Ron Carupano Anejo
Review: Ron Carupano Anejo (84.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted November 03, 2016
Ron Carupano Anejo Rum is produced by Destilería Carúpano, CA. This is a true Venezuelan rum produced at Hacienda Altimira in Macarapana. According to the Ron Carupano website, Hacienda Altamira-Carúpano was established by the Spanish slave trader, Captain Felix del Fierro. (Not many rum companies are willing to recognize the common roots with the slave trade that rum possesses, and I applaud the Destilería for not obfuscating upon this matter. History should be learned from rather than forgotten.) The Hacienda was closed in 1901, after the death of Thomas Massiani, one of the owners; however, in 1954 the Morrison family purchased the property and together with Alejandro Hernandez (owner of Industrias Pampero) created Destilería Carúpano, CA.
Ron Carupano Anejo is produced from molasses in a 3-column distillation process where distillate is rectified to 95 % alcohol by volume. After distillation the rum is diluted with demineralized water to bring its concentration to 50% alcohol by volume. At this point the spirit is set down in white America oak barrels to age for up to 6 years. As the bottle does not carry an age statement, it is apparent that some of the rum in the final blend may be younger.
Ron Carupano Anejo is available in Canada bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.
In the Bottle 4/5
As shown to the left, Ron Carupano Anejo arrives in a medium tall oval bottle. The bottle itself is attractive; however the label could use some improvement. For starters, the rum is labelled as an Anejo Rum which for most of us implies a rum of only 2 to 4 years old. The marketing team here in Alberta (and the Ron Carupano website) like to point out that the rum is aged up to 6 years. If this is indeed the case, some mention of that fact on the label would certainly improve the chance of the consumer buying the bottle in a retail setting. I am not suggesting a definitive age statement, as that may not be possible; but some kind of indication that the rum is blended from older stocks would certainly help the brand.
The bottle is sealed with a plastic screw cap which is probably sufficient for a rum of this age, however I am not enthusiastic about the diffuser under the cap. I have been told in the past that the purpose of the diffuser is to ensure unscrupulous bartenders do not refill the bottle with an inferior brand and then serve it to their patrons, thus diminishing brand appeal. Hopefully as the brand gains traction in the Canadian market the producer will leave the diffuser out of the bottles destined for export.
In the Glass 8.5/10
When poured into the glass, the Carupano Anejo displays a very appealing amber colour. The rum is light bodied, and when I tilt and twirl it, the sheen on the inside of the glass deposits medium-sized droplets from its crest which turn into slender legs which quickly disappear.
The initial nose is light and clean. A light honeyed butterscotch sugar aroma along with firm fine wood spices rise into the air after I swirl my glass. Hints of orange peel and even lighter impressions of anise drift into the merry little breezes. A nice sweep of vanilla with a cinnamon accent settles itself into the air as well.
I gave the glass a few minutes to breathe, and the light butterscotch aroma deepened just a little while the fine oak spices gained momentum. The rum is beginning to remind me of a dusty rye whisky which bodes well. What I particularly like is that there appears to be no added sweetness, the scents and smells appear to be the result only of rum distillate and barrel aging.
In My Mouth 51/60
The entry of the rum into my mouth is clean, dry and smooth. Crisp flavours of fine (rye-like) oak spices and sandalwood mingle with light flavours of honey and butterscotch. Additional flavours of orange peel makes this just a little zesty, and that zesty flavour pairs very well with the light butterscotch sweetness. This is a light bodied column distilled rum, and with respect to style, it very much reminds me of a nice Canadian Whisky. My guess is that the Carupano Rum was aged in re-used bourbon barrels which had already imparted much of their rich caramel and oaky vanillans to the previous distillate. What these barrels still had to impart was for the most part, fine wood spice. Fortunately for us, this works extremely well with the flavour of column distilled rum.
I mixed a few cocktails. The clean dry spiciness and lightly sweet butterscotch flavour works very well in daiquiri style recipes. They also work very well in tall offerings lengthened with ginger-ale. The rum appears to sit nicely on the cusp where it can be sipped, yet is versatile enough for many cocktail styles.
In the Throat 12.5/15
The light bodied rum has a crisp dry finish with just enough spice to tap the tonsils; but not enough to do any harm. There is a light burn from wood spice, but this clean spiciness is part of the rum’s charm. After the swallow, the throat is left a little hot; but nice echoes of butterscotch and cinnamon are left behind as well.
The Afterburn 8.5/10
The Carupano Anejo Rum surprised me. The delivery is crisp with dusty oak spice providing just enough heat. I found that I enjoyed sipping the spirit over ice, although my overall preference was to add just a splash of ginger-ale. I have provided a few cocktails down below. The rum demonstrates a great range in the different ways in which it can be enjoyed.
If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.
For this recipe I have used only a splash of lime such that the strong tart flavour does not overpower the rum. A few drops of bitters give the cocktail a little added depth.
Classic Winter Daiquiri
2 oz Ron Carupano
1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 tsp simple syrup
Add the first four ingredients to a metal shaker with Ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a small wedge of lime
Please Enjoy Responsibly!
I have been told that in many parts of the Caribbean, they prefer to mix with ginger-ale rather than cola. For the light bodied Carupano Anejo, with its crisp dry flavour profile, ginger-ale is definitely my preference too.
2 oz Ron Carupano
2 tsp fresh Lime Juice
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 tsp Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
2 oz Ginger Ale
small Wedge of Lime
Add the first four ingredients to a rocks glass over ice
Complete with Ginger Ale
Garnish with a wedge of Lime
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!
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)