Whenever we pick up an opaque bottle of rum, we wonder, “What are they hiding?” Part of the experience of tasting an aged rum is noticing the color the aging process gives the rum. For a 12-year-old, we hope to see no lighter than an amber hue, displaying all the glory the oak barrel can give a rum. Let’s hope this Ron Anejo Carúpano 12-year-old wasn’t hiding its age.
Ron Carúpano was founded in the Macarapano Valley of Venezuela in 1762 by Spanish captain Félix del Fierro. The hacienda on the farm soon became known as Hacienda Altamira – Carúpano. By 1889, the rum produced at the hacienda was receiving acclaim and winning medals abroad. But it was in 1896 that the key ingredient in their rum-making process, the pure spring waters in the Chuare River, became exclusive to the owners of Hacienda Altamira. The spring water ensures the greatest purity against any undesirable odors or flavors in the rum.
Today, Distileeria Carúpano produces a molasses-based rum using column stills. The rum is aged onsite in a microclimate created by the high degree of humidity from the Caribbean Sea breezes and the high air temperatures. This unique microclimate helps to accelerate, optimize and intensify the rum as it ages. Ron Anejo Carúpano 12-year-old is aged in white American Oak barrels “without replacement of annual angel’s share and special reserve of up to 12 years” indicating this is a single barrel aging process.
The nose has a slight hint of orange with oak, dark cherry, and a rich earthiness. The earthiness reminds me of walking in a forest post rain. There is a slight alcohol burn that hits my eyes while I’m enjoying the aroma. The palate is very pleasant with a strong oak note followed by very subtle orange zest and dark cherry. That earthiness is still on the palate but dissipates on the finish. The finish is short, with florals and orange zest. This is a very nice 12-year-old.
The amber color hugs the glass providing plump, lazy lacing. The nose is sweet with vanilla, orange, and caramel. The liquid has a hearty mouth feel that is subtle at first then explodes on my tongue. The notes of vanilla, almond, and caramel quickly give way to a citric burst of orange peel creating a tingling on my tongue and the back of my palate. Then, just like that, the notes dissipate leaving no lingering notes to contemplate. I go back for more, looking for the notes on the nose but all I get is orange peel.
Clint likes Ron Anejo Carúpano 12-year-old but wishes it finished a little better. Terry likes the idea of this rum but feels the orange peel is overpowering. At $36/bottle, it’s a good rum to debate with friends over your individual experiences.
4 out of 5
About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.