Cartavio Solera 1929

Cartavio Solera 1929

Product of:  Peru
Aged:  12 years avg. (Solera blend of rums aged 5-15 years) 
Price: $20 in Peru (70cl)
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Cartavio Solera 1929 shows a fine, dark amber hue, colored from long duration in Slovenia oak casks in a solera aging and blending process.  On the nose, it is pleasantly sweet, smelling earthy and slightly grassy with caramel (actually more like dulce de leche), and richly oaken in a nice balance.  Those aromas are nurtured by the initial taste, which is only moderately complex. Warm flavors of walnut, pecan, and mild spices are exhibited in the kind of balance that make one appreciate fine rum.  Mild pepper rides atop the medium body, built on a soft caramel foundation.  The finish is short and sweet, but ultimately with enough dryness to entice another sip.  

Cartavio Solera barrels

Anecdotes
One of Peru’s few rum producers, Cartavio was established as a sugar processor in the late 19th century, and began rum production in 1929.  Still produced on the original estate, Cartavio’s Solera is a traditional, noble rum.   I discovered it rum in Arequipa, Peru in the spring of 2008 shortly after hiking Macchu Piccu and before embarking on a 3,000 mile journey by motorcycle from Cuzco to Iguassu Falls, Brazil.  In so many ways I was discovering the best of what the colorful, richly historic continent had to offer.   Rum is not the popular local drink.  Chicha (beer fermented from a corn and  saliva mash) is the indigenous local beverage — so I was doubly glad to have found such a high quality rum.  Considering Peru’s low per capita income, it’s no surprise this rum was so affordable. 

Packaging is traditional and substantial, as if to humbly rely on the rum’s rich brown color to show its noble attributes.  A label reminiscent of parchment paper graces the standard tall shouldered, clear bottle, which is numbered and topped with a synthetic cork stopper, the packaged in an attractive metal cylinder.

Opinion 
Cartavio Solera 1929 is a welcome addition to any fine rum collection.  I find rums produced in the Solera method to be smooth, balanced, mild and entirely enjoyable.  Cartavio Solera stands up well to those expectations.  Do not hesitate to add this tasty, rare but inexpensive, noble yet unassuming rum to your collection.

Reviewed: November, 2009 in Trujillo, Peru while on tour of the Cartavio distillery.

© Dave Russell 2017