near as much in the two noted above. It compliments the light toffee and milk chocolate notes nicely. This is a nicely balanced spirit.

In terms of style it probably falls in best with Latin style rums. That said it does have a certain uniqueness. I haven’t really tried a spirit that tastes quite like this. It doesn’t taste like it is derived from Sugar Cane Juice.

In some ways its perhaps a little too soft for me but at the same time its interesting and has a nice balance. A few more years in the barrel? Yes I think that could definitely lead to an even better spirit.Sol Tarasco Extra Aged Charanda Hongos rum review by the fat rum pirate

Finish wise its not overly long but what is there is nice. A good balance of spice and sweetness. It’s not the longest ever finish but this is quite a moreish spirit once you start getting into it.

To be honest had not been told what I was drinking I would never have noticed any mushroom or fungus flavour or anything in this rum. You really wouldn’t know anything had been added aside from some very small particles in the rum. It doesn’t impart any flavour that I can notice.

Not a bad start to Charanda

 

 

 

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