Santiago de Cuba Ron Carta Blanca
Rum Review: Santiago de Cuba Ron Carta Blanca (82.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra Aka Arctic Wolf
Pictured to the right is a bottle of Santiago de Cuba Ron Carta Blanca, an authentic Cuban rum which was provided for me to sample by a good friend, who just returned from the Caribbean. He asked me to take the bottle home with me, try as much as I needed to and place the review on my Blog. (Some of my friends think it is really cool to see the rums they love reviewed on my blog. whereas, I think it is really cool to have friends who think like that.)
I have very little information on the rum, other than what I can decipher from the label and the smattering of information on the internet where it is sold by some internet dealers as a standard Cuban white rum.
In the Bottle 4/5
The bottle describes the rum simply as ‘Ron Carta Blanca’, which simply means ‘ white rum’. The label says the rum is bottled a 38% alcohol by volume. It is a regular flagon style bottle made for easy pouring and comes with a plastic diffuser in the stem to prevent refilling. The label looks nice enough, but as usual I am not happy with the pressed on metal cap.
In the Glass 8.5/10
The rum is a clear rum, and I can see no visible cloudiness or sedimentation. I might see a very light greenish colouration; but to be honest, I am not really sure about this. My eyes might be tricking me. The nose is clean and light, and I do not detect any underlying harshness. Mild brown sugars rise into the air as do hints of banana peel and a light mintiness which rounds out the nose. A thin sheen of oil coats the glass when I tilt it and I do see some larger legs as well as many smaller ones forming.
In the Mouth 49/60
This has a pleasant clean mouth feel with a smidgen of light oil. There is no bitterness; but there is perhaps just a touch of harshness. The caramel flavour of the rum is soft, and I also taste light minty candy flavours. Flashes of vanilla present themselves, but I catch no nutty flavours at all. Some Banana peel and citrus elements appear, but they are mellowed rather than too sharp. What we have here is a nice pleasant mixer. In fact, the addition of only a few drops of cola completely dissipates the harsher elements. and provides a nice smooth flavour profile which begs to be mixed more.
In the Throat 12.5/15
This is lighter in flavour perhaps than a typical white rum and smoother too. While I do not believe it is intended as a sipping rum, the buttery texture does provide length for the finish. Although we have a mild sharpness on the exit, I am left with a candied palate, and a clean fresh mouth finish.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
I have to admit I am impressed. The Santiago de Cuba Ron Carta Blanca is a solid white rum. It performs very well in cocktails and I can even sip it straight on occasion. The flavour is smoother than most white rums I have encountered and as a mixer it is definitely to my liking.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
As a mixer this rum will perform well in almost any rum cocktail. We can mix the standard cocktails like the Mojito and the Cuba Libra, or even a Rum Swizzle. I was tempted to run a battery of cocktails through the paces, but as the rum belongs to a friend, I thought I had better temper my enthusiasm.
So I decided to make a mojito style cocktail, but one which is shorter and mixed in a ‘martini style’. As such, the recipe is basically a mojito but with less sparkling water, shaken with ice, but served without.
I will suggest that this cocktail be called, Cuban Mist:
2 Oz White Cuban Rum (Santiago de Cuba Ron Carta Blanca)
2 tsp simple syrup
Juice from 1/2 lime
Sprigs of Mint
1 Sparkling Water
Add the Rum, the simple syrup and the lime juice to a metal shaker
Crush one mint sprig on the inside of the shaker and then add it to other ingredients in the shaker as well .
Add in ice and shake until the metal shaker frosts
Strain into a small chilled glass
Top with sparkling water
You may (loosely) interpret the scores 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)