Arehucas: Capitán Kidd Ron
€95.50 (December 2015)
Industrial Rum – from a modern multi column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: ?
Capitán Kidd is the jewel in the crown of all Arehucas Rums.
Well, that is the description from Destilerias Arehucas, the Spanish name for the Arehucas distillery in Arucas, Gran Canaria. It is also referred to as the “king of rums for the most demanding of palates.” Hmmmmm, quite a claim to make!
Having visited the distillery (See review here), I know that despite the fairy stories, there is nothing remarkable about the rum/ron produced by Arehucas. It is another one of those producers that relies more on spin, reputation, pirates and fairy stories than producing top quality rum. That said, I did buy some of their rums to try properly at home, so here goes.
Capitán Kidd used to be a 20yo rum. At some point this changed to it being a 30yo rum and it is the 30yo that I have a bottle of to review. First things first, let’s dispel any myth that this rum is entirely aged for a minimum of 30 years – this is not Jamaican or Bajan rum so there is no chance of that. In reality, I am pretty certain this is from a Solera system meaning that it could be just a few drops of 30yo rum in the bottle and the rest is aged anywhere from two to 29years, although more than likely on the lower than higher side. Secondly, it is described by Arehucas as “Premium!” Quite what it is that justifies this description or what they actually consider to be premium is unknown to me, but more likely than not, it is just to separate it from their “standard” rums and with the addition of a fancy bottle, they can then justify a “Premium” price.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as an “Industrial Rum” – from a modern multi column still.
To be fair, this bottle does stand out as being one of the most unique you will see. Housed in a small square box is a dumpy pirate-style ceramic decanter-bottle. The cork enclosure has an embossed pirate picture on the top, too (See below, right)! The mischievous pirate in me (blame the bottle for turning my thoughts to pirates rather than rum) might suggest the bottle is worth more than the rum!
Looking for something different? This will definitely catch your attention. Unfortunately, there is little or no useful information on the box or bottle (after translating it from Spanish to English), other than confirmation that it is 40% ABV.
Quite a coppery appearance with some green hues on the surface. Swilling the liquid in the glass, it looks quite syrupy with very heavy legs on the side of the glass. There is an initial sweetness to the aroma, which develops into fruit, possibly orange and some toffee notes, too.
Taste, Initial-middle 15/40
Initially a little bland, becoming more aromatic almost as it reaches the middle of your mouth. Certainly not as sweet as I would have expected, but also a little lacking in any additional dominant flavours and characteristics. Maybe a little oak when tasted a second and third time.
Once again, surprisingly not very sweet given my preconceptions surrounding this. The oak starts to dominate along with some aromatics and a very long and lingering finish. It is nice and smooth in the mouth, although there is a nice bit of fire that comes through.
A bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the long finish is very pleasing especially as the rum comes to life as you swallow it. On the other hand, another unknown flavour becomes apparent that detracts from the previous flavourings.
Morning After Aroma
Very strong Demerara sugar and some caramel deposits/residue stuck to the bottom of the glass.
Ignore the pirate tales and spin surrounding this and it is a half-decent drop of rum. But given that it is around £85 a bottle (October 2016), it is really poor value. You can spend a fraction of this and get a much better genuine rum.
Definitely glad I bought a bottle to try…..
Definitely won’t be buying another anytime soon though.
Find more info at Arehucas web site.
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7
5 thoughts on “Arehucas: Capitán Kidd Ron”
Hello, interesting review, and nice blog.
I don’t agree too much on the taste profile of this capitan Kidd but I agree on uncertain flavour profile of this rum that and a bit of unbalance.
But I must defend its price and technical part. This is not an industrial rum but it is produced from pure fresh cane juice coming form the very very few sugar cane producers of Gran Canaria. It is the only canarian rum produced by Arehucas (apart of their aguardiente de cana), because the rest of the range is distilled in South Africa and imported to age at Arehucas.
It is also a a blend of rums aged at least 30 years, and European regulation give no chance to fake it. the previous version was aged a minumun of 20 years and this is due to the fact that the distillery still has a big stock of canarian rum form 80s when the sugar cane production on the island was still very high.
The peculiar flavour profile of this is rum is very much affected by the type of cane used and the long long ageing in the strange climate of the north of gran canaria (Arucas), dryest than in the caribbean, and not so hot. I consider the price more than justified.
But anyway, I HATE Arehucas pirate style marketing. they are not able to valorise their gems.
Thanks for your comments and info – much appreciated.
When I visited the Arehucas distillery I asked them about the rum and the technical side of it and they could not/would not comment. I specifically asked about the age statement and if it is a guaranteed minimum age statement and had no response from them. I also asked about any additives and had no response.
If you can send me some evidence of its production being of a more artisanal nature and that the still used was a pot or traditional column I would be happy to amend/update the info accordingly. The only info I have for Arehucas is that all rums are distilled using modern multi-column stills, hence the categorisation. I might also question if the rums have been altered post-distillation. I will have to get my my hydrometers out to test this.
As Arehucas do not provide info confirming the agricole/cane juice style, I did not include it in my review, but it does taste agricultural so I can believe it is true. But, the type/quality of the original wine used in the rum’s production is not something I have an issue with, but it is how the distillation takes place that I question and in what types of still. I am fully aware of their rums being distilled in South Africa, though. Again, if you can provide me with some evidence regarding the Capitán Kidd being produced entirely in Gran Canaria, I will update the info. My visit to the distillery yielded no evidence of any stills on the site, merely storage vats and an ageing warehouse.
If indeed it is a genuine 30 year old rum, then I entirely agree that the price is completely justified or maybe even good value and I would be happy to say that to anyone. But, can Arehucas really guarantee every drop is at least 30 years old? No Solera ageing involved in Capitán Kidd? When I was at the distillery, they spoke of using Solera ageing in their rums, which makes any age-statement irrelevant and unbe.
It amazes me though – If a company has such old and quality reserves of rum, it is something that should be shouted from the rooftops and the info proudly displayed on their bottles and at their distillery.
To be believable, their labels need to have this kind of info on it…molasses or cane juice, type of still used, what casks were used, how long it was aged for including if it is a minimum age statement. Otherwise, we are suspicious of their pirate-tales.
I really appreciate the input from you and hope to hear from you again.
I’m afraid I cannot officially prove what I said, as it comes from informations collected from the company and troughtout the island , so everything will remain just a comment (and I invite people to take it as it is).
I traded Arehucas rums for a few years since 2006 in Italy, then happily stopped it cause lack of clear communications with the company, but a very clear idea that they don’t know nothing about “real rum” and they want to be the next Bacardi (or diageo, or anyhting party+pirates+drunk kids). Commercially aggressive and marketing storyteller.
Despite that, as far as I know they respect the law, always, and the age is real. I don’t know when they add components in their rums but I think nothing illegal, It seems they are only using industrial caramel, no added sugars, no flavouring.
anyway, I love your blog – good informations and very useful for the rum world.
I think I will write to Arehucas to invite them to comment further and will let you know if I get a response.
I will also let you know when I have tested the ABV of the rum for any additives.
It is a shame when rum producers lose their identity and artisnal nature. We do not need more huge brands dominating with bland drinks, but some more smaller, local producers with something genuinely unique to offer.