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Angostura 1824 (12 Year Old)

Review: Angostura 1824 (12 Years Old) Rum  (92/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka the Rum Howler)
Published December 08, 2014

The House of Angostura traces its beginnings to 1824 when German doctor, Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, who was then a Surgeon-General in the Venezuelan Army, created a blend of aromatic herbs which he called “Amargo Aromatico” and which would become the world-famous Angostura Bitters. Although the company he created to manufacture these bitters was originally founded in the town known as Angostura (later to be renamed Bolivar City), the company was relocated by his successors (his younger brother and son), who  moved it to Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1876.

Of course the House of Angostura remains famous for its world-class bitters; however, it has also become well know for the rum which is produced by their five column still, under the direction of Master Distiller, John P. Georges.

Angostura 1824 pays homage to the company’s humble beginnings in Angostura, Venezuela. It is a premium rum produced from molasses. All of the spirit within the blend has been aged a minimum of 12 years in charred American oak bourbon barrels, after which it is hand drawn from the barrel, filtered and then bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

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In the Bottle 5/5

Angostura 1824 arrives in the masculine stubby necked square decanter shown to the left. This to me is the classic shape for a rum bottle, short with a low center of gravity so that when you are sailing on the high seas, the bottle easily stays upright against the rolling of the waves. The spirit is sold with the bottle protected by a classy looking cardboard canister the side of which contains light embossing of Caribbean palm and coconut trees.

I also like that the spirit is sealed with a wood topped corked closure which of course gives me that satisfying ‘pop’ when I open the bottle.

In the Glass 9/10

The spirit displays itself as a copper/bronze coloured liquid with an appealing dark hue similar to the colour of a lightly tarnished penny. I gave my glass a tilt and a slow twirl and saw that the liquid was only very slightly thickened and dropped slow forming medium-sized droplets down the inside of my glass which released medium slender legs which moved at a slightly quickened pace. The initial aroma reveals a nice mixture of caramel, oak sap and chocolate which are accented by orange peel, honey and vanilla.

As the glass breathes, the breezes in the air begin to display a few more woody sap-like notes of cedar, a ripple of maple, and nice aromatic baking spices (brown sugar, cloves cinnamon and nutmeg). There are indications of tobacco and toasted walnut rising into the breezes as well a few hints of dry fruit and raisin, bits of licorice, and a tar-like scent.

I like the overall balance of scents and smells within the merry little breezes above the glass, and I am definitely enticed to go further.

In the Mouth 55.5/60

When I take my first sip, I am pleased by the smooth flavour which seems to present me with a combination of zesty orange peel and oak spice which are melded into butterscotch with hints of maple, all of which are underlain by a oozing chocolate flavours (both bittersweet cocoa and creamy milk chocolate).

As I allow the spirit to breathe I notice the flavours all seem to grow in the glass. I notice stronger bittersweet impressions of oak and wood sap, and a lovely impression of marmalade growing alongside. Rich baking spices evolve with licorice stained tobacco and molasses. The chocolate flavours build, and there even seems to be a little tarry brine in the flavour stream as well.

Frankly, I am loving the flavour which to me represents a very fine example of just how good column distilled rum can be.

In the Throat 13.5/15

The finish is smooth with heated flavours of lightly spicy wood sap and oak spice leaving little trails of cinnamon and clove behind. These are complimented by wonderful exit flavours of salted caramel, fudgey chocolate and little bits of tar and iodine.

The Afterburn 9/10

The Angostura 1824 is a magnificent rum. The flavours are rich and inviting, and although we taste a strong impression of oak and orange peel spice, the complimentary flavours of caramel and chocolate bring the rum into a wonderful balance making the spirit easy to sip and enjoy. Although I would primarily recommend this spirit as a sipper, I could not resist mixing a few classic cocktails one of which I have shared below.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.

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My Scores are out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret them 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 spirit.  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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