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Montanya Platino Rum

Review Montanya Platino Rum  78/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on September 9, 2010

The Montanya Tasting Room (Photo Courtesy of Montanya Distillers)

Up in the San Juan mountains of Colorado, in the heart of the High Country, 9318 feet above sea level, there sits an anomaly upon the landscape of world of rum. In this unlikely locale, far removed from the tropical climes of the Caribbean, the Montanya Distillery is open for business making their award-winning rum. I mention award-winning, because this year the distillery captured major awards at two of the most prestigious rum tasting competitions in the USA. At both the San Fransisco Worlds Spirits Competition in San Fransisco and at the Rum Renaissance – RumXP Tasting Competition, The Montanya Platino captured Gold Medals!

Fortunately I was in Miami acting as a judge at the RumXP Tasting Competition (for those who do not know XP stands for Expert Panel), and I was able to acquire a sample bottle of the Montanya Platino rum to review on my blog.

I did a little research and discovered that all of the rum produced by Montanya Distillers is made on a small copper pot still. It is a small batch distillation which produces roughly 10 gallons of rum in each batch. When enough rum has been distilled to fill a reused whisky barrel. It is then set down to age at altitude in the small town of Silverton Colorado for roughly 6 weeks. My research turned up this a cool video which I found on You Tube, (and found later on the Montanya Website) which tells the story of how they make their rum much better than I can.

In the Bottle 4/5

Photo Courtesy Montanya Distillers

The Montanya Platino Rum  comes in a tall  bottle with a long slender neck.  The back label gives us a little of  the story of the rums as well as some tasting notes from The Beverage Tasting Institute.  To top off the presentation, the sleek bottle is capped by a straight sided high density cork.  The only drawback I found was that the tall bottle a too long to fit comfortably in liquor cabinet.  A very minor quibble.

In the Glass 8/10

The rum shows a distinctive light almond/greenish colouration in my glass.  The colour is a remnant of the short stay (six weeks) that the rum had in reused whisky (Stranahan’s and Woodford Reserve) barrels.  This short period of aging should help to smooth the  rum,  impart a light vanilla flavour, and add some oak character.

Indeed the immediate nose of the rum has a stronger than usual vanilla accent accompanying the light caramel aroma.  The grassy vegetal tones of a very young spirit are also apparent, and if the glass sits long enough, hints of corn whisky, treacle and honeycomb begin to wave in the breezes.

In the Mouth  47/60

Montanya Platino begins with a combination of honeyed caramel, bourbon vanilla, and mild anise flavours on the initial palate.  There is a little softness in the mouth which seems to give legs to a somewhat dank vanilla thread that runs through the rum. A touch of corn whisky stemming no doubt from the brief time in the whiskey barrels leaves a vague imprint in the rum’s flavour profile,and is where, I believe, that the mild dankness in the vanilla is stemming from.  In all this is quite interesting and more complex than I would have originally believed.

As this is a white rum, I decided to mix a few cocktails to see where the rum excelled.  I started with a simple Daiquiri, moved to a Mojito, and then to a Cuba Libre. It was in the Cuba Libre that the rum  showed me that it felt most at home.  I found the touch of lime and cola united very well with the underlying corn whisky accent the rum displayed.

In the Throat  11/15

The vanilla flavour which seemed to grow stronger in each step of my review gained even more expression in the finish.  Not so much that I thought it was too strong, but enough that it left a lasting impression as an aftertaste on the back of my palate.  The ending was relatively smooth, but I was caught off guard by a lingering vegetal flavour that seemed to cloy at me at the end.

The Afterburn 8/10

I think this is a white rum that will appeal very strongly to certain aficionados.  The lingering threads of corn whisky which accent the flavour profile are extremely interesting.  Because of the small batch nature of the rum, I wonder whether this flavour is consistent from batch to batch or whether this is almost entirely dependent upon the barrel the rum was aged in.  I think perhaps I need to try to find another bottle just to continue this research.

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


Suggested Recipe

The Montanya Distillers website has several very interesting recipes for mixing their Platino Rum.  The Lucky Lady, The Freestyle, The Thai Boxer and many more.  I didn’t have a chance to try all of them but I did try the Montanya Lemon Drop and found it quite tasty.

However, for my recommendation I am going to stick to the Cuba Libre cocktail which seemed to fit my personal taste the best when I was sampling the Montanya Platino.  (I will have a nice picture of this cocktail with my bottle of rum when it stops raining long enough for me to snap a nice outdoor photo.)

A Modern Cuba Libre’

1 1/2 oz. Montanya Platino  Rum
4  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

And do remember to enjoy responsibly, the aim of my blog is to help you drink better,  not to help you drink more!


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)

2 Responses to “Montanya Platino Rum”

  1. Frederic said

    “The only drawback I found was that the tall bottle a too long to fit comfortably in liquor cabinet. A very minor quibble.”

    Well, one that effects which spirit we use in our drinks. For example, Northshore and Knockabout Gin do not fit on our gin shelf so they sit with the whiskeys since that shelf is a bit taller. As a result, we use those two gins less than we should. Sure, a tall bottle will stand out more on a bar akin to the large bottle of Galliano, but for the home user, it can be a detriment.

    • I see you understood my point. I find the presentation of a spirit has many subtleties. I have actually passed up on purchasing a spirit I wanted because the bottle was too awkward to deal with, both in display and in function.

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