Plantation – Barbados 5 Year

I had seen pretty good reviews across the internet for this as a solid, inexpensive rum, so when I found it locally, I had to give it a try. Through some of my less refined tastings, I think I’m a fan of Barbados style rums, so this was my chance to test that theory.

  • Nation: Barbados
  • Color: Light Gold
  • Aroma: Starts of with a light orange, followed by roasted vanilla and salted caramel, closing with ripe fruit.
  • Flavor: Sweet and fruity with a banana or plantain ripeness to it.
  • Finish: Long throat finish with banana undertones.
  • Notes: Overall, smooth and drinkable with a pleasant layered aroma that opens up with a little ice.
  • Grade: B

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

Havana Club – 7 Years

This is a tasting of the Cuban producer of Havana Club, NOT the Puerto Rican Havana Club.

It’s probably the single most popular rum in Cuba, and the Havana Club logo could easily be mistaken for the official seal of the Cuban people. I brought this bottle back from a trip to visit family outside Havana over the summer.

  • Nation: Cuba
  • Color: Deep Golden Brown
  • Aroma: Starts of with a teasing vanilla aroma followed by roasted oak with spiced citrus bringing up the rear. Plus, just a little bit of nail polish.
  • Flavor: Sharp and smokey with a pretty good mouth feel.
  • Finish: It has a lingering mouth tingle, and I always cough.
  • Notes: A let down compared to the dark bottle and high praise/heavy suggestions, but a great mixer & an impossible find in the US.
  • Grade: C+

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.

Santiago de Cuba – Anejo

While in Cuba, I was looking to try and take home something other than Havana Club, which ended up being more difficult than it sounds. I was limited to what they had in the small duty free shop in the Havana airport. Along with two different blends from Havana Club, I picked up this bottle of Santiago and a bottle of Legendario.

Santiago is widely available across the island, so my friend and I were able to pick up a small bottle our last night and sip authentic cuban rum under a stormy Havana sky.

  • Nation: Cuba
  • Color: Golden Amber
  • Aroma: Light citrus front with a caramel & roasted vanilla chaser. Alcohol burn ending.
  • Flavor: Smokey with a charred oak body.
  • Finish: Quick and mouth warming. Something a little tropical about it, but I can’t place it.
  • Notes: It will have a place in my heart as the rum I felt like a local drinking in Havana, but overall not impressive.
  • Grade: C

I do tastings with a wide mouth rocks glass with a slight taper because I like the way it feels in my hands. I start with 2oz, neat, then add an ice cube to bring out subtler flavors and aromas.