Ron Viejo de Caldas Gran Reserve

CALDAS GRAND RESERVE

Product of:  Colombia
Aged:  8 years
Price: $21.99 (SRP)
Alcohol: 40% ABV
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating:  8.5

Tasting Notes 
Extremely Smooth. Eight years of aging in Colombian oak produces a rum of beautiful orange-walnut color. The local oak also produces fascinating aromas:  wonderfully bright and complex, with mild spices (ginger) and fruits (apricots, figs, orange marmalade, sliced apple), light vanilla, and a distant organic smell like wafts downwind from a far-off leather tannery - very easy on the nose with no offensive alcohol odors.  Initial sipping brings new surprises, notably: a delicious wood smoke essence like that from a well-stoked crackling fireplace, lesser tones of fresh tobacco, an earthy mild vegetal sweetness.  Overall, Caldas 8 is moderately complex with flavors that compliment one another, and each pleasantly understated.  A mediumweight body has just the proper viscosity to deliver each flavor individually, ending with a finish that’s off-dry and woody, short lived, but memorable.

Anecdotes
Viejo de Caldas has been producing rum since 1928, at 2200 meters altitude in the Andes mountains of Colombia, hence the name Rones de Altura (high rums). The rum starts with fermented sugar cane honey (a reduction of sugar cane juice), distilled then aged in charred Colombian oak barrels for eight years and bottled unblended.

Packaging is new - gone is the squat old barrel shaped bottle, replaced now by a taller, slimmer, fluted bottle with “Caldas” boldly molded into its lower face.

Opinion 
Bravo to Caldas for creating a uniquely flavored, complex, and extremely smooth rum that bucks the current trend toward heavily oaked sugar bombs.  Ron Viejo de Caldas Gran Rserve commands a fine position among aged rums, noble yet humble, possessing a subtlety of complex flavors that are almost forgotten in current premium rums, and finishing with an enticing signature that leaves an unforgettable impression.  Thanks Caldas, for contributing something wonderful to the world of rum - at an affordable price.  And to those of you who are able to distinguish the aromatic and flavor  differences among spirits aged in Ameican vs. French limousin oak: you really must try Caldas Grand Reserve; the Columbian oak and craftsmanship deliver a whole new experience.

Reviewed:  October 2010 at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017