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Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe

Review: Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe (84.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted January 27, 2017

Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe is a new rum brand brought into Western Canada by Charton Hobbs. The rum is produced by Les Bienheureux S.A.S. (in Paris France) and is a blend of two aged ’round and smooth’ Spanish-style molasses rums, one from Guatemala and one from Cuba, combined with a small amount of a younger French agricole rhum from Martinique (which is said to provide a ‘powerful aromatic kick’).

The spirit carries no age statement, however the information sheets provided to me by the distributor indicate that the rum is classified as an ‘Anejo Extra’ which implies approximately a 3 year aging period. It is my suspicion though, that this designation would apply to the Guatemalan and Cuban portion of the blend with the small amount of agricole rum from Martinique being younger. The spirit is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

embargo-ron-extra-sam_2907In the Bottle 3.5/5

The Embargo Ron Extras Del Caribe arrives in the tall cylindrical bottle with a medium long neck. The top of the bottle is sealed with a flimsy pressed on metallic cap, and the label is a simple affair with red stripe running diagonally across it with the Embargo printed in white. A gold star is above the diagonal stripe in the upper right corner, and the words Ron Extra Del Caribe below it in the bottom left corner of the label.

The entire presentation is uninspiring and screams ‘bottom shelf’ at me. The back label is no better, and I would be hard pressed to select this bottle in a retail setting. Let us hope that this book cannot be judged by its cover.

In the Glass 8.5/10

The rum carries a light amber (golden) colour in the glass, and when the spirit is tilted and twirled in my glencairn it leaves somewhat oily sheen on the inside of the glass which slowly releases a plethora of small but stubborn leglets.

I can identify both styles of rum within the blend quite readily. The Spanish rums within the blend bring a light butterscotch scent into the air which mingles with banana peel and citrus (lemon and orange) zest. There are hints of sandalwood and ginger, as well as light impressions of warm toast, vanilla and almond.

The agricole rum from Martinique brings an herbal quality into the breezes with a light menthol scent, wisps of licorice and cinnamon, bits of heather and hints of resin-like camphor. The agricole elements are kept in check such that they do not dominate, and this allows the overall impact of the nose to be light and engaging.

In the Mouth 51.5/60

Although the impressions I received in the breezes translate well across the palate, I find the agricole flavour slightly more expressive giving the rum a stronger herbal flair than I was expecting. Fortunately, there appears to be an added sweetness within the rum which couples well with those herbal Agricole flavours. Despite that mild sweetness, the rum carries a light mouthfeel which ensures that firm herbal flavours of menthol, heather, and camphor do not linger and build up with each sip. Sometimes agricole flavours with a rhum can become heavy in the mouth causing the spirit to be cloying. This is certainly not the case with the Embargo Rum.

Although the Embargo Rum appears to be quite young (maybe 1 to 3 years of age), it nevertheless is a pleasant sipper. I can quite easily enjoy myself with or without ice in the glass. Having said that, it is my believe that the rum is an even better cocktail spirit. I should caution you though that the agricole flavours within will mix better with fresh citrus fruit than with cola. To that end, I mixed a new cocktail and have shared that recipe below.

In the Throat 12.5/15

Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe is a light bodied spirit. However the added sweetness I noted in the mouth allows the rum to show more length in the finish than a typical light rum would demonstrate. Combined with this light sweetness are soothing menthol flavours and hints of both cinnamon and licorice linger but do not build up from sip to sip.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

The Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe is a pleasant cocktail rum which appears to offer us two worlds in one glass. It carried the light mixability of a Spanish style column distilled rum combined with flavours of a heavier style agricole rum. The combination is appealing especially as the herbal agricole flavours have been held in check which allows the rum to retain its light appeal. If you are curious about agricole rums, I would even suggest that the Embargo Rum would offer you a nice stepping stone towards the french rhum experience.

The spirit is pleasant to sip and it is an even greater joy to mix. My only serious criticism is the uninspiring bottle the rum arrives in.

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

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Suggested Recipe

embargo-cocktail-sam_2931The french agricole presence within the rum becomes even more pronounced in the cocktail format. For that reason I have chosen to design an ice-filled cocktail where the slowly melting ice may be allowed to slowly change the character of the serving as you sip.

Embargo Cocktail

2 1/2 oz Embargo Ron Extra Del Caribe
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 oz fresh squeezed Lime Juice
1/2 oz Orange Curacao (Triple Sec)
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup
Ice
Citrus Peel

Add the Embargo Rum, and the other of the ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Pour the chilled mixture into a glass filled 1/3 with chipped ice
Add a Citrus coil for garnish

And of course enjoy responsibly!

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!

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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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