Flor de Caña Centenario 12 Year
Review: Flor de Caña Centenario 12 YR Old Rum – 92.5pts
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted November 6, 2012
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 still 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 with molasses from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. It is distilled in a continuous column still process, and then laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.
In the Bottle: (4.0/5)
The Flor de Caña Centenario 12 Year arrives in a clear, squat rum bottle with a plastic screw-top cap. What is good is that the bottle is distinctive, which serves to help me quickly recognize it on my rum shelf, and the labeling upon the bottle is clear and professional. The colours work, and the fonts work such that everything is easy to see and read. I like the overall look, but I do wish for a nice cork instead of the screw cap.
In the Glass 9/10
I am not sure whether the blend has changed slightly in the past three years or whether my standards have increased a little. But I notice just a little sharpness in the breezes above my glass after I pour it, that I do not remember from my previous visits to the bottle. In those breezes are lovely scents of walnut shells and pecans, sticky sweet caramel and honey, rich baking spices (especially cinnamon, cloves, allspice and vanilla), and a nice firm but mellow oakiness which is quite lovely.
I receive a distinct impression of richness with nice accents of chocolate caramel, light dabs of cola and a moderately spicy tobacco which drifts upwards to add character to the overall aroma. I really like the impact the aroma has upon my senses, but that light sharpness in the breezes is keeping the score just a little lower than it was before.
In the Mouth 57/60
The nose translates very well to the palate, in a rum which to me demonstrates outstanding balance and complexity. All the impressions I noticed in the air around my glass leave their flavour imprints within the rum. Dark caramel, spicy toffee, impressions of walnuts, vanilla, touches of cinnamon and cloves, some dabs of allspice, orange marmalade, chocolate, and some moderately spicy tobacco all swim together in the currents of flavour harmoniously (much to my delight).
There is a certain suave character evident which is very appealing, and I almost always pour a second glass whenever I bring this rum down from my shelf.
In the Throat 13.5/15
The rum is a light bodied, column distilled rum, which means the flavours and impressions do not cling to the palate, rather they slide rather easily through the taste experience lingering only a little while before they vanish down the throat. This makes the exit clean and crisp, although traces of chocolate and baking spices seem to linger just a little longer than the other flavours.
The Afterburn (9.5/10)
The Flor de Caña 12 Year old Rum is absolutely a delight. However, if you have followed my website postings over the last three years, you will have noticed that this rum’s score has dropped a notch or two from my original published score of 97 points (Published October 2009). I think that when I wrote my original review, I was perhaps too madly in love with the Flor de Caña brand. You see, this is the brand of rum which pulled me away from my singular relationship with whisky, and brought me into the world of exploring other spirits. Flor de Caña rums were the first rums I truly loved.
I have more perspective now, and my current score is probably much more reflective of the true quality of this rum. Having said that, I must admit, that now that this 12 year Old Rum bottle is open, it will be my rum partner until the wonderful contents are gone. My score might be diminished, but I am still in love with Flor de Caña rum.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
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)