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Rum Review: Flor de Cana Smackdown

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How do you feel about Flor de Cana?
Great rums by a great company, perfect!
 50%  [ 3 ]
So smooth, so nice that I can't really remember.
 16%  [ 1 ]
Sure I own one - but I need some real rum too!
 33%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 6

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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:12 am    Post subject: Rum Review: Flor de Cana Smackdown Reply with quote

Flor de Cana: A Smackdown

It was inevitable.

Over the many months of a growing rum collection - which I do only for you, lol - I knew I'd finally add the seven and twelve year to my originally purchased four year mixer. Mind you, I'm not about to buy the 18, as this borders on expensive snobbery. But if Bush dribbles another pissant tax rebate on me, maybe I'll consider the 21. Or maybe I'll buy food.

So the day came when Total Wine sold me a bottle of Appleton Reserve for what should have been the Extra. I requested and politely received a refund, but alas - out of my dear Extra. Hmmm. I noted one of the few rums I'd yet to purchase was just a few bucks more - Flor de Cana Twelve Year. Done. The Flor de Cana smackdown was born...

So let's compare the 4 - 7 - 12's, shall we?


Beginning with the Four Year...

Sue finds the aroma floral, perhaps orange blossom. I agree, but more a high orange/apricot with a background of leather. A bit of alcohol prickle is apparent.

Sue Sea finds the Seven Year more subtle with oak and leather over a sweet background of honey and orange/apricot. I find the alcohol prickle has declined and find the same honey, oak, leather and orange apricot. In sum, a deeper, more subtle version of the Four Year.

The Twelve Year has the same basic profile but the oak has come forward. Sue Sea now more notes oak, caramel and leather, a light furniture polish and a deep orange/apricot. I too first note the oak and spice, even a deep nice tar - the honey is gone - still a hint of alcohol - against a background of raisin, very deep orange/apricot and leather. Just what you'd expect from aging.

In sum the Four Year more exhibit lighter, higher tones. As we move through the Seven and Twelve the tones descend and the oak comes to the fore. The Seven year, uniquely, has a notable honey sweetness. The Four Year has a slightly sour aroma attributable to the alcohol.


Beginning with the Four Year...

Sue Sea opens with a light orange/apricot, with a growing spicy clove and peppery ending. My initial taste is a smooth orange/apricot, bit of oak and ending with a pleasant pepper.

Sue Sea found the Seven Year opened with orange/apricot and ended with clove and licorice. I found the Seven Year opened more smoothly and sweetly than the Four with a light orange/apricot, then oak and with a late palate of vanilla, licorice and pepper.

With the Twelve Year, Sue Sea tasted more sweet tones: toasted caramel, pecan, licorice and butterscotch. My taste opens with a very smooth but deep orange/apricot, raisin, leather and a light oak - ending in a slightly astringent pepper.

In sum the Four Year remains a lighter, higher experience with a smooth light finish. The Seven and Twelve become increasing deeper with oak finally coming to the fore.


Beginning with the Four Year...

Sue Sea found the Four Year's finish to be short and warm. I found the finish smooth, slightly astringent, tad of pepper and with a mild growing warmth.

The Seven Year's finish was similar but smoother. I found a bit of cigar box. Very nice.

As for the Twelve Year, more of the same. Sue Sea experienced a lightly peppery, clovey finish, nice and long. I found it very smooth, with deep raisin and cigar box. Only the Twelve Year had a notable aftertaste: butterscotch and light cigar smoke for Sue Sea and cigar box for me.

I won't bother with a summary of this section.


The Flor de Cana Smackdown was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to all of you. Why is that? Couple reasons: first, that it's cheap, very important to Compleat Idiots like me. Second, that Flor de Cana has been numerously recognized for exceptional quality/value. Third, it's friggin fun! A rhum snob I am not.

By doing so you will better recognize the effects of age and oak, and begin to note the added smoothness and additional congeners and esters that only good oak and time accomplishes. But I once yet again, digress...

I'll summarize these three in terms of color. Yes, yes I know to some degree caramel has been added, but you will first observe the deepening and wondrous amber of these three products. The aroma, taste and finish also become deeper, more complex. Indeed, Sue Sea remarked "the complexity and sophistication of the Twelve Year makes me want more".

This is true of all rums. Still, as the most Compleat of Idiots I am always aware of your/our/my hard-earned shekels. And there is something about the Seven Year that is different. A honey sweetness that the Four and Twelve are missing. Yes, the Twelve is deeper, more oaky, more complex.

But the Seven Year has something special happening, especially considering it costs a mere $19 compared to the Twelve at around $29 or more. This is significant, expecially when collecting.

One more thing:

With all the good things you will read about Flor de Cana and its remarkable balance and smoothness (and I know Bilgemonkey will agree with me here), and I hate to say it - but - I do have a problem with rums that become so smooth and balanced that they lose distinction, the kick-in-the-face of a real rum and in the name of sales, is losing. Think Ron Zacapa.

Flor de Cana is one of them...

Go to Save Caribbean Rum Petition!
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King of Koffee

Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 155
Location: Atlanta and points south

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:46 pm    Post subject: A note on the 7 Reply with quote

Apparently, Flor de Ca˝a 7 is gaining in popularity. My two favorite watering holes have been stocking it for me for something over a year, but about a month ago, the distributor ran out. They sold far more than anticipated! Gratefully, a new shipment has found it's way in!

Comparatively, I'd rate it above MG Eclipse and well below RL Seale's 10 (which is sadly only available in GA at a Total Wine ~50 miles from home.)
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Joined: 14 Apr 2016
Posts: 13
Location: Dublin, Ireland

PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only tried the 4 year old as a mixer, but will consider the 7 and 12 year old too as they appear to be noticable different. Thnx Jimbo.

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The Black Tot

Joined: 21 Aug 2014
Posts: 283
Location: Houston TX and Caterham, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It got more popular because the info got out that they were dropping the age statement - so it became a "dusty" and all the bourbon hunters went mad hunting it down, because they were too late in the whiskey boom to score dusty bourbon anymore.

Personally, I have always found FDC to be a complete snoozer. It's like drinking lightly rum flavored water to me. Never done the 18, but I'm not worried if I'm missing out on that one.

I don't know what it's doing in the Demerara section, having absolutely nothing to do with the flavor profile of a Demerara.

I have enjoyed some great bottles of rum from Nicaragua by Cadenhead's. Higher proof and more age, no filtering, and presumably the most intense flavors selected as opposed to a large batch blending.

The only time I drink FDC is in an airline lounge, when the only other option is Bacardi, etc. Every time it confirms my memory of being flat and boring.

Harsh words, sorry!
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