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Pixan 8 Anos Rum

Review: Pixan 8 Anos Rum 83.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Updated February, 2020

Pixan Rum is produced at Destileria Espiritus del Norte a relatively new distillery located in Monterrey in northeastern Mexico. Apparently Pixan comes to us linguistically from the Mayan people and it is a word which roughly means ‘Spirit which gives life’.

It was hard to find information regarding this new distillery, although I did uncover that on Friday, December 23, 2016, an European community trademark registration was filed for PIXAN RUM DE MEXICO by Destilería Espíritus del Norte S.A. de C.V. . This trademark was registered on April 19, 2017. This means the distillery appears to have begun to export rum into Europe about two and a half years ago.

Pixan 8 Anos is the distillery’s most premium rum. Based upon the spirit appearing to be much older than the trademark, I think we can assume that the Espiritus Distillery either sourced the Pixan Rum from a third party or were producing rum in their local market for several years before applying for export trademarks.

Several retail sites I visited stated that the rum is produced from molasses upon a double column still and then aged for up to 8 years in American oak barrels which previously contained bourbon.

In the Bottle 4/5

A bottle shot of the Pixan 8 Anos is shown to the left. I like the small squat bottle although the relatively small neck has me concerned that spillage might be a problem when you first pour your first few drams of rum.

I am also concerned about the ambiguous age statement on the label. The words ‘8 Anos’ on the bottle translate to English as ‘8 Years’. However, a legal age statement must say ‘Aged 8 Years’ or ‘8 Years Old’. Merely saying ‘8 Year’ on the label in a legal sense means nothing and it does not bind the producer to ensure that the entire contents are aged to any particular level. Typically spirits which contain ambiguous wording do so to imply an age that is not actually realized by the contents within the bottle.

I am by no means sure of this; but my suspicion is that the rum inside the bottle is a blend of differing ages with the largest age approaching 8 years. This would be consistent with the retail advertising I saw which states the rum is aged up to 8 years.

In The Glass 9/10

When poured into the glass the Pixan Rum shows us an attractive copper/bronze hue, and when that glass is tilted and twirled a thickened crest forms which reluctantly drops large leglets which fall to the rum below.

The initial nose is full of oak spice, butterscotch and vanilla with hints of almond and walnut. As the glass breathes oak spice continues to pour out, and we sense firmer aromas of butterscotch and vanilla. A fruitiness also develops with hints of sweet and sour fruit, some orange peel and impressions of canned apricot. There are also herbal notes with bits of menthol and fresh hay.

In the Mouth 50/60

The first sip arrives with wood spice and some light astringency of alcohol which pushes through the sweetness. The astringency soon passes and it could very well be that what I am really encountering fine oak spice giving the spirit some bite. The rum is sweet with butterscotch toffee, vanilla and canned apricots implied. This sweetness melds into the peppery oak spices. Herbal notes of camphor, hints of cinnamon and a touch of menthol complete the tasting notes.

As the glass sits the flavour remains consistent; however when I add ice the herbal notes become more pronounced and the spirit begins to have featurs similar to Glayva (Herbal scotch liqueur).

In The Throat: 12.5/15

Pixan 8 Anos Rum is full bodied with a lengthened sweet finish. I taste sweet toffee with oak spice and herbal flavours during the exit with butterscotch, oak and camphor lingering.

The Afterburn  8/10

The score is hampered because the the rum is perhaps a little too sweet making this taste more like a liqueur at times than a sipping rum. With a few more years of aging, there might be enough oak character and spice to pull things off; but at this time the sweetness within the rum seems out of balance and dominating. I finished my sample over ice where the sweetness was diminished, and the herbal qualities were more pronounced.

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

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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

 

 
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