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Rum Review: Flor de Cana 18 Year Rum (and Smackdown)

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How do you rate Flor de Cana 18 Year Rum (five is best)?
 75%  [ 3 ]
 25%  [ 1 ]
 0%  [ 0 ]
 0%  [ 0 ]
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 4

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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

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

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Rum Review: Flor de Cana 18 Year Rum (and Smackdown) Reply with quote

Flor de Cana 18 Year Rum: "Grandpa's Leather Table: With Heat!"

As some of you know I find it very hard to spend more than $30 for a bottle of rum. I've always felt that a great selection of rum can be had without exceeding this practical limit. A few exceptions have been made: Mount Gay Extra Old (which used to be available for around $29), Zacapa 23 for about $32 and with great reluctance, Seale's Ten Year for $39.

And now Flor de Cana 18 Year, normally $40 but on sale for $32. We'd tried the 4, 7 and 12 Years so it was pretty much inevitable that we'd have to add the 18 year if for no other reasons than to complete the series, and in recognition of Flor de Cana's generally good reviews. At the sale price of just $32, I could no longer resist and the 18 Year was brought home with not a little fanfare.

It took but one day to break out the 7, 12 and this new Flor de Cana 18 Year for the following smackdown comparison. The reviews:

Flor de Cana 7 Year

Please refer to the original and complete review, also in this section. As a summary the Flor de Cana 7 Year opens with aromas of leather, oak and a sweet deep pruney raisin, a very deep apricot and a kind of caramel sweetness. The early palate is of pepper and moves into a light toasty caramel, smoke and tobacco. The short mouth finish is peppery but unremarkable with a light echo of pepper.

Flor de Cana 7 Year is what we call an "upside down rum" - one that opens with a pleasant and enticing aroma, but then slides downhill to an unremarkable finish - just the opposite to fine rums that continue to build and develop to a memorable and enticing finish. But not the 7 Year.

Flor de Cana 12 Year

Please also refer to the original and complete review, also in this section.

Now the Flor de Cana 12 Year, like better rums is worth taking some time to explore and to appreciate. The 12 year's aroma is wonderful, opening with oak, leather, Sue Sea's famous "furniture polish", almond, deep orange, a light warm ginger (like a gingerbread just out of the oven) and with a wisp of vanilla icing. Lovely. Its taste is very consistent and we picked up a nice sherry or dark cherry as well. This fine rum builds to a very nice warm, long and peppery finish, leaving an astringent sherry aftertaste.

All in all, the Flor de Cana 12 Year is thicker, smoother and sweeter, rich and complex and well worth your time and investment. A very good sipper. And now for what really is Flor de Cana's flagship product. Without further ado...

Flor de Cana Centenario Gold 18 Year Rum

Sue Sea:

We were so pleased to finally complete our collection of the Flor de Cana rums, and no please don't hold your breath for the 21. The 21 is actually younger than the 18 Year, a special edition and even at sale prices is well over $50 a copy - a price which will ensure a quick and horrible death for Jim if he even comes near this bottle!

But at $32, the Flor de Cana 18 Year was a rum we both wished to try and to compare to its younger brethren. Like the 12 Year, this rum comes in a very attractive short and squat classic bottle sporting a quietly rich label that proclaims this rum as "Flor de Cana Centenario Gold 18 Year Rum". We first re-tasted the 7 and 12 Year, then onto this long awaited rum.

Its first aroma was of an oakey bourbon, then deep apricot, a rindy leather, a slight alcohol prickle, a peppery, smokey chickory and what I would call an very overly ripe banana. Rich, complex and intriguing. On my first taste... Jesus, Mary, Joseph! The 18 Year opened with an early smooth, creamy and buttery caramel - then - built into a middle astringent leather and then literally exploded into a growing peppery, hot and chest warming finish and aftertaste!

This wonderful rum has a truly powerful echo (which professionals call retro-olfaction) which takes the form of what I also like to call an "exhale" - an experience that is for all practical purposes a second tasting. The 18 Year continued to develop from my chest to my sinuses, even down to my fingers and toes. Don't laugh, I'm serious.

But in a good way. Flor de Cana is one of the very, very few rums that has such an effect. It is a killer, sophisticated rum for a limited audience of true rum afficianados. It is mucho caliente, I daresy orgasmic and very sensual. Wonderful.


Although Sue Sea and I have become much more in tune, we still like to separate our reviews on a first tasting like this one. The Flor de Cana 18 Year is a fine rum. Its color was a brilliant, clear and sparking amber with a thin green edge indicating age (we have found the best rums exhibit this exceptional clarity and luster). It opened with oak and a lightly peppery sweetness, against a background of vanilla, light alcohol prickle, rindy leather and what I perceived as a deep licorice (similar to Sue Sea's overripe banana). The 18 Year's taste was entirely consistent and super smooth, building to a long, smooth and hot chestwarming peppery finish.

I will remind you that Flor de Cana 18 Year is a very fine, serious rum for serious tasting. Accordingly please be prepared to spend some time. Like many fine rums it benefits from airing which reveals its complexity as it continues to get smoother.

This rum is balanced, consistent, complex, and builds as a fine rum should, to a remarkable and memorable finish. And if Sue Sea's experience is any indication (and it is) if you have a female partner that (a) loves rum and (b) that you want to take to bed...

This is the rum.

Rating (10 is best): Sue Sea - 9, Jimbo - 8.

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