The Arctic Wolf scores a rare bottle of Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve 25 from the Dominican Republic. Check out his review of this exceptional rum.
Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve 25 Year Soleras Rum 96.5/100
A review by Chip Dykstra
I have a friend in the Dominican Republic with a website called Rums of the Domincan Republic (Drums). His name is Pavol Kažimir. Pavol and I have exchanged emails a few times, and we met in Miami at Rum Renaissance where we seemed to hit it off with each other quite well. But, I was very surprised when he emailed me during the summer and asked me which bottle of Dominican Rum I would like to receive when his friend visited Edmonton. I stated a preference for something that maybe wasn’t available in my locale, and Pavol promptly arranged for Oliver and Oliver to provide me a sample bottle for review.
The bottle that was chosen surprised me all the more, the Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve, a solera blended style with aged rum as old as 25 years in the blend. If you have not heard of Oliver and Oliver, I should explain that they are an independent bottler of rum operating in the Domincan Republic. They buy barreled rum from major rum producers, and then age it using a solera aging system in the “Cuban” style.
I thank you Pavol for obtaining this sample for me, and lest I bore everyone, I better get on with the review:
In the Bottle 4/5
The Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve arrives in a tall, slender, flagon style bottle. The glass is clear allowing a nice view of the rich dark rum inside. Protecting the bottle is a slender black rectangular box which will allow me to keep the spirit protected from the light as I slowly sip its contents over the next several weeks and months. The plastic screw top which seals the bottle has me a little concerned. It has a flimsy feel to it and I am thinking the plastic diffuser may have to be replaced with a solid cork at some point on my shelf.
Overall I am pleased with the presentation, although perhaps it is a little understated considering the premium nature of the run inside.
I have trouble with the Spanish on the label but even I can see that the label states the Cubaney Ron Tesero is solera aged, and bottled at 38 % alcohol by volume.
In the Glass 9.5/10
The rum in the glass is a deep, rich, bronze color which carries the rich aroma of dark brown sugar and wonderful baking spices. A faint smoke is present which carries scents of dried fruits, raisins, and a soft and subtle cherry-like scent in the background. A little wave of soft tobacco is mixed in, as is an ever present woody backdrop which seems to tie everything together. I even sense a smidgen of brine and tar in the breezes; almost, but not quite reminiscent of Islay peat.
This is a truly great nosing rum, and although I have used words like tobacco, tar, and woody, you will have to trust me that everything is meant in a most wonderful way.
In the Mouth 58.5/60
The rum carries a firm but soft sweetness forward as well as a nice spiciness that coats the tongue and the sides of the mouth from the first sip. I taste rich baking spices wrapped inside a deep dark brown leathery toffee and molasses. The smoke I noticed on the nose seems to be a sherry cask influence which provides a bevy of dry fruit with little packets of cherry flavour hidden within. Leather and tobacco underpins the flavour profile rising and falling with my mood, but without ever appearing bitter. I even taste that smidgen of tar and brine buried deep in the woody spices.
This reminds me of a really good scotch whisky, not in flavour but in approach. The underpinning elements of smoke, leather and tobacco appear to act in the same manner that light smoky peat does in whisky. They carry the sweeter flavours forward and embrace them rather than trying to devour them. I am impressed by the way that no particular flavour exists at the expense of another. This is extremely complex, but very well balanced!
In the Throat 14.5/15
The strong complexity continues all the way through to the exit. My mouth is left with a sweet and spicy afterglow. My throat feels a very light burn and I can taste fleeting mirages of cocoa, dry fruit, and wisps of that brine tar. There is absolutely no bitterness in the exit which amazes me given the flavour profile and age of the rum. When sipping the rum neat at room temperature, the finish is absolutely divine.
The Afterburn 10/10
As a general rule, I avoid rums which carry excessive age, and strong notes of tobacco and wood. I find these rums have a tendency to go bitter in the finish and the oak takes more from the spirit than it gives. I was fearful that this rum would show too much oak in its delivery as the age of the rums in the blend seemed to me to be almost excessive. But… my fear was entirely unwarranted. In the solera style, the blender seems to have captured just the right amount of old age to give the rum character and depth, and just enough younger rum to add enthusiasm and vigor. Yet I taste no duality of style. The rums have married and blended into a harmonious balance which is flavourful and complex with neither aspect being at the expense of the other.
This is a rich, decadent rum, full of character and it is amongst the best rums I have ever tasted.
My first suggestion is to enjoy Cubaney Ron Tesero Grand Reserve neat at room temperature in your favourite chair while reading a good book. This rum is one of the two or three best tasting rums I have encountered thus far. My only cocktail expression I allowed myself was a simple cocktail which I call The Perfect Moment.
The Perfect Moment
2 oz Cubaney Ron Tersero
Slice of lime
Fill a rocks glass half full of ice. Spear a slice of lime with a long toothpick. Place the lime into the ice. Pour the rum over top. Enjoy the Perfect Moment!!