Carta Vieja Golden Cask 18 Year Old

Carta Vieja Golden Cask 18 Bottle-RG1-USE

Product of:  Panama
Aged:  Solera blend of rums aged up to 18 years
Price: ~$50 in Panama 
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar: 6-10g/L (estimate)
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes
Carta Vieja Golden Cask 18 year old radiates a bright mahogany color through its attractive decanter, and it becomes all the more tempting in my tasting glass.  Swirling produces a crown of beads, and many become long thin legs, dripping slowly.  Appearance-wise, my tasting experience with Carta Vieja Golden Cask 18 year old is off to a fine start.

A rather dense bouquet of deep wood aged rum and old vanilla present a perception of maturity.  Breathing deeper I detect aromas of rancio, dried/very overripe fruits, pronounced paraffin phenols, aged dry tobacco, musty old leather, bandaid, and some caramel and charred wood, all of which come through in equal measure during the satisfying initial taste.  The body offers a supportive, medium heft that’s well proportioned to the woody, phenol and rubber flavors.  The rum continues to intrigue the palate for several long moments before tapering slowly to a long, woody, mildly sweet and very smooth finish.

Carta Vieja Golden Cask 18 B&B-RG1

Carta Vieja’s 18 year old is certainly attractively packaged.  Sure, the rum itself is pretty enough, but the bottle manages to be both chesty, curvy and well faceted.  Or maybe it’s modeled after an old miniature aerial bomb. It’s similar in shape, though 50% larger in volume than Havana Club’s iconic 50cl Maximo bottle, but Carta Vieja delivers a lot more rum for the money. The bottle makes an impressive decanter, and the tight sealing synthetic stopper allows you to use and re-use it.

Central Industrial Chiricana SA distillery celebrates a full century of production during this year, 2015.   Located in the province of Chiriqui, near the town of David in western Panama (Pacific Ocean side), the distillery produces Carta Vieja rum from fermented molasses.  The rum is distilled in a continuous column still and Solera aged in used bourbon casks.

Carta Vieja’s 18 year old is not your typical sweet and light Panamanian rum.  Neither is it the most delectable.  It is a solid, flavorful, more wood-forward and earthy alternative to Panama’s sweeter brands, and it’s a worthy addition to your collection.

Reviewed:  March 2014 in Panama City and again in January 2015 at the The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017