This is a Mexican rum, yes it is – and in fact its the first Mexican rum i try.
This rum is produced by the Villanueva family who since three generations back has hand produced fine spirits in the town of Cordoba in the province of Veracruz in eastern Mexico. This province has for 500 years now been famous for their sugarcane.
Rum was in the 16th century actually one of the most popular beverages consumed in Mexico, but the Spanish during their dominion made sure rum was prohibited. But luckily for us today there was a few still that secretly continued producing rum – and the name ‘Los Valientes’ (it means the Valiant Ones) is in honour of the brave fighters of the Mexican Revolution. I had no idea about this, so interesting to learn!
This rum is a rare cat…they use not only the molasses in this small batched rum but also the sugarcane juice – which is fermented with natural yeasts and then double distilled in pot-stills followed by charcoal filtering. I`ve not heard of a rum using both molasses and sugarcane juice before.
The molasess is distilled in column stills and its the heart of this distillation together with the sugarcane juice – in a ratio of 70:30 juice to molasses – that goes into this rum.The rum is aged in used American white oak barrels producing a light and refined flavour to the finsihed product.
This is a very interesting rum indeed! The 10 and 15 year rums are made at 40% abv while the 20 is 43% abv.
When you know the history of a rum and where it comes from it`s even more interesting to sample it, to try to pick up all the flavours in the nose and mouth and get a picture of the whole. It cannot compare of course with visiting the distillery but knowing a rums history and how its made takes your experience to a higher level, making it more complete.Rum tasting is an ever-learning experience and an art in itself which can only be perfected by training. Gaining experience and training your palate is a long process that takes time and i`m only at the beginning of what i consider a long pleasant journey.
So here we go with these three very intriguing rums – and indeed these are good rums:
Ron Los Valientes 10 year Old
In the nose i find a hint of plums, then oak and sugarcane.The flavour has a slight balanced fire and its molasses, dried tropical fruits, a slight hint of the sugarcane juice but not grassy and herbal – actually i expected more of that but its very light and balanced. And its definetily flavours from the oak there and is there a slight hint of dark chocolate? yes it is.
Its not a heavy rum, its rather light in character much due to the size of the barrels used for aging which are larger than the usual, and that is not saying its inferior…this one is good and smooth and i have discovered it goes down very easily. I like this one.
Ron Los Valientes 15 year Old
The first thought that crossed my mind when sampling the nose of this 15 year rum was “old pirate times”, i could almost mentally see the ships… Note i said the “feeling” because that´s what the aroma gives you as well – a feel. The aroma itself is to me molasses, sugarcane and old oak followed by burnt caramel. Its heavier on the nose than the 10 year old and the taste is more spicy and has more woody depth while the 10 year has more caramel.
The 15 year old has won a gold medal.
Ron Los Valientes 20 year Old
The oldest of the three brave rums.The nose is so pleasant, sweet..much caramel here and i like caramel. Oh my..this one is smooth like silk! the other two are smooth as well but this one is exceptional. Nice notes of oak paired with dried fruits and molasses. It has the most depth of the three and some fire too as it should.The 20 year old rums are numbered and hand signed.
To wrap it up:
I can clearly place these three rums in a range from my favorite to number three and it goes as follows – I like the 20 year most, i find it outstanding and the most complete of them.Then very closely comes the 10 year old, its yummy and smooth and i like the sweetness it has and then there´s something more there in its flavour..
Its followed by the 15 year old with its spicier and oaky flavour – a “happy” rum.They are very good rums indeed – all three of them and well worth buying in my opinion.They are available in the UK but i don´t know about the US.
Do we need a cocktail here as well? – yeah i think we do..a little rum old fashioned.
TRINITY RUM OLD FASHIONED
1 oz Ron Los Valientes 10 year Old
0.5 oz Ron Los Valientes 15 year Old
0.5 oz Ron Los Valientes 20 year Old
1 tsp raw cane sugar syrup
2 dashes Adam`s Boker´s bitters or Angostura
Add syrup and bitters to a small Old Fashioned glass. Add ice and stir. Add the rums and stir again. Drop a piece of lime and a good quality cocktail cherry in the glass.
You could use an orange peel here and spray some oil over the surface of the drink, but i preferred to simply drop a lime today.
For full disclosure picture courtesy and samples of Ron Los Valientes was provided by Wine and Spirit International Ltd – http://www.ronlosvalientes.com/
Picture courtesy also of IPBartenders London.