Monday, December 31, 2012

Ron Añejo Pampero Aniversario Reserva Exclusiva - What's in a name and satchel?

While browsing a liquor store in New York, I came across a fancy leather satchel containing an interesting Venezuelan rum - Ron Añejo Pampero Aniversario Reserva Exclusiva ($30). Traditionally the term "ron añejo" refers to aged rum and "pampero" to a vicious squall. Thus, in 1938, Alejandro Hernández started Industrias Pampero, C.A. and produced the "first rum to be accredited ‘Añejo’, by the Venezuelan government". Twenty-five years later to celebrate their anniversary (that's 1963 for those like me slow in arithmetic) the inaugural Ron Añejo Pampero Aniversario Reserva Exclusiva was released.  Now owned by the Diageo empire, the distillery continues to release this premium rum, which is referred to in Venezuela as "Caballito Frenao" ("Restrained Horse") because of the logo on the satchel.

The rum pours a dark caramel with a nose of toasted vanilla and sweet honey nuts. Very appealing. On the palette there's a wave of chocolate being ridden by vanilla notes plus a hint of leather when it crashes into a warm molasses burning sensation. Who needs the creme brulee when this rum will suffice for dessert. Adding a few drops of water smooths out the palette by dampening the alcohol to completely eliminate the burn, allowing the rum's flavor profile to shine. This is very nice sipping rum, flavorful and balanced - worthy of the $30 price. Cheers.
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