Modern Rum: From a modern multi column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 55-56% ABV @ 20°
Today’s rum journey visits a new (to me) country of rum production – El Salvador. I suppose I should not be surprised given that almost every nation in the world produces some type of cane-based spirit and of course, Latin and Central American countries produce lots of rums, of varying quality.
At first glance, the most surprising thing about this rum, given its Latin origins, is that it is 55.5% ABV. It is quite rare for Latin-branded rums to be anything other than 40% unless you have special, limited editions, independent or single cask bottlings.
El Salvador has just one rum distillery – Licorera Cihuatán distillery that has produced Ron Cihuatán since 2004. Cihuatán translates as “the land beside the sleeping woman.” Delving into the composition of Ron Colón reveals that the majority of the blend (70%) is a six year old multi-column distillate from El Salvador. 15% is unaged Jamaican pot still from Worthy Park, Monymusk and Hampden distilleries as well as 15% from a three year old Worthy Park marque.
The official marketing states that “Ron Colon’s story started in 2018 with two befriended colleagues, Thurman Wise and Pepijn Janssens, who ventured on a crazy 22-day-16-country-Latam-barhop. It was during this adventure that little El Salvador (“Sivar” in slang) captured their attention. This trip sparked an obsession to create a product that could showcase the honest yet rich and colourful “Sivar”.”
The name of this rum comes from the “Salvadoran peso, which was called Colón, in homage to Christopher Columbus (Cristóbal Colón in Spanish) “discoverer” of America. The Colón stayed [sic] the currency of El Salvador until 2001, when it was replaced by the U.S. Dollar.”
The molasses-based rum is produced with local sugarcane from “Ingenio La Cabaña of El Salvador, one of the largest and oldest sugar producers in the country established in 1920.” There is an 8% angel’s share per year.
Ron Colón Salvadoreño Rum is a Modern Rum:
From a modern multi column still.
The Ron Colón Salvadoreño Rum creators have been honest by declaring that they wanted the focus of the costs involved to go towards the juice in the bottle, rather than fancy packaging and have chosen the most cost-effective bottle – a traditional wine shape. No problem as far as I am concerned as the most important aspect *IS* the rum inside the bottle. As a result, it actually stands out when placed alongside “fancy” bottles, just by looking normal, hence my higher-than-normal for this type of bottling in my marking. The label is in the style of a Colón note and has limited information about the rum including its high ABV and use of the “finest sugarcane”.
The rum is a very pale, straw-like lemon colour, reminiscent of a light white wine. There are thick legs, slow to drop down my glass.
The aroma is dominated by the Worthy Park pot still – raisins, tropical fruits and bananas aplenty. Adding some water reveals melon, pepper and nutmeg.
Taste, Initial-middle 29/40
Wow, this rum kicks you in the teeth right from the start. The youthful Jamaican pot still rums have not been tamed by barrel ageing and are full of lively tropical fruits, almonds and a hint of pastry.
In the mid-palate, the rum dances between those sweet tropical fruits and drying oak tannins. There is an oily texture and a growing pepperiness.
Taste, Middle/Throat 32/40
The pepper develops more power from the mid to rear palate and a dry astringent mouthfeel forms after a few sips. Pastry and almonds in the background and continuing tropical fruit notes.
There is a real burn here until you add some water, which really does help. The pepper lingers alongside oak tannins.
If I was blind-tasting this rum, I would have described it as a young, Jamaican pot still rum. Such is the power of those young pot still, high ester notes that one could be forgiven for not realising that there is rum from El Salvador, in fact, the majority of it (70%) is Sivar.
At 55.5%, this has plenty of power to it, so much so, that even when using my Neat glass, the alcohol had a fiery nose to it. But with the addition of some water (I added 20 drops in a 30ml pour), the rum softened a touch and became far more amiable. Those dry and peppery notes diminished and allowed the tropical fruits to shine through.
Although 55.5% is a bit overpowering, I would much rather it be this way and I can reduce the ABV with water, than the other way round where it is not strong enough.
Don’t be put off by a low(ish) mark. This rum is not one that you will want to sip and savour, but it will lend itself nicely to mixing. In fact I think a high ABV Daiquiri is on the cards.
As a quick FYI…they also produce a coffee infused rum, too.
At £36 for 55.5%, this is pretty decent value, especially given the tax paid to HMRC. That said, it might struggle to compete with something like Appleton 12yo or Smith and Cross at a similar price.
Review No. 155
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/Finish Out of 7