Bakara 12 Year Old

Bakara 12 YO-RG1b

Product of:  Haiti
Aged:  12 Years (Solera)
Price: $15 (in the Caribbean)
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar: 0-5 g/L (
estimate)
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 7

Tasting Notes
Bakara's 12 Year Old is a pretty rum, showing an enticing dark honey and light mahogany color in a tasting glass.  After swirling, initial legs run thick and fast, then leaving behind thinner stragglers that ease their way down the inside of the glass to the rum waiting below.  Nothing definitive about these clues.

The aromas are underpowered, delivering mainly vanilla and some nutmeg; the rums used to make this blend express their individuality;  both brash (younger rums) and softer, more oaken (older rums) are detectable, though not in conflict.  Scents of dried plum, banana, and lesser notes mild phenolic and paraffin round out the profile. 

With the aromas as prelude, an initial sip of the rum delivers a pleasant surprise, as it’s more well-integrated than expected, the flavors suggested on the nose are all present, well-balanced and sufficiently heavy of bodyweight and oakiness to retain interest.  So goes the finish, which lingers longer than expected, the rum exiting with light vanilla and nutmeg on the tongue and a slight burn in the upper throat.

Anecdotes
Bakara's 12 Year Old is double distilled in column stills from fermented molasses, and filtered before bottling.

Opinion
Bakara's 12 Year Old shows the influence of its Solera aging aging method.  While I do not have knowledge of the distillery’s specific solera aging practices, by definition, younger rums are blended with (probably) more than one vintage of older, aged rums at intervals determined by a combination of necessity and maturity.  Solera can be an effective technique for ensuring flavor profile consistency, can extend the life of very old stocks of rum, or it can be an opaque veil that master blenders and distilleries hide behind to command premium prices for immature rums.  In the case of Bakara’s Grand Reserve 12 Year Old, the barrels appear to do much of the talking for the rum, adding most of its character.  The result is decent though unremarkable, and mildly interesting at $15 per bottle (price Rum Gallery paid in the Caribbean).

Reviewed:  June 2017 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017