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Rum Review: Ron Botran Solera 1893 Rum

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How do you rate Ron Botran Solera 1893 Rum (five is best)?
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Total Votes : 3

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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 Jun 29, 2008 7:51 am    Post subject: Rum Review: Ron Botran Solera 1893 Rum Reply with quote

Ron Botran Solera 1893 Rum: "Gingerbread Rum"

Ron Botran Solera 1893. If the rum is as striking as its absolutely stunning tear drop bottle, this rum is a winner. We've all read glowing reviews about Botran's flagship Solera method rum. And I still remember Robert Burr's Guatemalan tasting where the 1893 was preferred over Ron Zacapa 23 by not just a few (although the Z-XO was truly amazing). If this doesn't whet your interest, nothing will. For those who are salivating, let's just skip right to the reviews.

Sue Sea:


I do love rum tasting and presentation, to me, has always been an important part of this. I like knowing about a rum's history, country and production, and I'd be a liar if I didn't say a great presentation isn't nice. Ron Botran Solera 1893 may have the one of the most beautiful available and I'd almost buy it for the bottle alone. It's teardrop shape, gold metallized cork, stunning label and substantial base are near perfect. Elegant, smooth, flowing and solid. And that shows off the deep amber rum within. Wow.

I liked this rum before we started doing real tastings, I liked it at Robert Burr's and I like it now. Jim had set up a flight with Pusser's Blue Label and the Botran 12, which we tasted just before the 1893. I found 1893's aroma very enticing - a sweet, spicy ginger, caramel, a deep orange/apricot marmalade, light vanila, light pecan over a leathery, oaky background. Very pleasant. Like a nice gingerbread, not long out of the oven. Or like mincemeat - sweetness with an edge! The early taste was of the deep orange/apricot and a black cherry, then turned to ginger, clove, and peppery spice. The finish was whole body - long and smooth spicy clove and pepper. Hot and slightly astringent. It coated the roof of my mouth, like eating a caramel, and I was left with a gorgeous aftertaste - a smokey cigar box and the same spicy clove.

There seem to a very few rums that, after a sip, present a real second experience or taste, way more than an aftertaste. I do recommend that during your tasting that on at least one of the sips you pass some air (both in and out) over the rum in your mouth - and to do the same after the sip is complete. This will help you pick up or identify some notes, and in the case of Botran 1893 you may experience a real second taste. Quite amazing. A very good complex rum.

I should also add, that in comparison to Zacapa 23 - which I really don't like - the Solera 1893 is deeper, hotter and less syrupy. And much more enjoyable. The sweetness is gone by mid palate, and you are left with a hot and glowing cigar aftertaste - keep your icewater handy.


Botran Solera 1893 presents as a very attractive deep mahogany amber, that is only enhanced by a near perfect bottle. After having just tasted the Botran 12, the 1893 presented an aroma that was definitely sweeter - a sweet spice, with ginger, leather and a deep, deep fruit (not quite raisin or fig though) and oak. Its taste was entirely consistent - a smooth ginger, oak, deep dark orange, a peppery sweetness and spicy clove. The finish was interesting - a quick sharp pepper/clove that reduced to a very pleasant and lingering peppery glow fade (mostly in the throat). We agree on the aftertaste.

A comment: in your travels you may read of the secondary experience that a few fine rums provide. Ron Botran Solera 1893 is one of them. This is a fine rum that passes the replacement test.

Rating (10 is best): Sue Sea - 7.5, Jimbo - 8.

Special Note:

Although Sue Sea and I are pretty particular about what we'll buy (although I admit to taking a flyer now and again), we are pretty tough on ratings. It's not hard to get a "5" or "6". Many of the respected rums will garner only a "7" from us. But when you get into the "8's" a rum has to be pretty darn special. And Ron Botran Solera 1893 is very special. So special that I felt obligated to pull out my reference standard, Mount Gay Extra Old.

Naturally, I had Sue Sea cover her eyes as I wanted her to make a blind comparison after just having experienced the wonderful Botran Solera 1893, rated "8". Was MGXO (rated "9" and "10") a fair reference standard? Would the XO be found superior based on our previous ratings? Are our tastings accurate and repeatable?

They were.

I poured Sue Sea a blind MGXO, and stated only "I'd like you to compare to this mystery rum, which may be better or worse, and get your reaction". Sue Sea took her time with a careful tasting. Not only was the XO found more complex and more balanced, she found it significantly superior in almost every way. She found that MGXO just keeps coming at you, keeps revealing more complexity, keeps you engaged. As Sue Sea puts it "When I taste a 6 or 7, I often find myself rushing through it, not because I'm not interested, but because there's not really much there to discover. With the MGXO I am drawn to stay with it as I keep finding more and more to enjoy. An amazing rum.

And of course, she insisted I then pour a Seales 10, her favorite, for yet another comparison. Her comment "I know that at one time or another MGXO and Seales have earned my highest ratings. If anything this experience has only enhanced them to the point that I'd be tempted to call them "11's"!".


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King of Koffee

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

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found a bottle of this hiding on the back of the shelf at home, so I gave it another try. Think it was a gift from a distributor friend (GREAT friend - who's bringing me 2 bottles of MGXO w/ name brand crystal snifters @ $28 per!).

Beautiful bottle, tasteful label, filled with a near-mahogany dark liquor.

Scent is ginger, clove and a touch of leather - not so much oak or cedar. Hiding in the back was also some pure cacao powder, which was the first thing to vaporize from my tongue. The cacao was followed by honey, ginger, clove and now some oak. The tongue feel was cloyingly sweet, but cleared to a seriously hot finish, all the way down.

My impression is that this is a well done, reasonable balanced "altered rum product" (rum + ginger + caramel and/or honey). tasty, but not worth the fairly high bottle price. Then again, I just don't have much of a taste for sweeter rums.
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