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Legendario Elixir de Cuba

Review: Legendario Elixir de Cuba   (85/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted January 20, 2017

My first review for Legendario Elixir de Cuba was published in 2009, However, as US restrictions of Cuban products appear to be easing I thought it would be timely to revisit the brand. The brand owner, Legendario Rum is headquartered in Spain, however the rum used within the Elixir de Cuba’s blend is apparently imported from Cuba. The brand, was founded in the city of Havana in 1946.

According to the research I conducted, Legendario Elixir de Cuba, is produced from a blend of  2 to 4 year-old Cuban Rums (source: Rum Distribution.com). The rums were aged in American oak barrels at temperatures which approached 47°C. After the rums were blended, extracts of macerated raisins, syrup, and demineralised water are added, and this blended mixture is rested (or married) in American oak barrels for several weeks (30 days) after which the final spirit is filtered through a traditional system of activated carbon filters and silica sand before bottling.

According to Phil Moncton of the GFH Group (the Ontario importer), Legendario Elixir De Cuba is now available in Ontario (via the GFH Group) through LCBO Private Order.

elixir-de-cuba-sam_2956

In the Bottle 4/5

The Legendario Elixir de Cuba bottle is pictured to the left. The bottle shape reminds me of a tall soda bottle more so than a typical rum bottle, although has some interesting features such as the indentation around the bottom of the neck which hold the elastic in place that caries the Legendario flag. The label is quite attractive, unfortunately it is printed in Spanish which I guess for their domestic market is fine; but for the Canadian market the Spanish label is perhaps a little confusing.

I appreciate that the back of the label carries some nutritional information (although it too is in Spanish). We are told that every 100 ml serving contains 297 calories, 1.53 % protein, and 12.81% carbohydrates. As I am not familiar with Spanish labeling requirements, I am not sure if the percentages are meant to be a percentage of average daily intake, or the percentage of the total volume (I suspect the former).

The high carbohydrate percentage speaks to the additions of raisin extracts and syrup which have sweetened the Elixir to the point where we should regard the spirit as a liqueur rather than as an aged sipping rum. This is reflected in the alcohol content as well as the spirit is bottled at 34.8 % (abv) which is below the US regulatory threshold for rum which must be bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

It should be noted that the English word ‘rum’ nor the Spanish word ‘ron’ do not appear anywhere on the label, reinforcing the argument that this is a liqueur rather than a rum.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The Elixir de Cuba has a nice copper colour in the glass, and when that glencairn is tilted and twirled the spirit lays a thick sheen on the inside of the glass, the crest of which only reluctantly drops fat leglets. The aroma is rich and inviting with smells of oak infused rum and caramel, brandy and raisins, and some dark chocolate drifting in the breezes above the glass. It is almost as if we are encountering a sweet mixture of rum, cognac, and dark caramel.

When I give the glass some more time to breathe, I begin to notice a pungent spiciness with scents of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon unraveling from the oak and caramel as well as a few oriental spices and an almond-like impression that reminds me of Frangelico Liqueur.

The overall result is very enticing.

In the Mouth 51.5/60

The Elixir enters the mouth with an overt sweetness which is almost over the top. However, pushing through that caramel-like sweetness are complementary flavours of vanilla, oak and that same combination of rum and cognac which I noted in the breezes above the glass. As I sip I also notice some rich chocolate-like flavours, and hints of espresso coffee.

I added an ice-cube to the glass and found the Elixir even more pleasing. The cold ice mutes the overt sweetness bringing about a better balance of flavour. When I consulted the Legendario website, I noticed that this was one of the recommended ways to serve the spirit. The website also had a variety of cocktail recipes (here) which they recommended for the enjoyment of their various spirits including the Elixir de Cuba.

In the Throat 12.5/15

Because of the heightened sweetness of the Elixir de Cuba, its flavour remains on the palate long after the spirit is swallowed. Despite the young rums used in the blend, the throat receives only a very light burn. The only flaw is that the spirit can become cloying rather quickly if served without ice.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

As I have written my review, the ice-cube that I added has slowly been melting into the Elixir. As the cold water dilutes the spirit, it has become more enjoyable with each sip. I have began to wonder to myself, why I have not returned to the Legendario Elixir de Cuba earlier. It is a wonderful dessert-like experience.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews. (In case you are wondering, I have decided to place the review into the Flavoured Rum Category)

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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)

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)

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21 Responses to “Legendario Elixir de Cuba”

  1. silentmike said

    Nice review! I agree completely with the texture. It’s like very runny honey and just as sticky. For people that are having trouble finding it in Cuba, my brother came back from there recently and he went on a tour of the distillery where he picked up several bottles of this (as far as I’m concerned) amazing drink!

  2. roberto said

    I bought some cuban elixir of rum in the Bahamas. It was the worst stuff that I ever put in my mouth. Maybe I got a bad batch, but this stuff was just awful. Ended up pouring it down the drain…

    • I am curious Roberta what exactly you bought in the Bahamas. As far as I know (although I certainly may be wrong) Legendario Elixir de Cuba is not available in the Bahamas. It is not labeled Cuban Elixir of Rum so maybe you tried something else.

  3. Nick Apivor said

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to find this rum in B.C. Liquor stores? A friend brought it back from Cuba, and like everyone else posting here, we all fell in love with it.
    By the way; those of you who enjoy this one, try El Dorado 12 yr old from Guyana. You will love it!

    • At this point, I believe Alberta is the only Province that carries the Legendario.

    • Jackie said

      In March 2010 we went to Cuba and managed to take back 5 bottles @ a cost of $9.00 Canadian each, between 2 of us with no extra duty. Just got back from Cuba yesterday and can’t even get it there anymore. Went to all the old haunts and no go, they just say you can’t get it anymore. Go figure, I can get it at the liquor store here in Alberta Beach for $48.00. So I guess that is where I’ll go.

  4. antonio said

    In Spain you can find this rum in almost every big shopping mall. I have tried the 7 year old and its flavour is unique,marvellous. I think there are also with 12 years old.

  5. Siobhan said

    Why did we only bring back one bottle of this rum? I keep asking myself this! Any idea where i can get ahold of this in the uk? Thanks

  6. pht3k said

    i bought a bottle too of this rum last spring while i was in cuba. i opened up the bottle only back in canada to find out that this rum is absolutly incredible. if i ever go to cuba again you can be sure i’ll buy as much bottle of legendario that i am allowed to buy.

  7. Hugo Guimarães said

    I went to Cuba last June and had the opportunity to taste this incredible rum.
    I live in Portugal and can´t find any place where to buy it.

    Can you recommend me any other rum that can resemble to Legendario’s in terms of flavour?

    Best regards,
    Hugo.

    • The Legendario is apparently available in Spain if that helps. Rums that are similar would include Hacienda Saruro from Diplomatico, and perhaps Old Port Rum from Amrut. Try running a search on either rum and see if that helps.

  8. vittorio said

    Buonasera,
    Siamo interessati al Rum Elixir ,se possibile sapere il prezzo per singola bottiglia o confezioni,in attesa di una vostra gradita risposta distinti saluti .

    Vittorio Frabbi

    • Hello Vittorio:

      I truly wish I could read your comment. But thank you for reading my blog. Your support is appreciated.

      Chip

      • PPG said

        hello, he wrote;

        ‘we are interested in rum Elicir, is it possible to know the price per bottle?’

        By the way i am sipping on this rum right now and it is absolutely amazing. very nice sipping rum. I bought two bottles of it when i was in Cuba this past January and just cracked the bottle open today. I heard that it is very difficult to buy in Cuba now. Does anyone know if they carry this at the Duty Free shops in Mexico. I am heading there in the next few months and would love to buy some more of this delicious nectar.

        PPG from Edmonton Alberta.

  9. Eric said

    Just came back from Cuba and absolutely love this rum. Bought 2 bottle gave to my boys and would like some for myself. Threaten them that if the mix with anything other than ice I would take back.

    Is there a store in Calgary that sells it.

    • Not sure where to find this in Calgary, but try CSN Liquor store. They have ordered stuff in for me in the past. If you are in Edmonton try Aligra, Lacombe Spirits, or Sherbrooke.

    • Co-op has the new black-bottled variation (not sure if it was the Elixir, just know it was a Legendario). I saw bottles at the Crowfoot and the Glenmore Co-op stores over the weekend.

  10. Jahdai said

    I simply love this rum! Every year me and my wife go to Spain to visit our family. Do you know of a place in the US to but this rum? I bring 3 bottles back every year, but this usually never lasts.

    • Hi Jahdai

      Unfortunately as long as relations remain as they are between Cuba and the US, it is unfortunately illegal to import or sell Cuban goods in the USA. A very great pity.

 
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