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Flor de Caña 7 Blanco Reserva

Review: Flor de Caña 7 Blanco Reserva  (82/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted October 05, 2018

Flor de Caña has a history of rum production which is dated to 1890 at the San Antonio Sugar Mill, in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. The company was founded by Francisco Alfredo Pellas and today, over 120 years later, the company is led headed by the fifth generation of the Pellas family. It has grown to be not only one of Central America’s leading brands of rum, it is also one of the most recognized rum brands in the world. According to the company website, all of the Flor de Caña rum is produced from molasses which is made from sugar cane harvested in fields adjacent to the distillery in Chichigalpa. This molasses is fermented and then distilled five times in a continuous column still. The resulting distillate is laid down to age in small American white oak barrels in traditional aging warehouses built without air conditioning in an undisturbed environment.

Flor de Caña 7 Blanco Reserva is a premium white rum with the number 7 on the label representative of the average age of the rums in the blend with some variation in the actual age based upon blending to a consistent flavour profile. Although the rums within the blend have been aged, they are filtered clear making the spirit suitable for mixed drinks and short cocktails.

In the Bottle 4/5

Flor de Caña 7 Blanco Reserva arrives in a medium tall rectangular bottle (see left). These bottles are designed to allow the spirits company to ship bottles more efficiently by packing more volume into a rectangular shipping case. As well as being ergonomic, this bottle is also designed to be functional. It fits easily on the bartender’s shelf, is easy to grab hold of, and is easy for that aforementioned bartender to pour into a glass or cocktail making the rum very accessible to the bar trade.

The label does not contain a definitive age statement. As well the bottle closure is now a metallic pressed on cap rather than the plastic twist cap of the previous version of the rum. Pressed on metallic caps are inferior to plastic caps. They are subject to warping and easily lose their thread. Although I like the fresh look the new bottle and label bring forward, I feel the inferior closure and the undefined age statement are distractions from an otherwise great presentation.

In the Glass 8/10

I poured the clear rum into my glencairn glass and began with a good look at the spirit.  Although the rum has apparently been aged for up to seven years in oak barrels, the aged rum has been filtered to remove all colour. As a result the spirit is clear, however its time in oak barrels appears to be represented with a slightly oily appearance in the glass. I gave that glass a tilt and a slow swirl and then examined the clear sheen left on the sides of the glass. Some small to medium-sized droplets have formed at the crest and these amble down at a moderate pace as slender to mid-sized legs.

The aroma rising up from the glass contains nice notes of vanilla tinges with caramel and banana. There is a light hint menthol alongside, and some light citrus notes (orange peel and lemon) as well. I happened to have some of my previously reviewed Flor de Caña 4 Extra Seco on hand so I did a side by side comparison. The 4 year clear rum (the Extra Seco) is much grassier and has less apparent caramel on the nose. As well the citrus notes are much firmer in the younger rum. We will have to see how this plays out, but my initial impression is that I like the younger rum just a little more at this point.

In the Mouth 49/60

The muted character of the FDC 7 Blanco Reserva continues to be apparent as I take my first sip. I am noticing an added floral character which was not readily apparent to me when I nosed the glass. Other than that floral character, my taste descriptors pretty much match my impression on the nose. With ice I can sip the rum, but in all honesty I would rather sip the Flor de Caña 7 Gran Reserva which contains much more flavour and character.

I suspect the clear 7 Year Old is meant to be a cocktail rum so I mixed a few cocktails over several days. I quickly determined that I was not enthusiastic about using the rum for daiquiris and mojitos. The remnant of the aging barrel which is most prominent in the flavour profile is a firmer than usual caramel flavour than we normally find in white rums. This caramel flavour, and the muted citrus notes seemed to ambush my enjoyment. It was quite different when I mixed a Cuba Libre’ where the firmer caramel note was welcome. This would be my recommended serving for the rum (see recipe below).

I did a little more experimenting and found that if I mixed the rum with vodka in daiquiri style cocktails I was much happier with the result. I shared one of those recipes below as well.

In the Throat 13/15

The highlight of the Flor de Caña 7 Blanco Reserva, is the finish which is longer and smoother than what we would typically find in clear rums. The finish is lightly sweet with a hint of cola complimenting the exit.

The Afterburn 8/10

Flor de Caña 7 Blanco Reserva is ultimately a disappointing rum. Although it makes a great Cuba Libre’ and can be massaged to make nice daiquiri cocktails (with the addition of vodka), the truth is that the spirit lacks the character to be a true cocktail or sipping rum. If cocktails are your preference, then I would suggest that Flor de Caña 4 Extra Seco would serve your purpose better, and if sipping is your preference, then Flor de Caña 7Gran Reserva again would serve your purpose better. FDC 7 Blanco Reserva can be sipped, and can be used for cocktails, but it does not excel in either format.

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

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Suggested Servings

Cuba Libre’

1 1/2 oz FDC 7 Blanco Reserva
4 to 6 oz Coca Cola
Lime wedge
3 -4 Large Ice Cubes

Rub the rim of a standard rocks glass or highball glass with lime
Squeeze the lime over the glass to release some juice into the drink and fill with the glass with ice
Add Rum and fill with Coca Cola
Drop in the lime wedge and stir lightly

Enjoy Responsibly!

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Soft Daiq

1 oz Vodka
1/2 oz FDC 7 Blanco Reserva
3/8 oz Bols Triple Sec
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 oz Sugar Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Ice
Lime Slice

Add the ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Add a lime slice for garnish

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!

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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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