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Maximo XO Solera

MaximoThe Rum: Maximo XO
Origin: Dominican Republic
Distillation: pot and column still
Maturation: 15 yo solera method
ABV: 42%

The Nose: the first impression is punchy with dark fruits, rich oak and a bit of vanilla. I also have cocoa, nutmeg and some cold coffee. The molasses is there, but not too prominent. After some breathing in the glass, the rum gets a bit more fresh and clean.

The Taste: a rather sweet start but still punchy. Nice oak influences and a fruity taste. A medium bodied rum with a delicate touch of tobacco.

The Finish
: Medium sweet with a bit of a metallic touch to it. The wood is nicely balanced. At the end of the medium long finish more wood.

Our Score: ***

Ron Esclavo XO


24 days of rum – Part One

I’m really not into all that christmas spirit. In fact, if I had any say in it I’d go from december 15th straight to january 15th. But this year might be different. Thanks to the ’24 Days of Rum’ advent calendar.

Behind door number one…. :

The Rum: Ron Esclavo XO
Origin: Dominican Republic – Oliver & Oliver Distillery
Distilled: n.i. – column still
Bottled: n.i. ca 2016/2017
Age: 23 yo solera system. So the real age remains a question 😉
Raw material: molasses
ABV: 42%

The Nose: Sweet fruits and light molasses with firm hints of caramel and vanilla promise a rather sweet rum.
Rather monotonous and not really exciting. One might expect more from a “23” year old rum, right?
Some light vegetal aromas and a bit of stewed cabbage.

The Taste: sweet. But after the nose, that was to be expected. Beside the mountain of sugar we also have some sweet mocha caramel, a touch of sugarcane and rather big wood (oak). Alas, again rather dull and simple.

The Finish: is rather short, with the sweet notes turning into big wood again with a bit of a tarty edge. The last word is for bitter dark chocolate or cocoa.

Our Score : **
This might work in a longdrink or cocktail…but as a sipper? No thanks.

Cachaça Magnifica de Faria Reserva Solera


In the mountains surrounding Rio de Janeiro at an altitude around 800 meters we find the Magnifica de Faria distillery, active since 1985. It’s the only cachaça distillery in Brazil using the ‘alegria’ distillation : 3 pot stills, with the first one acting as a ‘chaufe vin’.

Next to the stills casks are stored in a solera system, 8 layers or criaderas high. Magnifica is one of only 3 (I think) distilleries in Brazil using the Solera method. But here the casks are stored right next to the 3 stills, absorbing the alcohol vapours that escape during the distillation process.

The Solera is labeled as a 10 years old, meaning the oldest cachaça in the mix is 10 years of age.

More on the distillery and their ‘tradicional’ ipê matured cachaça HERE

The Cachaça: Magnifica de Faria Reserva Solera – Batch 1 – 2016
Region: Miguel Perreira – RJ
Distilled:  pot still
Matured:Solera system in oak casks
ABV: 43%

Nose: A very rich nose that – strangely enough – reminds a lot of a very good molasses made rum. We find molasses and white fruit, with only subtle fresh sugarcane juice. Also fruitcocktail on syrup and violets. Slowly evolving towards more tropical fruits: mango and overripe passion fruit. Give it a good 10 minuites in the glass and some aniseed is coming through. Hardly any sugarcane juice, and no new make whatsoever. The empty glass evokes some Lapsang Souchong – better known as smoked tea.

Taste: Nice sweet taste with sultanas and a clear influence of the oak. The vegetal notes are there but on the background. The fruits are more hidden now, the wood is taking over and is slightly drying. The mouthfeel is rather pleasant and fresh. Just like in the nose, this cachaça reminds me a lot of a Spanish style rum. Lovely!

Finish: Mediumlong to long finish with fresh sweet notes and lingering oak. The debates are concluded with omnipresent wood that very slowly releases some tannins.

Our Score: *****

This is a must-have for more than one reason. It’s a great cachaça made with both knowledge and love. A  cachaça that also will convince many a rum aficionado.  The cachaça comes in a beautiful French-style bottle and each bottle has its individual number. Best part: very affordable in price. Soon available in Europe through The Cachaça Company for around €65.

Dictador 12 yo

dictador 12 yo

The rum: Dictador 12 yo
Origin: Colombia
Distilled: not indicated
Bottled: ca 2013

Nose: Ohh yeah…this is so pleasant! Coffee and mocha all the way, accompanied by brown sugar, cinnamon and some vanilla. Not your typical rum kind of nose. Different but very promising. Also some dried fruit and nicely balanced oak.
Taste: Maybe a little less sweet on the palate, it hits you again with these very nice coffee and mocha flavours. Somewhere on the background I can also detect some citrus. And again, these really nice oaky touches. Also some charred flavours: burned wood maybe
Finish: The oak really starts to kick in now, but never turning towards more bitter flavours. The coffee is everlasting long, now more accompanied by dried fruits.
Our Score: 18/20

Remarks: Solera matured, with the oldest rum in the bottle being 12 yo.