What is it? Rum (molasses based, multi-distillery, multi-column) bottled under the Casa Santana name by the independent bottles That Boutique’y Rum Company. So tells us nothing. Casa Santana aren’t a distillery, they are a company so they source their rums as New Make from various places and cask it for maturation themselves, so even though this is “Colombian” rum it’s really not; it’s rum that has been sourced from various distilleries around the Central American area (the likes of Panama, Venezuela and maybe even some stuff from actual Colombia) and matured in Colombia. The rum that have gone into this “blend” is all multi-column stuff, so nothing too exciting, and then aged for at least 12 years in Columbia (in what cask type, we don’t know) – I can’t say I’m too impressed with the story behind this, it’s not Colombian rum at all it’s a Central American Blend that any odd company could put out if they had some spare warehouse space. In case you’re interested, Casa Santana have various brands they produced, such as La Hechicera and Juan Santos to name a few.
This is from Casa Santana Batch 1 and my bottle it bottle 1721 of 3766.
Not coloured, not chill-filtered and bottled at 58.4% abv.
Nose: Spicy. Clove, ginger, black peppercorns, red chillies and some tannic oak. Toffee chews, a little honey and a touch of leather after the spice dies down. A faint hint of some distant cigar smoke and heavy roasted coffee bean. There is a little chlorine and soapy smell near the end and another unusual smell I can’t pin down that I found in Dictador (another Colombian rum), and I didn’t like the smell in that either.
Palate: Medium mouth feel. Hot entry and woody. Some strong breakfast tea, praline, salted butter fudge, caramel infused with chilli, horseradish and coffee bean again. There is some tar, engine oil and a little sea salt mid way, which is nice, and a rubber glove note at the end that is almost latex like, which isn’t so nice. The odd banana shows up here and there as well as a small slice of pineapple, but there really isn’t much fruit.
Finish: Quite long actually. Hot. Generally softer here though, the spices seem to have gone so you get gingerbread, toffee and pecan pie, fudge, caramelised banana and an almost mince pie note – those posh ones though with lots of nuts in them, with allspice, nutmeg, roasted nuts and pastry.
Thoughts? On the whole it’s enjoyable, but there is something in this blend that I don’t get on with. I suspect it’s the same stuff that is in Dictador; an almost fake, concocted note or slightly chemical like. Saying that there is a fair bit going on, but it is oak heavy and very hot – it’s not the most complex rum out there though.
Right, rant time. I paid £30 for a 50cl bottle (that’s all these Boutique’y Rum Company bottles come in). I hate these shitty little bottles, just put it in a proper 70cl bottle and have done with it. We all know what’s going on here, it looks cheaper and you don’t think you’re getting that much less rum but you bloody well are! A 70cl bottle has 40% more rum in it than a 50cl bottle! Factor that into the price you’re paying and these TBRC bottles aren’t very price competitive. Ok, I know some people like smaller bottles because it means they can try a rum without paying too much more, but when you work out how much the same thing would cost you for a full grown-up bottle it’s really not very good value for money.
Speaking of value, this was £30…..if I take the abv down to 40% and factor it up to a proper bottle size of 70cl that makes it £29, so it’s cheaper than the likes of La Hechicera from the same company. Given that, it’s not going to break the bank, so I think that’s OK. I wouldn’t really want to pay much more though.