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Juan Santos 12 Yr. Review

Next up from Casa Santana’s  line of Columbian rums  is Juan Santos Anejo 12 Anos.  Our friend Chip Dykstra gives it a taste and reports his findings.


Picture 3Juan Santos 12 Year Rum Review

By Chip Dykstra

Juan Santos 12 Yr Old Rum   90/100

We have come to the fourth review on a series of new Columbian rums  entering the Canadian marketplace.  The Juan Santos 12 year old rum brings an increased level of smoothness and depth to the rum glass, and it was truly a pleasure to review the sample which was provided for me by the rum’s Canadian importer, The Liber group.

In the Bottle 4/5

Other than the colour of the label, the presentation has not changed significantly from the previously reviewed Juan Santos spirits.  as I said in an earlier review, I prefer that as the rum becomes more premium (and more expensive), the bottle and label should better reflect  premium nature of the spirit.

In the Glass  8.5/10

I noticed less oil in the glass of the Juan Santos 12 year than I did with the younger rums.  This is so counter intuitive that I did a side by side check to be sure.  The rum has also become noticably darker than the nine year old, although it still displays reddish highlights in the glass. The aroma is mild toffee and nuts, with hotter spices rising which, like in the nine year old, remind me of Canadian Whisky.

In the Mouth  54.5/60

The Juan Santos rums are so soft and buttery in the mouth, that it almost feels like the rum melts upon the tongue.  The twelve year old has a hot zest on the front of the delivery, but individual flavours have become so indistinct that I can only ask you to imagine a smooth Canadian rye whisky merging with a soft caramel rum.  The rum flavour dominates, but other than toffee and vague dashes of cinnamon I cannot describe anything in particular.  This kind of balance is rare.

In the Throat  14/15

The rum has a long buttery smooth finish. There is a only a faint burn in the throat.  The harshness apparent in the finish of the five year old rum is gone completely.  We no longer have a rum for pirate ships, this is a rum the pirate chief has hidden away to savour when he cashes in his booty.

The Afterburn 9/10

What a marvelous rum.  Smooth in character and long in finish.  Each Juan Santos rum has brought a  higher level of balance and smoothness to the palate.  The flavours melt and mingle together making them a treat to sip, but also easy to mix into exotic cocktails.

Suggested Cocktail:

In keeping with the whisky like feel to this rum I decided to do a take on the old Whiskey Sour Cocktail.

Arctic Wolf’s Juan Santos Sloe and Sour:

2 oz of Juan Santos Rum

1/2 oz Lemon Juice

1/2 oz Lime Juice

Dash of simple syrup or Grenadine

Crushed ice

1 Tablespoon of Sloe Gin

Add the Juan Santos Rum, the lemon and lime Juice, and the syrup or grenadine with the crushed ice in a Martini Shaker.  Shake gently to chill the mixture. Pour the mixed ingredients into a glen cairn glass adding the ice.

Float the sloe gin on top and serve.



To read more of Chip’s reviews, check out The Rum Howler Blog.

Copyright 2009