Angostura 7 Year Old Rum
Review: Angostura 7 Year Old Rum (84.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka The Rum Howler)
Published January 22, 2015
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.
The Angostura 7 Year Old Rum is (like all of the Angostura Rums) produced from molasses on their five column still. Part of the rum is produced from a heavy distillate which is drawn from the multi-column still after passing through only one of the five columns. This heavily flavoured rum is aged and then blended with a more purely refined spirit which is distilled upon all five columns. Both portions of the blend are aged a minimum of 7 years in charred American oak bourbon barrels, after which each portion is hand drawn from the barrel, then blended, filtered and bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4/5
The Angostura White Reserva, the Angostura Gold 5 Year Old and the Angostura Gold 7 Year Old rums all arrive in the same clear bottle shown to the left. This bar room style bottle is designed to be easy to hold, easy to open, and of course easy to pour. The label on the front, has as part of its design, a butterfly logo which (I am given to understand) represents the ripened sugar cane plants which are said to attract droves of butterflies when the cane is ready to be harvested. The butterfly logo also has come to represent the House of Angostura’s commitment to nature and the environment in the manner in which they produce their rum.
I like the bottle, although (if I am honest) the pressed on metallic closure disappoints me as these closures typically warp and strip easily. However, as this rum is (in my locale anyways) priced very reasonably, I can be quite forgiving of what I perceive as an inferior closure.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When poured into my glencairn, the rum has a light coppery gold colour and brings initial notes of butterscotch, vanilla, and fine wood spices into the breezes above the glass. When I tilt and twirl that glass, I see that the 7 Year Old Rum deposits a light film on the inside the crest of which drops medium slender legs which crawl at a moderate pace back into the rum.
As the glass sits, the butterscotch begins to meld into the wood spices creating impressions of toffee and light tobacco. There are scents of orange peel which begin to move towards marmalade, and hints of chocolate and coffee riding the edges of the breezes. Some of my friends who tasted the rum with me, noted a touch of astringency in the air above their glasses, however my feeling was that this perceived sharpness was more a function of fine wood spice rather than any significant harshness on the part of the rum in the glass. While the breezes in the air do not represent a rum which is overly complex, it does represent a rum which is pleasant and inviting.
In the Mouth 51/60
The first sip brings a mixture of oak spice, zesty orange and banana peel, and lightly sweet butterscotch into the mouth. The lightly sweet butterscotch helps to temper the spice and zest making the rum pleasant to sip. I taste additional flavours of vanilla and honeycomb underneath the butterscotch and spice and perhaps just a bit of grassy tobacco. As I let the rum sit in my glass, bits of milk chocolate push through as does a touch of cola. Although the rum is pleasant, I believe that I personally am more inclined to mix than to sip. When I do sip, I found I preferred using a little ice rather than sipping neat.
After my first tasting session I decided to try a Cuba Libre’ with Classic Coke and a squeeze of lime, and found the tall bar drink very much to my liking. I also mixed a daiquiri style cocktail and found this was also pleasant, although I preferred the Cuba Libre’. In my opinion, this rum exactly what I was expecting; it is a nice cocktail mixer which can also be sipped when the mood fancies.
In the Throat 12.5/15
The 7 Year Old Rum from Angostura is a light to medium bodied column distilled rum, and as a result its finish is crisp rather than long. Dry oak spices which taste of sandalwood and grassy tobacco linger for a short while amidst lightly bitter flavours of tea leaves and cocoa. This dry spicy finish bodes well for cocktails and bar drinks.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
The Angostura 7 Year Old Rum is a versatile spirit which can be appreciated by all rum enthusiasts. If you appreciate dry somewhat spicy rums, then you will find this spirit an acceptable sipper; but if smooth sweetness is more your style, then I believe you will be more inclined to mix. I found myself sipping the rum over ice when the mood struck me, mixing Cuba Libre’s somewhat more often, and mixing a few Daiquiris along the way which I guess speaks to that aforementioned versatility which this Angostura rum possesses.
My score of 84.5/100 makes the point that the 7 Year Old Rum is exactly what it purports to be, a quality mixer as well as an acceptable sipper.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
The traditional Cuba Libre’ mixes rum with cola over ice with just a squeeze of lime. Lately, limes have been rather expensive in my locale and I have found myself switching to lemons. The results have been very positive.
Lemon Muddled Cuba Libre’
2 oz Angostura 7 Year Old Rum
4 to 6 oz Coca Cola
Place the lemon slice into a tall bar glass and muddle slightly
Add the Angostura Rum
Fill with Cola
Note: If you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!
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)