Falling Into You - (M)orning. (A)fternoon. (E)vening.
I'm diving back into the reviews tonight because I am having an absolute LOVE AFFAIR with this drink right now. This amazing, 23-year-old solera system rum is the first non-whiskey I've reviewed on this site. By now you've probably deduced that I really only review spirits that (1) I care about and (2) which rise above their peers (although I have been feeling the dearth of reviews on here acutely - something we'll have to remedy). Coming to us straight from sunny, southern Guatemala, this Ron Zacapa bottling rises above its peers with distinction.
Let's start by nailing down a few elusive details. When the front of the box features at least 32 words - two of them some strange man's name and many others in Spanish - it's normal for consumers to shy away from this rum for something they're more comfortable with (pirate labels and weird bat logos). What you need to know:
On the nose:
Nice, rich brown sugar - like stuffing your face in the bag - followed by a dessert toffee chocolate note like Butterfinger. Butterscotch? A nice sharp note of tangerine, followed by a soft, wisp of kindling beginning to smoke. Delightful!
On the palate (my favorite part!):
Oh man, the mouth-feel on this rum is amazing. You start with a positively fruity sweetness reminiscent of Bota Box's sweet red "RedVolution" blend. You could almost swirl it in your mouth like Sideways. This wine blend takes on the decidedly prune-ish attitude of candied dates due to the Pedro Ximinez influence. There's a thicker, sappy note underneath that makes you want to pour this on some Lambert's biscuits - hot role! Then there's an interesting mouth-drying effect (tannins?) that has an umami quality akin to parmagiano-reggiano cheese. I'm not saying you'll taste parm here, just that it mimics that savory, glutamate effect. Dilute those heavier flavors down with some tropical fruits and coconut, say in a swift-drinker like a pina colada, and you've got yourself a sweet little sugar bomb here with tons of sherried maturity. Splended.
This rum edges out pressed sugar cane competition from the likes of Clement (Martinique) to become my favorite rum to date. Do yourself a favor: jump Captain Morgan's ship sometime, fend off the Kracken, and forego a little Cruzan to enjoy a world-class rum for only a slightly higher price.
Tasting is a synesthetic experience. In this blog, every whisky gets a song - one that describes, suits, and evokes. I review any whisky that suits my fancy, and some that don't. I don't give scores. You'll know whether it's a winner or loser when we peel back its mysteries and start putting pen to paper.