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Ron Centanario No.12 Gran Legado

Review: Ron Centanario No.12 Gran Legado 
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Published June 01, 2022

Ron Centenario 12 Gran Legado is, as the company website states, a rum product with a Costa Rica stamp. I am not sure what this means exactly, although I suspect it means the rum is bottled by a Rum Company within Costa Rica Rum; but its contents may be from any of a number of Caribbean sources. The rum is widely sold as a 12 Year Old spirit; however when I investigated this claim I could only find this statement from the producer again on that Ron Centanario website:

Ron Centenario 12 Gran Legado is a mixture of rums aged in American white oak barrels to consolidate the flavor of almonds, ripe bananas, orange zest and nougat. An imposing Rum in taste, essence and quality.  (translated from Spanish)

It seems that neither the bottle’s label, nor the company website makes any age claim at all. In fact if one examines both versions of the rum shown below (Image from Ron Centenario website), it is plainly evident that the 12 is meant as just a number not as an age statement. I do not know what the number 12 represents, perhaps it took 12 batches to get everything just right.

The website also tells us that the rum is aged in American white oak barrels that previously contained Scotch whisky. This makes the cane spirit somewhat unique in the rum category. The barrels come from different areas of Scotland imparting more than one style of scotch whisky note into the rum during the maturation.

I am reviewing an older bottling of the Gran Legado bottled at 35 % abv. which was brought to me from Mexico by a good friend who thought I might be interested in a rum not available to me in Canada. Whether the newer bottling (shown above) is substantially different from my review bottle (shown below) is unknown to me. So take my words with a grain of salt when making a purchase choice.

In The Bottle 4/5

As you can see from my photo shown to the right, Ron Centenario No. 12 Gran Legado has had quite a makeover since my friend found his sample bottle in the Mexico. The new bottle is a mid height cylindrical clear bottle with a nice label and plastic twist top closure.The older brown bottle has a shape sort of like a genie bottle. I like the older bottle as it seems to have more character; however I suspect the ergonomic shape of the new bottle allows for easier handling and allows more bottle sot be shipped in a typical shipping case.

In The Glass  9/10

Colour: Amber/Copper

Legs: Slightly thickened

Nose:  Dried plums, caramel, vanilla, and oak spices. Hints of baking spice drift into the breezes above the glass with hints of cinnamon and indications of nutmeg and allspice. Oak and the baking spices build in the air as the rum breathes and a lovely tobacco stained toffee develops as well.

So far, I am impressed.

In my Mouth 52.5/60

The rum is perhaps just a little smokey, with oak and toffee leading out ahead of slightly bitter flavours of baking spice and roasted walnuts. I taste hints of raisins, dates, and dried plums, hints of allspice and clove with treacle and a light flavour of molasses. With ice, the rum is a nice sipper.  It also tastes swell with just a splash of cola. And, it appears to be ready for more serious cocktail endeavors (see below).

In the Throat  13/15

The exit is medium-length and perhaps a touch drier than the delivery. There is a lingering pungent spiciness which puckers the palate intensifying the light dryness of the finish. Oak and baking spices linger with just a hint of sweetness and a few whispers of smoke.

The Afterburn 9/10

Ron Centenario 12 Gran Legado is a really nice rum. I like the versatility it displays as I am able to enjoy the Gran Legado spirit over ice, with a splash of cola, and even in fancier cocktails. Frankly, I do not care if the rum is not really 12 years old, it tastes great, and that is all that matters.

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


Suggested Cocktail

The Brooklynite cocktail appears to have arrived on the scene in the 1940s in Brooklyn, New York. It appears in the 1946 edition of the Stork Club Bar Book, and is basically is a daiquiri made with dark rum and honey. This version uses an aged dark rum rather than a young molasses based dark rum; but it is just as yummy.


2 oz Ron Centenario 12 Gran Legado
1/2 oz Honey syrup (1:1 ratio honey and hot water)
1/2 oz Lime juice
dash of Angostura bitters
twist of citrus

Add the four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Double Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a twist of citrus

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


My Scores are out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret them 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 spirit.  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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