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Go Back   Rum Lovers @ the Ministry of Rum > Cocktails and Food > Dark Rums
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Dark Rums

Gold, Brown, Red or Black how do you enjoy them?


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Old 01-31-2014, 10:17 PM   #1
Illogical
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Default Conde de Cuba 7 Anos

I first encountered this rum about 15 years ago, having bought 2 bottles on offer at the duty free in Spain. I can still remember having it with a friend mixed with Pepsi - even back then with very little knowledge or experience in rum it has stuck in my memory. I never saw it since, but having recently found a good shop selling hundreds of different rums I discovered it again ...

I purchased a bottle for NYE 2014 and it was gone in about 15 minutes - everybody adored it mixed with Cola and fresh lime.

About two weeks ago it was time to stock up again, so I decided to get another bottle to enjoy at leisure.

Tonight it was time to open that bottle - and I must say it has been outstanding and it deserves a thread in the forum. I hope my little review encourages others to pick up a bottle one day and give it a try.

So lets get started...

The Conde de Cuba 7 Anos is a Solera style gold rum produced in the Dominican Republic and bottled by Rives Pitman S.A. in Spain. According to Rives it is double aged - the first 7 years in oak barrels in th DR before a further aging of undisclosed length in Oloroso Sherry oak casks in Puerto de Santa María, in southern Spain (where Rives is located). Bottled at 40% and priced in Europe at about 19 EUR for 70cl it is certainly very affordable.

The clear glass bottle is quite unassuming - there is a coat of arms above the dark front sticker and a story in Spanish about the source of the name on the rear sticker. The story explains some history about Francisco Dionisio Vives Piñón, Captain General of Cuba during 1823-1832. Wikipedia has the whole story.

The screw top is plastic, and reveals an anti-tamper pourer which are quite common on spirits in Spain. If you have never come across one, the trick is to give the bottle a little shake to get the contents flowing freely.



No cork to smell and the anti-tamper pourer is not letting any aroma out. All in all a generally disappointing presentation but nothing out of the ordinary in this price region.

The colour is a pale gold and in the glass the rum seems quite thin. The first swirl and sniff confirm this is quite a dry rum, light alcohol and notes of citrus and dried fruits. After a few minutes in the glass the alcohol cools down and some sweeter notes become more present - a hint of oak and quite earthy or peaty but not smoky. I understand there are some Whisky producers using Oloroso barrels and this does remind me of Scotch - however I don't know enough about Scotch to suggest where similarities could be drawn from.

The first sip and this is sweeter than the looks and smell were suggesting. A light honey/molasses lets you know this is definitely rum, the distinctive sherry taste and a light peatyness take over quickly and subside to leave a spicy, dry aftertaste with a trace of leather.

This is a very nicely balanced rum, there is only a hint of smoky oak and there is absolutely no burn - even a big sip goes down with a dry silkiness. The taste lingers deliciously, clean and smooth. I have had a few good Dominican rums in my time, and it is in this style while doing it's own thing at the same time.

Someone with more rum experience would probably be able to tell where this came from originally (Barcelo would be my guess) but Rives have certainly produced something which is a worthy experience on its own merits.

The peaty sherry combination may not be to your taste, but mix this with cola and squeeze in a quarter of fresh lime and this just works. This rum kicks through the cola and lets you know it's there, but not in an overpowering or overly rummy way (if you want that, try Lemon Hart 151, Myers Dark etc.). It is extremely refreshing, and just delicious. You know it is alcoholic, which is not a bad thing as it is a clean alcohol taste, suitable for grown ups

What more can I say - this is the lower end of the price spectrum but exceeds all expectations that the price and presentation would suggest. Not overly complex, not flashy but very versatile and quite jazzy.

It will always have a place on my shelf.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:18 PM   #2
Illogical
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Over one year on and this is still at the front of the shelf and there's usually an unopened bottle in reserve for when the first runs out! It makes an excellent Pina Colada and Mai Tai, it's so versatile for mixing, it never gets boring.

Has anyone else here tried it? If not, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle if you see it on sale!

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Old 01-17-2015, 02:00 PM   #3
thefatrumpirate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Illogical View Post
Over one year on and this is still at the front of the shelf and there's usually an unopened bottle in reserve for when the first runs out! It makes an excellent Pina Colada and Mai Tai, it's so versatile for mixing, it never gets boring.

Has anyone else here tried it? If not, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle if you see it on sale!

I'll look out for it next time I'm in Spain. The Cuban/Spanish style rums are very popular in Spain. Spain is probably the biggest rum country in Europe.
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