La Hechicera Banana Infused Rum

Colombia

41%
£50

“Uncategorisable” due to the non-disclosure of the distillery used.
(Would be a Modern Rum: From a modern multi column still.)

ABV Hydrometer Test: 20% ABV @ 20°
* M

La Hechicera Serie Experimental No.2 Banana Infused Rum to give this rum its full title is the second in the series of a range of limited edition rums from Colombian producers La Hechicera.

Earlier in 2020, I reviewed the first in the series La Hechicera Rum Muscat Cask Finish, which was an interesting upgrade on what is already a decent rum. Here is info about the original La Hechicera if you are interested.

Usually, I steer clear of “infused” rums or heaven forbid, rums with botanicals or other such bullsh*t, the likes of which should not be anywhere near a bottle labelled as “rum”. But, given my liking for La Hechicera, and after reading about the infusion, I decided to give this a try.

The official info states that this is a “blend of rums aged between 12 and 21 years in American white oak barrels”. This blend has had large amounts of organic banana flesh infused in them – specifically, the sun-dried, organic banana peel of the Gros Michel variety cultivated in the Tolima area of the country, which is paying homage to the Riascos family’s three generations of banana traders.

This edition is limited to 15,000 numbered bottles – I have 4,569, and it is 41% ABV. Inevitably, with the infused fruit, this rum was not going to give a good hydrometer reading, and it hasn’t. When tested, it was 20%, implying around 68g of added sugars, although it is important to note that La Hechicera do not usually artificially sweeten their rums, so hopefully, this is entirely down to the natural sugars present in the fruit.

La Hechicera Banana Infused Rum is “Uncategorisable” due to the non-disclosure of the distillery used.
(Would be a Modern Rum: From a modern multi column still.)

Bottle/Presentation 2/3
Presented in an outer tin, adorned with lush looking bananas and La Hechicera’s familiar “H”-shaped image, which is formed from an orchid (Colombia’s national flower) and a praying mantis. Within, the bottle is wrapped in branded tissue paper, which once removed, reveals the usual La Hechicera bottle albeit with a banana-themed label, featuring lots of info about the banana-infusion concept together with info about the types of bananas used, tasting notes and the age of the rums used. There is a natural cork enclosure. But, the one important thing we are not told, is the source of the rum i.e. which distillery is used.

Glass/Aroma 8/10

The liquid in my glass is a rich, deep mahogany in colour, albeit a little cloudy. The aromas feature caramelised coconuts with deep, ripe banana notes infused with a touch of vanilla.

Taste, Initial-middle 32/40

Wow, this is tasty! Flambéed bananas, vanilla, tons of rich caramel, a hint of dried fruits and a creamy texture. It tastes sweet, but it is not a fake sweetness, it is entirely banana-influenced and as a result, the flavour feels, as well as tastes, genuine. It has a creamy texture, smooth but still rummy.

Taste, Middle/Throat 34/40

No surprises here – more banana notes through the mid-palate, but a little drier accompanied by dried fruits and vanilla. The texture continues to be creamy and velvety smooth as a touch of dry oak and white pepper infiltrates the bananas creating an interesting rear of mouth experience.

Afterburn/Finish 4/7

A spicy finish, easy going, medium in length. More bananas, oak and tobacco smoke.

TOTAL 80/100

Overall

If you love bananas and rum, this is as good as it gets!

La Hechicera Banana Infused Rum Bottle

A bit of an amathama is this though! Absolutely amazing flavour and real, genuine banana without any sickly sweet, artificial flavours or sweeteners, yet rum-purists will deride this for not being “rum”.

To be fair, it is the sort of thing I might usually criticise and avoid, but to be honest, if you do not say this is a pure “rum” and refer to it as a rum liqueur, this would be lauded as one of the best ever of its type.

The moral of this story is if you use decent rum and real flavours and importantly,
DO NOT CALL IT RUM.
A flavoured rum liqueur can be quite tasty.

Spiced rum producers take note: You do not need to add a ton of sugar for a rum liqueur to taste good, or is the sugar added to mask the poor quality distillate? Hmmmmmmm.

Yes, it is sweet, but it is natural sweetness.
Yes, it is flavoured, but it is natural flavour.

So, is this rum?

Well, probably not in its truest sense, but there are enough rum flavours for enthusiasts to enjoy it, and it is something that cocktail-creators could have a lot of fun with – maybe keep it simple and try adding some cream or Kahlúa, or both. Rather than rum “newbies” drinking artificially sweetened spiced rum abominations or latin rons masquerading as spirits when their flavours are dominated by added sugar and vanillin etc. this is something that could act as a genuine gateway from rum-based liqueurs to pure rums.

I have really enjoyed this.
So easy to drink, full of natural banana flavours
and enough of a rum influence to taste like a rum.
Superb stuff, it is dessert in a glass!

Value: 6/10

Genuine flavours and 12-21 year old rum, but quite pricey as well. I can completely understand the cost of creating a project such as this but it is not going to attract your everyday rum drinker at circa £50 a bottle.

Flavour Profile:

Review No. 165

 

*
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.

Marking Guide:
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
TOTAL 100

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s