Water of Life - Flor de Caña Rum
Nicaragua is a blank spot on my world map.
“Blank” as in it has yet to be visited, I am intrigued about its location and anything emerging from it, catches my interest.
Unbeknownst to me Flor de Caña, a family owned distillery with a colourful history, has become a world-wide player with a wide-ranging portfolio of close to twelve expression.
My first exposure to its rums spans the spectrum from seven via twelve to the much fabled about eighteen-year-old expressions.
Each expression of Flor de Caña is based on a well-calibrated melange of aged rums and even from having merely sipped them the first time, I can tell that there is a refined method to the way they channel their alchemy in a bid to create differently nuanced and complex rum expressions, all of which clock in at eighty percent proof.
Flor de Cana Gran Reserva 7 was the first one that hit my palate and boy, was I in for a treat. I have had the privilege of sampling many a rum but the combination of buttery caramel with highlights of vanilla, framed by coffee flavours and based on the notes imparted by Madeira casks, we were off to a great start.
Things are taken up a notch or two with the 12-Year-Old Centenario expression in terms of punchiness: Heavy on the fruity flavours, it is not overpowering but leaves enough breathing room for highlights of coffee to shine through, which culminates in a finish that lets your palate celebrate. I find it interesting that despite all its depth, it is quite a crisp more-ish sipping rum.
Flor de Cana Centenario 18 plays in a league of its own and reminds me a lot of whiskies in terms of its complexity and character it has derived from the barrels it was matured in and an avalanche of exquisite flavours informed by layers of fermented fruit flavours. The interaction between the fruity, raisiney, nutmeggy and barrel char notes is what elevates the vibrancy of this expression beyond of what the mere age statement suggests, and it is a thing of beauty to watch the leglets cascade down the Glencairn or whatever transparent goblet you might be using.
Given the aforementioned, it goes without saying that I would consider masking the beautiful spiced oak flavours of Flor de Caña by hiding it within a cocktail or diluting it by adding other components.
Apart from the aromatic and delectable thickly textured rums, the irregular shaped bottles they come in and the labels they are adorned with are a feast for the eyes, which make a stylish addition to any liquor shelf.