Thursday, 17 December 2015

Review 69 - Millonario 15 Solera

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
Yet another sweet reason to poke the hornets nest.

I think it is time for another crowd pleaser. And this time I go to the sister brand of one of my all time favourites, Rum Nation, to try out the Ron Millonario Solera 15.

Although this isn’t a Rum Nation product, Millonario is also owned by Wilson & Morgan, that Italian whisky bottling company spearheaded by Mr. Fabio Rossi.

Millonario is made in Peru on a small undisclosed distillery, where a Scottish column still creates a distillate which is aged for 15 solera years before being bottled.

Fun fact: The Rum Nation Peruano 8 comes from the exact same place, but is actually an 8 year old.

Apparently, Millonario has been around since the 50s. But it wasn’t until 2004, when Mr. Rossi came by and used his Italian finesse to move Millonario out of the underground and into the massive rum fest spotlights.

Since then the Millonario has won a lot of awards which backs up its pedigree. I won't go into how I feel about these awards in general, and how to interpret the accolades of such award-winners.

Johnny from measured this at 35 grams of sugar pr. litre of rum, with his trusty hydrometer, indicating a sweet profile.
I must say, that I have looking very much forward to wrestle for a while now.
So, on with the show.
Chances are that you have seen this many times in many shops already.

It is the one with the woven bagasse exterior. From top to bottom.

Actually this was once the look of the Ron Zacapa 23, but for some reason they decided to ditch that look, and go with another. Strange thing really, seeing how iconic that exterior was for the RZ23 and now is for the Millonario 15.

The label is quite big and glued onto the dress, and it tells us next to nothing except from the name of the rum, and the shady solera age statement.

When you lift the tiny woven hat, we find a foil screw cap underneath.

The liquid sports a light brown colour, and it leaves a nice, clear residue on the inside of the glass.

Few, but fat and slow legs, hinting a thick liquid.
When first nosing the glass, the only clear scent, is slightly burned wood and an medicinal edge which I can’t describe or identify. Quite strange.

Next I found some treacle and a little vanilla, but also the kind of eraser that you would find at the upper end of your pencil in school.

Last, but not least, a bunch of cloves.

Not much else to be frank.

A very flat and not very exciting nose, apart from the strange covert medicinal note.
Perhaps it reminds me most of an after shave of some sort.

First, I was overwhelmed with a lot of sweet sweetness. Not exactly thick and sticky, but just very sweet.

Thin maple syrup came to mind first, but quickly followed by huge vanilla.

There is a mild wooden influence, and the strange medicinal thing is back, haunting the backgound of everything.

The eraser also pops in for a reprise, and is followed by a soft taste of cherries.

At the very end there is a good variety of spices – vanilla, cloves and cinnamon.

And then it hits me: The medicinal note, is not medicinal at all. It’s soap.

I didn’t recognise it on the nose, and it doesn’t translate very good onto the palate. But when it hits the palate, it is quite clear. Unperfumed shower gel.

And I would know, as I use that stuff every time I take a shower, and because I don’t have much hair left on my head, that shower gel goes everywhere – head to toe. Sometimes even into the very first part of my gastrointestinal tract. And this strange off note tastes more or less exactly like that.

To be fair, the note isn't the most dominating, but it still lurks around in between all the others, adding a little fluff.

Note: Perhaps, I got a bottle from a bad batch? If I get my hands on another sample, I will revisit and correct the score accordingly.
Behind the soap there is a lingering fruitiness which seems extremely reluctant to come forward. But it reminded me the most of lychee fruits and perhaps even a little lime.
The exit is short, sweet, a little spicy, a couple of soap bubbles, and we are done.

Fortunately, it doesn’t require much licking of teeth, as it cleans it self up rather nicely.

But nothing extraordinary of any kind here, except for the strange soapy thing.
Rating and final thoughts
Not really an epifany of any kind.

I can understand why this would be such a crowd pleaser, though. It’s sweet, it’s soft, it doesn’t require much attention, and the standard proof makes it go down in an orderly fashion.

It does offer a slight edge over some of the more extremely sweet thing, like the Centenario 20 and the Zacapa 23. But is it better? I don’t know.

It will definitely be worth a try, if you feel that it fits your current place on your rum journey.

Looking at a price tag of around €45, I think it streches the boundaries of its value a little bit. There is a lot of similar products (like the Diplomatico ResEx, the El Dorado 15, the Centenario 20 and many, many more) in this price range, and if you like sweetened stuff, this might be just as good a choice as anything else.

What would I choose in this pricerange? The Foursquare PortCask Finish or the Rum Nation Peruano 8. Both of those are way better products and for lack of better words, just as palatable – and a bit cheaper.

Once more unto the breach! I boldly stuff my face down the proverbial hornest nest, and pull out a…

Rating: 70/100

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