Venezuelan Rum

Today’s entry into the sweepstakes of the World’s Best Rums is “Pampero Aniversario”. This dark rums sails in from the tropical clime of Venezuela where it is blended from 100% Venezuelan rums. The bottle advises that this rum-style was first made by the Pampero Family of Rums in 1963 to celebrate the 25th year of Pampero Rum. This was an “exclusive” reserve bottle with a wax seal on it and individually numbered. The distillery was established in 1938, which is quite encouraging, in the central plains area of the country. I will not comment on the current political issues of the country. Pampero was the first rum from Venezuela to be declared “Anejo” (aged). The distillery has been awarded several prizes from the international community most recently 2007. The company is not Venezuelan-owned anymore (political comment here? Tempting, but no) but is part of Diageo, the world’s largest liquor holding company. Well, if you have to hold something, I think liquor is a good choice—especially rum. Now, let’s talk rum….the bottle is pleasantly squat, the wax stamp gives it gravitas, while the label itself is not overly impressive. From a marketing side, the bottle comes in a beautiful, soft brown, handmade leather bag, quite distinctive and unique. When the cork top is removed, the rum aroma is reserved, soft, low-key like a 3 piece jazz group playing old standards on a deck overlooking a harbor. The texture is smooth, with a nice finish. However, the flavor is smoothed almost to the point of blandness. Like filing off rough edges until you are left with just a sliver and a pile of shavings. There is no “there” there, to quote Dorothy Parker. Drinking it straight brings the thought, “Is that it?” It almost disappears mixed with Coke or Coke Zero. It fares a little better with fruit juices. For approximately $28 a bottle, I was not greatly impressed by this rum. It is not a bad rum, just not a good value for the price. The Rum Road goes ever onward….. The Rum Guy

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