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Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva

Review: Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva   (87/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Revisited January 26, 2018

Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is led headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world. According to the company website, all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced from molasses which is made from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. This molasses is fermented and then distilled five times in a continuous column still. The resulting distillate is laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.

Flor de Caña 7 is part of  the company’s Super Premium aged rum collection. The number 7 on the label is representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile. According to the folks at Flor de Caña this aged spirit is suitable for sipping as well as for cocktails.

In the Bottle 4/5

The label design does not contain a definitive age statement. As well the bottle closure is a metallic pressed on cap rather than the plastic twist cap. Pressed on metallic caps are inferior to plastic caps. They are subject to warping and easily lose their thread. Although I like the fresh look the bottle and label, I feel the inferior closure and the undefined age statement are slightly disappointing.

In the Glass 8.5/10

When I poured the rum into my glencairn glasses I noticed that the rum carried a rich copper colour which was a shade darker than the previously reviewed Flor de Caña 5 (Añejo Clasico). After a slow tilt and twirl of my glass the rum left a light film on the inside of the glass, the crest of which dropped quick moving slender legs.

When I took a sniff from the breezes above the glass, I noticed scents of caramel toffee accented by yummy baking spices (nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon) as well as nutty aromas which reminded me of pecans and walnuts. There were also some hints of darker fruit (raisins and dates) as well as some treacle, bittersweet chocolate and orange peel rising into the air. The was a light grassy astringency which rose into the air as well. This light grassiness seems to be a feature which has crept into the Flor de Cana flavour profile over the last few years.

In the Mouth 52.5/60

The flavour profile of the Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva features a ribbon of bittersweet chocolate complimented by vanilla, dark caramel treacle and baking spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) with the nuttiness of walnuts and pecans laying underneath. There is a firm presence of oak, and within the wood spices are traces of oak sap and hints of green tobacco. The rum is very good neat, and with a well placed ice-cube it becomes an excellent sipper.

Although the rum is a great sipper over ice, it is so affordable that mixing with cola and ice should not be discouraged especially on a hot summer day. In the cooler evenings, a Rum Old Fashioned may be considered (see recipe below).

In the Throat  13/15

If not for a light hint of astringency in the finish I would have scored the new Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva have a notch higher. The finish is crisp with ebbing bittersweet chocolate flavours mixed with oak spices. Brown sugar and baking spices linger for a little while, and then they re-appear if you give your empty glass a sniff.

The Afterburn  9/10

The Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva is a great rum (one of my favourites in its price range). It has character and a depth of flavour which works well whether it is sipped or whether it is mixed into a cocktail. It shall continue to be a fixture upon my rum shelf.

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

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Suggested Cocktail

Rum Old Fashioned SAM_1708Rum Old Fashioned

2 oz Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva
1 tsp simple syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 dash Fees Cocktail Bitters
3 large ice cubes
1 twist of orange peel

Add the first four ingredients to a rocks glass over the ice cubes
Rub the cut edge of the orange peel over the rim of the glass and twist it over the drink. (This will release the oil from the orange zest into the drink)
Drop the peel into the cocktail if desired.

Please 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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