It’s pretty hard to give us a unique gift of rum because chances are, we already have it in our stock. Our son took a stab in the dark this past Christmas and landed on Mocambo Art Edition, Single Barrel 20 year old from Mexico. The artfully crafted bottle was unlike anything he had seen in our cabinet. While hanging on the hook off Key Largo, we tasted our first Mexican-style rum.
Mocambo is distilled by Licores Veracruz, S.A. de C.V., a small family owned distillery in Córdoba, Mexico. Licores Veracruz has a line of high quality, tequila, mezcal, spirits and rums. They pride themselves in using pre-Hispanic techniques in their distilling process however, they do not disclose what these techniques entail. The best we can surmise is that the sugar cane is hand mashed rather than processed through machines. According to the company’s website the rum is, “…mixed with an Añejo Rum of flavor and character…” Añejo is rum aged for at least a few years in oak barrels. Given the stated age, this aged rum must be at least 20 years of age. Mocambo is aged in European white oak barrels at 900 meters (half a mile) above sea level in a humid, subtropical climate.
We’re sure the unique presentation of the bottle is what attracted our son. Maestro Víctor Fernández had a vision of adorning the bottle with vegetable amate, a type of bark paper, creating the illusion that the bottled rum was just as protected from elements as the rum aging in its barrel. It’s no wonder this rum is known as the Art Edition.
The dark molasses color of the rum peeking through the amate vegetable fibers adorning the bottle leads us to believe that we are about to experience a heavy, strong tasting rum. Mocambo is far from heavy. The nose is full of dried fruits including cherries and figs with a hint of molasses and oak. The liquid hugs the glass providing beautiful lacing. Terry could smell this rum all day. It’s that inviting. For a dark rum the feel on the palate is extremely light. On the first pass, we both get an alcohol burn on both the palate and the finish. Our second sip leaves us quite divided. While we agree there are notes of coffee, dried cherries and dark chocolate on the palate, Terry feels they quickly give way to a finish that satisfyingly warms and lingers. Clint however, believes the sweet spot of Mocambo is on the palate. The notes from the noses continue to be enhanced as he ponders the rum with each sip. For him the finish has a spice of cinnamon which dissipates quickly.
Mocambo 20 year old has a unique style that requires patience to allow it to present its full offering. Don’t give up after one sip. Let the rum breathe, play on your palate then linger on the finish. With each sip Mocambo’s secrets will be revealed.
4 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.