Ron Botran Solera 1893 was introduced in Sweden on March 1 this year, and it’s about time because its “big brother” Ron Zacapa 23 from the same facilities in Guatemala has been very successful among Swedish rum connoisseurs for quite a while now. Technically I guess it’s a rhum agricole since it’s made from fresh cane juice, but that term is only allowed for rum produced in the French West Indies. Unique for Ron Botran Solera 1893 is of course the solera system, in which the rum has been aged between 5 to 18 years before going into a system of bourbon, port and sherry casks located in the mountains of Guatemala which makes for a slow maturation process because of the altitude.
Sounds fantastic, yes? Luckily, I have been able to try it out both on its own and in a few classic rum drinks, and here’s my verdict:
Nose: very promising with lots of sweetness from vanilla, ripe tropical fruits, some caramel fudge and lots of oak. Mouth: It’s actually less sweet than the aroma suggests, and the vanilla is rather subdued in favour of molasses and fruit which makes it very rich and smooth. There are also hints of cacao and toasted pumpkin spice before its spicy aftertaste with nuances of ginger, black pepper and orange peel. A tasty and well balanced rum, but perhaps it lacks a “wow factor”.
The smooth yet complex character of the rum instantly made me think it would work great together with cacao liqueur, so I decided to do a Mulata Daiquiri (60 ml Ron Botran Solera 1893, 15 ml lime juice, 15 ml Cartron Cacao Blanc, 5 ml simple syrup – shake with ice and double strain into cocktail glass) and for me the vanilla and cacao was a perfect match – highly recommended!
And once again I couldn’t resist the urge to make a Mai Tai (30 ml Ron Botran Solera 1893, 30 ml Rhum Clément VSOP, 15 ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, 7,5 ml Monin orgeat, 7,5 ml simple syrup, 30 ml lime juice, shake with ice, pour into Double Old Fashioned glass, add crushed ice, garnish with mint sprig and spent lime shell) and it’s a nice drink, no doubt about it, but I found the Botran rum to be too smooth for a Mai Tai.
In conclusion, it’s a very nice and affordable rum for sipping and certainly also suitable for some cocktails, at least the straightforward ones which let the rum shine through. In Sweden, Ron Botran Solera 1893 can be found here.