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Drink Review: Cana Brava

Cana Brava Rum hails from the Las Cabras distillery in Panama. Aged for 18-24 months in virgin American oak and then finished in first-fill American whiskey barrels (from both Kentucky and Tennessee) for a further one to two years. A fresh rum with hints of coffee and chocolate.

Cana Brava Rum Review:

Colour: Amber. Opaque.

Aroma: Well-balanced, spicy briar wood, sweet and spicy vanilla. A real mature Cuban style rum.

Flavour: Good development, particularly on the tongue. It is a bit too hot for me, leaving the palette a bit dry. A really old-school, Cuban-style rum. Very good and complex. Not the commercial profile that has become synonymous with this style of rum. But it is still quite good. Nice sweet creamy woody oak notes.

Thirst-quenching: Can’t quench a thirst!

This rum, like many rums made with molasses, is not meant to be quenched in the traditional sense. It is meant to be enjoyed as an apertif or to get the pulse racing.

The Cana Brava Rum, a unique rum, was awarded a score of 86 out of 100 points from the rum experts at The Rum Commission. If you’re a bourbon drinker, you might appreciate the similarities to Nelson’s Ruby Red. It is a smooth, elegant amber rum that packs a lot of flavor. If you like Cuban-style rums, this is an excellent one.

As I write this, I’m on the road. For the last nine months, I’ve spent the better part of my days and nights bouncing from city to city scanning the wait list at whisky tastings and scrutinizing the offerings at the downtown shops.

As you can see, there were many great choices presented to me, all at better prices than any of the independent whisky shops in the city. The most unique, special, surprising to me was the Cana Brava Rum. No more than a sip was revealed to me and it was too hot for me.

Cana Brava Rum is a stunning rum, one that is worth having in my collection. It is also a rum that is quite unique. It is a blend of rums aged for a period of time in bourbon barrels (both in the United States and in the Caribbean) and that has been finished in Puerto Rican rum barrels.

The style of rum, as it stands, is a bit too hot for me. Perhaps I am too used to Cuba’s familiar rums, but I cannot get the heat, dryness, and pungency out of my mind, leaving me unable to enjoy the rum. There is no heat here, just a flavor that is quite different.

I’m sure I will come back to this rum at some point, but it will definitely not be this week. My review of Cana Brava Rum was delayed due to the aforementioned road trip and the fact that my Italian/German friend’s son does not bring rum drinks.

This is a nice rum for sipping and puffing. The fruit flavors are a bit too much for my palate. They also make the rum feel a bit hot. Maybe it will be better next time I enjoy the rum.

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Cana Brava Rum Review:

I found this situation to be strange. Until recently, I had never heard of Cana Brava Rum. Now, every whisky and bourbon shop that I go into, they have it. I had to wonder, is it a figment of my imagination? Since the announcement of the Cana Brava Rum, I have been asked, maybe more than once, whether or not it is something that I am plumbing the depths of the rum world for.

My conclusion: yes! Yes, I am looking for great rum.

This is a special rum and one that you will not find at any of the big-box liquor stores around the country. Not that I don’t love Bacardi, but at Cana Brava’s website, they claim that the words Bacardi and rum are synonyms.

It’s hard to believe. But maybe you will prove me wrong and tell me so in the comments below.

Cana Brava Rum is not a bad rum, it is just not something I’d choose. It is that thing that you would choose if you really wanted to drink alcohol but you were really, really thirsty.

This is a rum for people who want a hot shot rum drink. It starts fast and is best enjoyed in small portions when one is standing and waiting in line at a bar.

This rum is part of me-the-rum-punky-tourist-sense. It is a Cuba-style rum, aged in American bourbon barrels (ahhh! Fancy me some bourbon). It starts off with a gritty tobacco flavor. The initial flavours are sweet and spicy.

The sweetness gives way to these nice oak flavors that are quite nice. Cana Brava Rum, with the caramel notes that are shining through, ends the flavour up.

The finish is nice with lingering notes of oak aging and hints of caramel.

This is a good rum. The aging and finishing in Spanish oak barrels is really something. I like everything about this. The rum, from its name to its final stages, is a bit on the hot side, but I am willing to take two spicy rums out of my stable.

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Written by Mark Adams

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