It’s time to get back to reviewing rums that warm the heart and heal the soul. With rum’s burst in popularity, producers are rushing products to market in hopes of capitalizing on this growing industry. Trust us, we have bought plenty of rums from these wannabe producers, hoping for a mildly acceptable sipping rum, only to relegate them to a mixer. Then we happened upon Grander 12 year old from Panama. This independently owned brand worked to achieve the ultimate rum experience.
Dehart Spirits company knew from the beginning they wanted to produce a unique rum. Their people traveled the world in search of the right flavor profile for their new rum. They discovered two things: not all rums are created equal, and the Caribbean Basin boasts the proudest and longest tradition in rum production. Dehart selected a blend of rums made in Panama and never looked back.
Grander rum begins with sugarcane harvested in Herrera, Panama, fermented to grade-A molasses. The rum is distilled using a 1922 American Copper and Brass Works continuous column still. Having the right wood to age the rum is crucial so they imported ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky to help develop its aroma, flavor, color and texture. The rum is aged a minimum of 12 years, then blended, marrying various barrels, to achieve the right taste profile. Grander has no additional coloring, flavoring or additives. The rum speaks for itself.
Wow, the nose is hot and immediately makes my eyes water. After being allowed to breathe a bit, the rum mellows out presenting floral and aged oak notes. There’s also a subtle vanilla offering a hint of sweet. Pepper is front and center on the palate providing no alcohol burn. Cherry comes on late followed by a subtle coffee taste. The finish is smooth and long lasting. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a rum where the flavors stays with me this long. I love the complexity.
The amber color make me wonder if I’m truly going to get a developed sipping rum. I too get a floral nose with hints of orange and molasses. The initial sip coats the palate and numbs my tongue with a strong allspice note then quickly mellows as it goes. Subsequent sips brings out the orange and molasses, however the allspice still prevails. What is odd to me is how hot the rum is on the palate, yet soft and slightly warming on the finish. I don’t find it complex, but I do find it very enjoyable.
We quite enjoyed this rum but for different reasons. For a 12 year old rum, in the $35 price range, Grander is a great rum to sip and ponder what life may have in store.
4.25 out of 5
Sipping Rum Scale
1 – An expensive mixer
2 – A quick celebratory shot
3 – Wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with friends
4 – Are my friends worthy of a sip
5 – Special moments rum
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.