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Rum Review: Santero Rum Seven (7) Year

 
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How do you rate Santero Rum Seven (7) Year (five is best)?
5
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4
50%
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3
50%
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2
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1
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Total Votes : 2

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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3435
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:24 am    Post subject: Rum Review: Santero Rum Seven (7) Year Reply with quote

Santero Rum Seven (7) Year: Honeyed Vanilla Leather

Exploring the world of rum can be hazardous.

An obvious example might be tasting Wray & Nephews White Overproof or Pusser's Blue Label. Take time and much, much care and be richly rewarded. Don't and you'll likely be overpowered and reach a premature ejaculation, er evaluation. At the other end of this teeter-totter are rums that are so subtly well conceived that a quick entry leaves one with the notion of unremarkable blandness.

Such is the Cuban style. Sophisticated, smooth, consistent and extremely well balanced. Such a rum demands an equally sophisticated approach. Such a rum is Santero Seven Year, and a fine example...

My friends know me as a lover of Columbian Supremo coffee. My beloved grandfather was the inventor and manufacturer of the first all electric coffee roaster. His small shop built thousands and sold them all over South and Central America. From my childhood he'd buy 100 lb bags of Columbia Supremo, roast the beans and distribute the coffee to all his family and friends.

I drink it to this day.

So when I saw a couple hard-to-find bottles of Santero Rum from Columbia - one infused with Columbian coffee yet - there was no hesitation. Yes, I almost bought the coffee rum, but being the purist I am, went for the older Seven Year. Because Columbia, and Santero, are little known in the world of rum, this was taking a chance, but my family history and the low price of $20 prevailed. The reviews...

Sue Sea:

Quote:
Those who have followed our latest reviews know that Jim and I have had an extended bout with nagging head colds and congestion, hardly the basis for a good tasting. To be fair, I was still a little under the weather as Jim broke out the Santero Seven Year Rum.

Santero comes in an ordinary narrow shouldered bottle with a large rectangular label, featuring Santana Liquor's Spanish galleon. As much as I like spectacular bottles, I have learned that an ordinary bottle can deliver an extraordinary rum.

I found my first nosing pleasant - very pleasant in fact - but my initial palate again was unremarkable. Meanwhile, Jim was raving about it, and complaining that I must be having a bad day. We blamed it on the cold. So I took a break, flushed my nasal cavities (you didn't really want to know that, did you!), and returned to the tasting.

What a difference!

By this time, my Santero had aired nicely and so had I. The first, high nosing revealed a truly pleasant sweet vanilla honey caramel. Light and very, very pleasant. Over a nice oak, perhaps a touch of sweet pecan. A deep nosing brought out some heavier tones of rindy leather.

Santero's body is deceptive and seems heavier than it is (this is a compliment). One word: smooth. Very, very smooth. The early palate presents beautifully sweet and smooth. It then slowly builds with increasing warmth to a nice leathery, rindy peppery finish. Clovelike early, but leaving a nice, mild white peppery glow and leather, cigar box aftertaste.

I must say this. To me the secret of a good rum is what I call "crescendo". A rum that slowly builds toward a beautiful, lasting finish and aftertaste. The kind of aftertaste that makes you want to sip again.

Rum Santero has that, and does so with great pleasantness and smoothness. It is not overly complex, but doesn't have to be. It is a fine example of the Cuban style, my favorite.


Me:

Santero Rum is not well known to most. They make a silver, blanco anejo, oro anejo, extra anejo, dulce anejo 7, cafe anejo 7, 9 anos, 12 anos, 15 anos and 21 anos. If that isn't enough, they sell a very limited edition "Ron Bastidas", 23 yr. rum. And if that isn't enough they offer what appears to be a premium Ron Vigia in 5, 7, 9, 12 and 15 years! Whew!

Only a relabeled "7 year" (in Columbia it is "7 Anos"). and coffee (cafe) rum were available at my rum shop, and of course I bought the 7 yr., especially as Sue Sea and I prefer rums in the mid range of aging. I should also note that Santero proudly advertises this rum as "Rum del Caribe" around the neck, and "Caribbean Rum Masters" on the label.

A perfect example of an honest Caribbean rum that WIRSPA wishes to exclude from their chosen group. But I digress.

I'd been sipping Santero Rum Seven (7) Year for some days prior to our tasting. I must be honest that something about this rum really grabbed me, and I won't tease you. It was simply so pleasant, so smooth, so consistent and well-balanced and so well blended.

Santero is a clear amber with thinner, faster legs. It opened for me just as it did with Sue Sea. Very, very pleasant with a blended sweet honey vanilla caramel, over oak and a deep leather. There was another deep sweet element I couldn't quite place. At a point I wanted to call it a deep dark berry. Or perhaps a sweet, dark raisin. But to be honest, I still have yet to nail that one down.

If you do, please let us know.

But the key here is blended. The aromas are light and modest and well blended - no one aroma or perception dominates. Beautifully mysterious. In combination, they produce a pleasantness that is hard to match. Onto the taste. Santero opened my palate with lovely sweetness that seemed completely consistent with its aroma. And I don't mean the syrupy, coating kind of sweetness that Tie-Dye or sweetened flavored rums produce. It is smooth, what some might call buttery or oily - but - without coating. This is a wonderful sensation.

Santero then smoothly transitions, with a nearly imperceptible heat slowing growing to a wonderful, slightly astringent black pepper and leather finish. The sweetness remains, but now underneath. I was left with Sue Sea's sweet leathery, cigar box aftertaste with the black pepper changing to fine, light white pepper reminder.

We believe Santero Seven Year is a fine example of the Cuban Style. Sophisticated, smooth and entirely pleasant in every regard. It is way too easy to drink! Do yourself a favor. If you find this rum, buy it - and please do take the time to fully explore its smooth subtle qualities.

You won't regret it.

Rating (10 is best): 7.5


*******

Note: Santero Rum is made by Santan Liquors (link). Visit their beautiful site promoting their products and their country. Now I know you're wondering - just what separates Santero Seven Year from an "8? The answer: not much. Not much at all...
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Last edited by Capn Jimbo on Wed May 26, 2010 10:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3435
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:59 am    Post subject: How bout dat! Reply with quote

An Addenda...

One thing I completely forgot to mention was that we did not immediately come to the conclusion that Santero Seven Year Rum was made in the Cuban style. For a moment - due to her cold - Sue Sea came close to dismissing a rum with which I'd already fallen in love.

We then discovered its sophisticated, smooth and subtle qualities together. "Like San Pablo" Sue Sea mentioned. "Yup," I replied, "it really belongs in the Cuban style, don't you think?". We agreed, yes, and really didn't care if that was the distiller's intent or not.

Surprise!

It was. Quoting their love website (linked above post)...

Quote:
"We are a family of dreamers that wanted to bring the Cuban rum-making tradition to the shores of our native Columbia with the hope of creating something exceptionally good. Casa Santana was born in 1994 in the land that inspired Macondo, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's mythical city. We are passionate about rum."

"We take pride in our team of master blenders (who)... started to build their craft in Cuba before leaving the island, bringing with them their rum-making experience. "

"Our production process is completely natural, free of additives and artficial essences. We aspire to be market leaders in the domestic industry by producing what is simply the best rum in Columbia."


Needless to say, it is reassuring that we recognized this rum as Cuban, especially having had no background or indication of this. Santana's site also describes their process as using sourced "cane aguardente and other materials), and "slow filling" of American oak bourbon barrels. Pictures of their process seem to be a double column still. Columbia has three distinct temperature zones: caliente, templada (temperate) and fria (cold). Accordingly they can grow a variety of crops including coffee, cane and potatoes.

We very much look forward to more rums from this passionate Cuban family...
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