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Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos

Review: Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos   81.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on January 16, 2016

Ron Abuelo Rum is produced by Varela Hermanos SA in Panama, Central America. This company has a history which dates back to 1908 when Don José Varela Blanco launched the first sugar mill in the then recently formed Republic of Panama. In 1935, the site began to distill sugar cane juice for the production of various kinds of spirits. Now today, the company produces an impressive array of products which includes over one million boxes of spirits and of course a strong variety of rums. The Ron Abuelo brand is just one brand from this wide assortment.

According to the website, the Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos is produced from molasses and aged for 7 years in white oak bourbon casks.

Abuelo Anos 7In the Bottle 4.5/5

The rum arrives in a medium-tall dark brown bottle which is sealed with a standard cork. This style of bottle is designed to easily fit upon the bartenders shelf, and it is also easy to pour into my glass. I am happy to see no evidence of a metal screw caps anywhere, in fact my bottle is sealed with a nice solid cork. The label on the bottle is very simple, and lacks any frills. I would prefer a little ‘pop’ on the label with perhaps more colour and perhaps a little history of Ron Abuelo Rum on the back label to entice me to buy the rum. However, I admit there is also a certain charm in the simple approach.

In the Glass 8.5/10

I poured myself a sample of the 7 Year Old Rum and brought it up to my nose. The initial breezes bring a fruited butterscotch aroma accented with oak spice, leather, and orange peel. I gave the glass a cautious tilt and swirl. The spirit deposited a light sheen of rum upon the inside of my glass, and I watched as small leglets formed. These small leglets developed into skinny legs which slid slowly down the side of the glass back into the amber/mahogany coloured rum.

I allowed the glass to breath, and began to nose the rum again. Dark brown sugary baking spices have evolved with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and hints of clove. There is also an impression of pecans. The menagerie reminds me of the smells of cinnamon buns baking in the oven. Hints of orange marmalade rise up as well, and I am impressed with what I have uncovered thus far.

In the Mouth 49.5/60

The richness of the wonderful aromas above the glass do not translate fully across the palate as there is a ‘thin’ quality to the spirit as well as an accompanying alcohol sharpness which together seem to dampen the overall depth of flavour. I can taste light brown sugars and baking spices; but the astringency of the alcohol gives those flavours an unfortunate light ‘artificial’ quality which hampers my enjoyment. With each sip I found myself lowering the score a little more.

I decided to add a cube of ice to the glass, and I was much happier with the result. A lightly bitter milk chocolate evolved, and the sharpness of the alcohol was alleviated. The pecans I noted on the nose revealed themselves again as well.

In the Throat 11.5/15

This is a light bodied spirit. The lightness of the rum is probably what accounts for the ‘thin’ quality I found in the delivery. It also exacerbates the sharpness of the alcohol giving the spirit a penetrating bite that settles into the back of the throat. When I added ice however, the spirit left lovely chocolate trails in the back of the throat.

The Afterburn 8/10

The Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos is a decent rum which becomes a sipper when ice is added. However, I found most of my enjoyment with this particular rum after my tasting sessions were over when I allowed myself to mix a Cuba Libre’ and a few other short mixed cocktails.

My final score of 81.5/100 indicates that although I may sip this rum occasionally, mixed cocktails (see below) are probably the more likely destiny of the rest of my bottle.

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


Suggested Recipe:

Abuelo rum club cocktailThe Rum Club Cocktail

2 oz Ron Abuelo Anejo 7 Anos
1/4 oz Orange Curacao
1/4 oz tsp Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 tsp Sugar Syrup
1 dash Fees Bitters
1 dash Maraschino Liqueur
Lemon Peel
Splash Ginger-ale

Add the first six ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the sides frost
Rim the edge of a chilled cocktail glass with a lemon slice and dip it in sugar
Strain the contents of the shaker into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with lemon peel and a lump of ice
Complete with Ginger-ale

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

Note: If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


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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