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Pampero Anniversario Reserva Exclusiva

Review: Pampero Ron Anejo Anniversario Reserva Exclusiva    90/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on February 28, 2010

In 1938 Industrias Pampero, C.A., a distillery in Venezuela was established.  This distillery is reputed  to be the first distillery in Venezuela to set the high standards for which Venezuelan Rum is now famous for.  The Pampero brand is now controlled by Diageo, one of the largest liquor companies in the world, and Diageo is responsible for marketing and selling the Pampero Rums Wordwide.

The Ron Anejo Pampero Anniversario has no age statement. I have found a few websites which speculate that the age of rums in the blend are between 2 years and 8.  I have my doubts that any rum in the blend is less than 4 years.  This is based upon the knowledge passed to me from a  Venezuelan Rum Representative (importer) who assured me that in Venezuela no rum receives the accreditation of “Anejo’ unless the entire blend is at least four years old.  I have not been able to verify this claim 100 %, but my palate can not find any young rums in this blend.  Therefore his claims seem to match my physical observation that this is  a somewhat older blend of rums.

In the Bottle 4/5

I will say this about the presentation, the rum bottle is unique and unlike other rum bottles on my shelf. Short and squat, with clear glass to show of the dark rum inside.  The presentation is corked with a high quality dense straight sided cork. So there is not much to complain about.  But…  to be honest, my impression when I look at the bottle is that it seems small. I actually thought it was a 500 ml bottle rather than a 750. And now, even when I know better, my unconscious mind keeps tricking me into believing I do not have much rum in the bottle. I have to deduct one point from presentation when the bottle design evokes a feeling of smallness and disappointment, even if the feeling is unjustified in real terms.

In the Glass 9.5/10

In the glass the rum is dark, rich and inviting.  A quick swirl reveals moderate legs trailing down the glass and brings scents of brown sugar (baking) spices to the fore. Heavy dark brown sugar, underlain with caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and spicy oak tannin present a luxurious bouquet to the nose. Hints of tobacco and unfinished leather seem to come and go, and even a few tea leaves seemed scattered in the breezes.  This is heady stuff.

In the Mouth 54/60

As indicated by the trailing legs in the glass, the rum presents itself with a nice buttery feel on the tongue. Whereas I felt the brown sugar and baking spices dominated the nose, the flavour in the mouth is somewhat drier. Those scattered tea leaves have gathered with the leathery tobacco to present a dryness (almost a smokiness) on the palate.  The sweeter scents of brown sugar and caramel have turned into a soft toffee which is spicy but only bittersweet.  This is very good. I normally like my rum to be more sweet but the flavour of Pampero tiptoes around bitterness without actually falling into the well.

I think what strikes me the most concerning the Pampero Anniversario is the overall balance of the flavours.  Everything is working together.  The spices, the dryness, the flavours of tea and oak and toffee; even a touch of vanilla bean,  all act in a wonderful moderation allowing each to be discerned without any becoming heavy or awkward.

In the Throat 13.5/15

The exit is moderately long and dry with a nice bundle of spice and sweetness right at the very end.  That bundle of energy at the end really gets me. It’s like a little topping of dessert at the end of each swallow.   There really is not any burn to speak of, and each swallow begs to be followed by another.

The Afterburn 9/10

This is a quality sipping rum.  It is perhaps a little dry but the dryness never asserts itself as bitterness   The rum is well-balanced, with a taste profile that has all the elements a fine rum requires.  The only thing missing is some ooomph in the assertiveness of the flavours to put the rum into the stratosphere.  A dangerous game that would be, as this same oomph which could make this a truly magnificent rum could be the same oomph that knocks balance between these flavours out of whack and destroys  the rum.  I will accept and enjoy the tact which Pampero used and enjoy the rum as it is.

Suggested Cocktail

Even though the Pampero Anniversario is excellent as a sipping rum I could not resist mixing a modified sipping Cuba Libra.  I used real Coca Cola in a 40/60 mixture Rum to Cola.  I was amazed at how much the spices from the rum jumped out with the mixture of cola.  It was outstanding!  This leads me to more firmly believe that even the best rums can and should be mixed when the desire strikes.

I also mixed a nice Coffee Rum Cocktail which I really enjoyed.

Pampero Aniversario Coffee Rum Cocktail

1 1/2  oz Pampero Anniversario
1 oz Bolivar Coffee Liqueur (Sub good quality Coffee liqueur)
Serve with Chocolate covered Almonds!
1 1/2  oz  Pampero Anniversario
1 oz   Juan Santos Coffee Rum

Again serve with Chocolates.

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


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)


6 Responses to “Pampero Anniversario Reserva Exclusiva”

  1. Fat Rum Pirate said

    I bought a bottle of this Gibraltar for around £13 (its £35 and upwards online in the UK). I admit this was last summer and I am still now only getting into the sheer number of rums available. I’m also becoming quite familiar with the terms used to describe them!

    So it was probably a bit of a fluke that I opted for a bottle of this rum and a Ron Barceló. I bought both for the packaging in preference to a 15 yo Matuselum.

    Anyway I found this rum to be different to anything I had tasted at the time (mainly high street branded Golden or Navy Rums). It was very tasty, fruity and complex.

    I don’t drink my spirits neat I prefer Rum and Coke but I drink them with Diet Coke as I find full fat coke tends to mask the taste of the rum too much.

    This is one of my favourite rums and I will have to bite the bullet soon and buy another bottle! Or re-visit Gibraltar.

  2. miguel said

    I have an unopened bottle still sealed and with the leather bag, botlled in 1963. Can anyone tell its value?

  3. Thomas said

    I found it interesting that you crossed the “size of bottle” path I did as well. I had to do a pour test just to confim it was 750ML. Amazing it actually is.

    This is my favorite rum, period. I drink it straight with a single large cube (2’x2′). A Fonseca cigar tops it off. I’m all ears for any better to try.

  4. Realist said

    Pampero Anniversario is my absolute favorite rum. I have yet to taste any rum better than this. Barbancourt 8 year and 15 year are good also. So are some of the Cruzan aged rums. But I still love Anniversario the best!

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