Juan Santos Coffee Infused Rum
Review: Juan Santos Coffee Infused Colombian Rum Review (89/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted October 2009
Juan Santos (Coffee Infused Colombian Rum) is produced by Casa Santana, a rum company born in Columbia in 1994. On the Casa Santana website the stated goal of the company is to produce the finest rum in Columbia. In line with this goal the Canadian Importer ‘The Liber Group’ plans to introduce a premium line of rums (5yr, 9yr, 12 yr and 21yr) into Canada. This Rum invasion begins in my home province of Alberta (Canada) in November of this year. With lofty goals and new premium rums on the way I decided to see if the rum lived up to the stated goals of its company.
In the Bottle (4.5/5)
Juan Santos is currently redesigning their bottle. When I first contacted the distributor in my country about my review I mentioned that I was going to be slightly critical of their simple label, and a more critical of a diffuser that seemed to want to keep rum in the bottle rather than to let it out. To my amazement they acknowledged the problems with the packaging, and showed me what the bottles will look like in a few months time. The diffuser is being replaced by a cork. The bottle is being reshaped to look more like a traditional squat rum bottle, and the label has been completely redesigned. It was great to have ones concerns addressed even before they were raised. I tip my hat to a company that is constantly trying to improve. I am giving Juan Santos an extra half a point for being ahead of the game.
In The Glass (9.0/10)
The aroma from the glass is steeped with rich coffee. I love coffee, and I love the aroma. It smells rich and sweet, more like a liqueur than the type of rum spirit I am used to. The rum notes are there as well, complimented by the coffee but not drowned in it. I catch ribbons of spices; in particular vanilla, perhaps a hint of hot cinnamon, and a finally right at the end I catch a touch of something nutty as well. In all, the nose is very nice.
In my Mouth (53.5/60)
In my mouth the rum is very sweet; it has a creamy, buttery texture as well . Coffee and rum play a very nice duet upon my tongue. The vanilla and spiciness I noticed in the glass wrap around the coffee and rum in my mouth, and the sensation is very enjoyable. I taste the nuttiness as well. In all this reminds me a little of Kahlua, but Juan Santos is richer and more assertive. The alcohol bite is muted reflecting a lesser alcohol content of 34 % versus the 40 % I am used to. I really enjoy the drink, but I must admit my palate becomes a little exhausted with the overwhelming rich and sweet infusion. This is like a decadent dessert which should be sipped and sampled discretely.
In the Throat (13.5/15)
The buttery, creamy texture really coats the throat. The burn is very gentle. Imagine you are eating a coffee and rum flavoured whipped cream and you will get the idea. I like that the rum and spice notes stay with me as long as the coffee does.
The Afterburn (8.5/10)
I love Juan Santos, but the decadent rum and coffee sweetness has its drawback. When I sip rum, I usually do not indulge my sweet tooth quite this much. In no way is this an indictment of the rum, it is just that the flavours are so rich and deep that it is more of a dessert than a main course. In fact, served with ice-cream, the Juan Santos Coffee Infused Rum is absolutely fantastic!
You may read some of my other reviews of Liqueurs and Flavoured Spirits (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.
As always you may interpret the scores I provide 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 more 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)