Legendario 7 Años Elixer de Cuba

Legendario 7 Años Elixer de Cuba

Product of:  Cuba
Aged:  7 years
Price: $22 (Panama duty free)
Alcohol: 34% ABV
Context: Flavored/Spiced Rum 
RG Rating: 9.5

Tasting Notes
Extremely Smooth.  Legendario 7 Años Elixir de Cuba is  much darker in color than I would expect from a rum colored only by aging seven years in oak barrel, but a noble shade of aged copper patina or walnut-wood nonetheless.  A considerable amount of fine sediment is suspended in the rum (probably particles of macerated raisins), contributing to the deeper color.  In any event, the particulates settled slowly to the bottom of my glass and didn’t seem to negatively affect the taste.  

Aromas of brown sugar, caramel, light milk chocolate and musty old wood are most pronounced.  There’s more of a sweet alcohol tinge on the nose than you’d expect from a rum bottled at 34% ABV (though it’s not objectionable). Slight molasses and sulphur odors add a dry essence that partially offsets the alcohol and sugars, then a light spice, (nutmeg and vanilla), and a hint of fruit (grape, raisin, mango, and banana).  The aromas are well integrated,  but a moderately complexity enables recognition of the individual components.  The initial taste is completely unique amongst aged rums, and is surprisingly different from the aromas.  It is sweet with fruit, like a madeira or tawny port, and chewy with a medium-heavy weight body.  The finish is thinner than the body, is sweet like sherry on the tongue tip yet fruity on the palate, the caramel disappears and leaves a dry tobacco in the throat, adding to the mystery. 

Legendario’s base rum is aged and blended in tiers of American oak barrels, apparently in a solera system of two, four and six year old rums.  Before bottling, the rum is reduced from 47% ABV to 34% ABV by diluting with water and blending with raisins that were macerated in demineralized (distilled) water for 30 days. Legendario referes to Elixir de Cuba as “Punch au Rhum”, which translated loosely from French means a flavored rum. 

Legendario began producing rum in 1946 in Havana, Cuba.   For an excellent history of rum production on Cuba, see Bob “the Rumelier” Davies trove of pictures and fascinating prose at Cuban Rums. 

Legendario Lifestyle Poster

Legendario 7 Años Elixir de Cuba is smooth, complex, and suitably pedigreed to qualify as a premium aged rum, but it’s true nature is a supple flavored rum by virtue of the added macerated raisins.  Don’t be put off by the sediment; it doesn’t negatively affect the rum’s flavor. Traces of residual elements are common in many of the more authentic flavored and spiced rums from the Caribbean. 

I spotted Elixir de Cuba in a Panama duty free shop, where it was priced reasonably for a rum with such unique flavor.  I imagine even better bargains can be found in Cuba, where a bottle might only cost the equivalent of $6-$7!  Regardless, I’d gladly sip Elixir de Cuba anytime time I find it, and I will anxiously pursue Legendario’s other aged rums. 

Reviewed:  April 2011 while touring Panama.

© Dave Russell 2017