Caña Brava 3 Year Old

Caña Brava 3-RG1

Product of:  Panama
Aged:  3 years
Price: $35/Liter, $28/750ml
Alcohol: 43% ABV 
Sugar: 0-5 g/L (estimate)
Context: Premium White Rum
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Sure, Cana Brava 3 is designed for the Price of Coaktails - the noble Daiquiri – but before we get to that frosty delight let’s play with the naked rum for awhile.  Swirling produces sufficiently thick legs that run slowly enough down the inside of my tasting glass to suggest more flavor than your average ron blanco.  This three year old rum shows the slightest hint of color, like pale, tall dead grass, despite charcoal filtering.  Perhaps the filtration was unaggressive and the flavors remain largely intact.  Let’s take a closer look … 

Mild aromas of citrus (lemon and pineapple rind), buttery croissant or white cheese, grassy notes, then very shy notes of sugarcane, coconut oil and butterscotch that require a bit of coaxing. 

Initial tasting brings a seamless transition from the aromas to the flavors.  Consistency is a virtue for spirits, as our human sensory organs don’t like surprises nor irreconcilable differences.

Even the medium weight body suits the flavor profile.  The finish is   suitably long and clean, leaving enough flavor on the palate to remind one of what they just drank yet fading quickly enough to invite another.

And that calls for the aforementioned Daiquiri.  Yep, Cana Brava 3 makes an exquisite one.  A classic daiquiri should be refreshing, arguably more so than any other tropical drink, and this one slakes.  Cana Brava 3 provides the stage for the lime to speak and the sugar to brighten, Cana Bravo!.

Anecdotes
Any bartender worth their sugarcane can pick up a bottle of Caña Brava 3 and quickly know exactly what to do with this rum.  Text scattered about the label recommends using it in a daiquiri, and there’s enough verbiage - more talking points than marketing speak - to keep customer’s enthralled at the knowledge of the mixologist behind the stick.  Who distilled it and where, fermented from what (molasses) in what kind of still, where and when the still was made, and the source of the water used for dilution to 43% ABV.

Cana Brava 3 Scale-RG1

Packaging
No less a bartender than Tiki Master Martin Cate stepped me through a design review of Cana Brava’s bottle.  The fist thing he noted was the recessed waist band molded into the bottle.  “Perfect for gripping and tipping” he said.  He then noted the neck’s swell and raised line, which facilitate grip when the bottle is inverted, because “that’s how they pour in the UK.”

Rum Gallery’s friend Peter Holland of The Floating Rum Shack has these insights on the bottle design:  "The thing about all the bottles in the 86 Co. range is their amazing tactility. In my home bar setting I might make a few drinks, but I’m hardly under any pressure to bang them out in short order. This bottle design offers many ways to lay your hand on it that results in a sure and comfortable grip, which must be a real boon to the bartender working at a rate of knots. Hat’s off to Simon for this – it’s no accident, rather a primary goal when putting the range together. A bottle designed by bartenders for bartenders. Three key grip positions, easy opening, and a stock take friendly scale. Oh and easily recycled too. Not recycled in a bottle bank sense, I mean easily removed labels that allow the exceptionally ergonomic bottle to be reused in the bar for all manner of other uses."

Caña Brava 3 Daiquiri-RG1

Opinion
You have to appreciate a rum that so perfectly achieves what its designers intended.  Caña Brava is made for cocktails, especially my favorite, the Daiquiri.  I shook Caña Brava 3 it in my favorites; the  simple daiquiri as well as the classic Hemingway daiquiri – with much success.  The 86 Company’s website lists a dozen classic cocktails that feature Cana Brava as the main ingredient.  All are historically accurate and spot-on in ratio and preparation.  Try any of them, or simply do the math.  

1. Cana Brava 3 is a Cuban-style rum produced by a true Cuban Master Blender; Don Pancho.

2. The bottle is designed for bartenders by a World-class bartender. 

3. Daiquiri-perfect flavor and proof.

= Winner.

Reviewed:  March 2016 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017