I recently tasted some of Colombia’s finest, Ron Viejo de Caldas Grand Reserve or Caldas Grand Reserve Rum, and was as impressed as many Colombians told me I would be. Distilled in the Caldas region in the heart of the country, the original recipe was designed by a Cuban distiller brought in to lend his expertise, but the brand has been thoroughly naturalized by now.
For sensual satisfaction, it certainly beats Colombia’s other famous product (coffee, of course).
When swirled in the snifter and held up to the light, it had legs to die for – the alcoholic equivalent of a chorus girl’s shapely limbs. The aroma was subtle but clear: my trusted band of co-samplers agreed on butterscotch with floral overtones and a hint of oak, redolent of the locally made Colombian oak barrels used to age it, with hints of vanilla and banana overtones as it adhered to the tongue.
On the palate, there was a similar balance between the sweetness of the cane and the sharpness of the oak that rolls over the taste buds, but the rum has a finish that lingers, clear without being sharp.
Definitely, for me at least, it’s a sipping rum to be savored with lingering satisfaction to make the experience last.