Thursday, 1 January 2015

Review 15 - Quorhum 30 Aniversario

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
Solid, premium product from Oliver & Oliver. Nothing more, nothing less.

Today we are trying the Quorhum 30 Aniversario from the very industrious Oliver & Oliver operating out of the Dominican Republic.

Oliver & Oliver are behind a series of different rum brand like Cubanacan, Cubaney, Opthimus, PuntacaƱa Club, Guantanamera, Unhiq, Exquisito and Quorhum – and perhaps I even forgot a few.

I have no good explanation as to why it is necessary to operate so many brands. I find it hard to believe that they can all offer something unique and not just steal market shares internally.

However I am no business strategy mastermind so I will leave it at that and just conclude that Oliver & Oliver should know what they are doing solely due to their massive experience.

According to the Oliver webpage (link supplied at the bottom) the Quorhum line up is thought out to be an extraordinary line of rums for the connoisseur.

The information on the webpage is very scarce and doesn't really add anything of real interest.
Luckily the Danish distributor of the Quorhum line has plenty of information.

The rum is made from pure cane juice which is very unusual for a Spanish/Cuban style rum. However the Zacapa I reviewed recently was also made on cane juice and didn't differ much from typical Spanish rums, so I believe that the Quorhum might pull a similar trick.

Furthermore the Quorhum line are all aged by the solera method, hence we can assume that the ”30” is not actually an expression of age and more of a sales trick.

However with a 12, 15, 23 and 30 ”year old” Quorhum does indeed have a need for a way of differentiating the products against each other. And for that, the ”30”-descriptor might be the best way to show, that it differs more from the 23 than the 15 does from the 12.
That is the only suitable explanation I am able to come up with.

As with so many other rums this is bottled at the typical 40% ABV.

When picking this up at the store I was ”treated” with a thin, silver, glittery cardboard box which felt very cheap. It was cemented when the box was practically destroyed in my backpack during transport home from the store. Sad.

The bottle is round and cone shaped and follows up on the silvery impression from the box with similarly laid out labels.

The front label doesn't mention much more than just the name of the brand and the origin – not even the an age statement or ABV is present.

Around the neck we find a smaller label with the sole purpose of naming this particular product the ”30 Aniversario”.

On the back we find a typical back label with a Spanish sales pitch, the ABV and volume of the bottle. A final detail is the Oliver name embossed.

The bottle is finally topped off by a natural cork with a cheap plastic stopper.

All in all the presentation feels very cheap and so far it doesn't justify the price tag in my opinion.

Inside the bottle we find a deep mahogany rum which creates very, very slow moving droplets on the inside of my glass.

Already while pouring the glass boatloads of vanilla and brown sugar comes out.
Nosing the glass properly confirms that vanilla and brown sugar are the main components, but it also bears the trademarks of over ripe plums, oak spices and a little coffee.

A nice and soft nose indeed, but the sugary fatness seems to take up a lot of the space, which prevents the rum from fully flourishing.

A lot of the elements from the nose carries wonderfully over into the palate.
The brown sugar and the vanilla are a given, but also some soft oak spices and the tiny coffee notes. 

A surprise on the palate was the sudden presence of honey and sweet licorice.

The different tastes are tied very beautifully together, but it does seems too soft and too sweet at times. I miss some zest, moderate pungency, or something entirely different to break up the sweetness a bit.

The point is that it didn't take me more than a few minutes to sort out this rum, and that makes it a bit uninteresting. I like a rum that forces me to take my time with it to unlock its full potential. The QRM 30 puts it all out there in the first second with nothing left to discover.

The finish is very short and quite boring. Like this description.

Rating and final thoughts
Following the tacky presentation this rum actually surprised me quite a bit.

It is quite well put together and especially the honey/liquorice surprise on the palate was definitely something new. It is super drinkable and before you blink the bottle is half empty.

I do feel that it is too sweet and too friendly. It takes you no time to dissect it and when you are done, there is nothing left.

The lack of interesting side kicks to the sweetness leaves me a little disappointed in the taste region and the bland finish, which brings nothing more than a very short sweetness, is just not good enough for a top of the line product.

At the risk of repeating myself I still need to note that this is yet again a rum which might have been better off had it been bottled at a higher strength. It amazes me that a company with so extremely many products doesn't offer more variety. Going through the products of their own different brands I didn't find anything outside the 38% - 43% range.

But the overall strategy of Oliver & Oliver has no influence on my scoring, so you might as well just take the above mentioned as a personal curiosity of mine.

The price was a very reasonable €80 and I do believe that you are hard pressed finding a cheaper equivalent rum.

Shortcomings aside this is a solid sipper and if you fancy the sweet stuff, it might just be one of the best rums available.

For me it goes as far as the absolute highest point of mediocrity, but nothing more. That is why I am forced to stay at a maximum of…

Rating: 70/100

Links (Danish distributor. Put it through Google translate and you are golden).

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