Sunday, 11 January 2015

Review 19 - Rum Nation Peruano 8 year old

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
Perhaps the best entry level rum ever made.

Italian outfit Rossi & Rossi, and in particular charismatic front man Fabio Rossi, is the mastermind behind Rum Nation. An individual bottler of some of the finest rums in the known universe.

This time we are sitting down with the Peruano 8. Presumable an 8 year old entry level rum from Peru – The home of famous Ron Millonario, which is also owned by Rossi & Rossi and therefore it would be quite natural to speculate, that this Rum Nation product is actually some kind of Millonario in disguise.
I wrote Rum Nation about this and Mr. Rossi confirmed that this does actually originate from the Pomalco facility as well as Millonario, which makes me expect certain things when it comes to flavour, profile and over all mouth feel.

Regarding the age statement it quite clearly states, that this is an 8 year old rum.

Rum Nation have a habit of being very clear with their age statements and typically only issue such a statement if it is the true age of the rum (take a look at the Demerara no. 14, which doesn't have an actual age statement because it is a blended product), but on the back label of the rum it says, that ageing has taken place in a ”solera-like” fashion.

That makes me doubt if this is truly an 8 year old or if it is a blend of rums of different ages with an average age or profile like an 8 year old. I am currently awaiting a reply from Rum Nation regarding the real age of the rum, and will update this review as soon as the answer is in.

[update]: In an email sent to me, Mr. Rossi informs me, that the Peruano 8 is truly an 8 year old rum.  He also explains that the very same rum acts as the base for both the Millonario Solera 15 and the Millonario XO. Extremely interesting!

One other thing to notice about this rum is the fact that it is bottled at 42% ABV, which is not that common for an entry level rum.

Nice black cardboard box with two sides missing, which makes it semi-useless for protecting the bottle from hurtful sunlight.

I do recognise that this strategy allows Rum Nation to use the same box for all rums in the same type of bottle, which will keep packaging costs down. However if the box is useless, it goes in the trash and that is just pure waste. I don’t like waste.

If you want to issue a rum in a box, at least make a sufficiently useful box. Please. Pretty please. With molasses on top.

The bottle is a short and chubby one with a medium thickness bottom. The seal is made by a nice and tightly fitted cork with faux wood stopper (I think).

Nice, clean label with the Rum Nation trademark national stamp graphics. The only information on the front is origin, age and brand.

Back label: Short, enticing story about the rum. Mention of location of distillery, molasses, Scottish column stills, the solera-like ageing system, and finally some taste notes.

The rum has a nice mahogany colour. In the glass it show off a lighter profile with lots tiny droplets all racing very fast to reach the surface of the rum.

A quite easy going rum on the nose. It mainly gives off dominating scents of molasses and vanilla, with soft tones of suede and oak underneath.

There is a little sharpness from the alcohol, but nothing I wouldn't expect from an 8 year old.
It isn't the most complex of rums, but it is very well balanced.

The first thing to be noticed is the very nice and balanced sweetness. There is no doubt that this is a sweet rum, but at no point does it come off as sticky or too much.                      

The sweetness is kept in check by lots of liquorice root and a dash of vanilla.
Oak spice comes last, just to give off that tickling feeling on your tongue with help from the 42% alcohol content.

Everything is dressed in a nice suede jacket for extra spice and complexity.

Super drinkable! In my opinion this rum should henceforth be proclaimed the reference for entry level people pleasers. It is that good.

A surprisingly long finish for a product of this profile. The liquorice and oak spices stay on for long before finally opening up and revealing a little cocoa.

There is no evidence of the harshness of the alcohol from the nose. Just pleasant warmth and flavours.

Rating and final thoughts
This is perhaps the single best entry level product I have ever tried.

It is a bit simple and doesn't stray away from the beaten path, apart from the slightly higher proof. But if something isn't broken, why fix it?

I could have wished for a more full bodied palate. The balance between palate and finish is off. The palate is consistent with typical entry level rums, where as the finish is huge like a top shelf product.

However it is well put together and in my opinion a way better product than its distant cousin the super famous and popular Millonario Solera 15. Light years better even, which is very interesting seeing that the Peruano 8 is the very base of the Millonario 15.

Funny thing: The Millonario 15 retails for around €48 in my location. The Peruano 8 is just €35.
I see absolutely no reason to choose the Millonario unless you have a thing for its bagasse glory or extremely sticky sweetness. I can honestly say that as long as Rum Nation keeps making the Peruano 8, I have bought my very last Millonario.

The Peruano is that much better a product and thus an even better value for your hard earned money. End of discussion.

There isn't many flaws to find and it does things a little bit different and substantially better than rest of its class.

For that it deserves a (here comes another half-score)…

Rating: 75/100

An even longer aged version of this rum would be an absolute no-brainer on my behalf.  Now shut up and take my money, Rum Nation, and go make me a Peruano 15 or 20 year old.



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