Flor de Caña Grand Reserve 7yr
Review: Flor de Caña Grand Reserve 7 Year – 87.5pts
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted November 6, 2012
Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is still headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world.
According to the company website all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced with molasses from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. It is distilled in a continuous column still process, and then laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.
The Flor de Cana 7-year-old rum comes in a rectangular shaped clear bottle with a solid plastic screw cap. The medium tall bottle is apparently designed to allow the company to ship bottles more efficiently by packing more volume into a rectangular shipping case. As well as being ergonomic, the bottle is also designed to be functional. It fits easily on the bartender’s shelf, and is easy to hold, and easy for that aforementioned bartender to pour making the rum quite accessible to the bar trade. The plastic cap is easy to open, and again the bartenders who want to pour drinks fast and furiously are kept happy.
I like the design but it does not have any ‘wow’ factor. The labeling is professional; but I would personally prefer if the rum would stand out more on the shelf next to my other aged rums.
In the Glass 8.5/10
This spirit is dark and inviting. It looks the way dark rum ought to look, with deep brown colours and flashes of copper. Swirling the glass reveals a glistening oiliness on the sides of the glass which vanishes quickly with only fast skinny legs appearing.
The aroma rising into the breezes from the glass is rich and complex. Scents of caramel toffee accented by baking spices and vanilla reach my nostrils. I also detect freshly broken walnut shells, some darker fruit and chocolate rising into the air. The only deterrent is an astringency which I notice winding through the breezes. This seems to be a feature which has crept into the Flor de Cana bottlings recently. It is lightly harsh and does not seem to fit in with the rest of the rum profile.
In the Mouth 53/60
I like this rum! The flavour profile features hints of almond and hazelnut steeped with rich dark brown sugar and a nice sweep of vanilla. I taste some remnants of bourbon and some notes of chocolate and coffee deeper down. There is a mild spiciness reminiscent of cinnamon, but it is melted into the brown sugar giving the palate a nice gentle toffee. I like how the sweetness is not overdone, and only a touch of bitterness follows the nutty flavours and the chocolate.
As I said earlier when I was nosing the glass, the rum blend seems to have changed recently. I taste a few notes of dark treacle that I never noticed before, as well as a light harshness which seems to be connected with the oak. The rum, I guess seems younger and more brash than it was in the past. It is still very good, and despite my impression that the rums is perhaps harsher than before, I find that the fill line seems to be lowering at an alarming rate as each evening I am drawn to have another sip.
In the Throat 13/15
There is a mild burn associated with the exit and a vague sort of roughness as the rum goes down. I find the overall sensation pleasant as it seems to be a reminder that rum is meant for brigands and pirates rather than for Lords and Ladies. These rough sensations in the throat do not linger; they fade rather quickly leaving impressions of caramel and baking spices behind.
The Afterburn 9/10
Although I feel the rum has changed since I last reviewed it in 2010, it still exceeds the sum of its parts. An ice-cube handles that bit of roughness quite easily and it is still a great rum to add to any cocktail. I consider this a premium rum which despite is lower price easily competes with other more expensive premium rums.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
Flor de Cana Grand Reserve is one of the most versatile rums I know of. I can easily sip it neat or with ice and enjoy myself thoroughly. It tastes great in every traditional rum cocktail I have tried. For my suggested Cocktail, I will give you the first cocktail that I designed specifically for this rum. The Sloe Lime Daiquiri.
1 1/2 Ounce Dark Rum
1/2 Ounce Fresh Lime juice
1 Tsp simple syrup (Sub Grenadine)
4 Large Ice Cubes
1 Chilled Glencairn Glass
1/2 Ounce Sloe Gin
Place the first 4 Ingredients in a Metal Martini Shaker.
Shake Until Martini Shaker Chills.
Strain Into a chilled Glencairn Glass.
Add the Ice from the Martini Shaker.
Float the Sloe Gin on the top and let everything sit for one minute.
Garnish with Lime Slice if desired….. Enjoy!!
My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score as follows:
0-25 A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49 Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59 You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69 Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74 Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky. Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79 You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84 We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89 Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94 Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+ I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.
Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal scale as follows:
70 – 79.5 Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5 Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95 Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+ Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)