Rum Review: Centenario 25 Year
Centenario Sistema Solera 25 Años Gran Reserva
With about 60 rums in the bar now, I was surprised to find I had nothing from Costa Rica. That ends today with the addition of the 25-year grand reserve from Centenario. This rum has been generating quite a buzz on the rum forums lately, so I jumped at the chance to pick up a bottle for $50 from my preferred online retailer: Hi-TimeWine.net in Costa Mesa, CA.
The Centenario 25-Year bottle is quite regal in appearance. It’s got a small but attractive label placed high on the clear bottle, and a golden crest sitting in a recessed portion just above. The cork stopper is topped with a handsomely engraved wood stopper sealed in black plastic.
Although the label refers to a Solera aging, I was unable to find any references to the process. Centenario’s documentation refers only to bourbon and whiskey barrel-aging.
Once in my tasting snifter, I can appreciate the copper highlights and mahogany body of this 25 year-old rum. A swirl generates a thin ring around the top of the glass that begrudgingly gives way to a number of leglets that gradually descend as if partially frozen.
After resting for a few moments, I activate the olfactories and continue the investigation. Initial aromas are of oak and citrus. The astringency level is low, allowing me to take a bigger sniff. On the second pass, I’m able to detect vanilla, toffee and butterscotch.
Time for a taste. As the rum hits my tongue, the sweetness dominates the entire experience, and I initially struggle to identify individual flavors. That said, it’s quite pleasurable. A second sip brings oak and orange followed by butterscotch, toffee and pineapple. The aftertaste yields the slightest hint of saccharin sweetness that tempers the enjoyment somewhat, but only slightly. On the third sip, I’m now noticing the spices, which are present but mild: black pepper, allspice and nutmeg. The finish is long and smooth save for the slight saccharin notes.
The Centenario 25-Year is indeed a fabulous rum, but as a real lover of sweet rums from the lower Americas, even I found myself wishing this one had just a tad more dryness. Perhaps a slightly drier blend would yield even more complexity and cut out the saccharin notes in the finish as well. Those criticisms notwithstanding, this is a rum I would definitely recommend adding to your collection.
On to the scores:
Mouth feel: 1/1
Total Score: 9/10
Have you had the chance to try the Centenario 25? I’d love to hear your thoughts.