Said to be the first Cuban spiced rum of this drier style on the market, this is a very interesting offering from the Island Rum company.
In Cuba, only 20 grams of sugar can be added to every litre of rum. Any more and it must be called an “Elixir” – essentially a kind of liqueur. Due to this regulation, this rum is notably drier than many spiced rums around.
This bottling begins with a base of column distilled rum aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels. The spirit has been produced at the Heriberto Duquesne distillery, owned by the State Ministry of Sugar found in Villa Clara at the heart of the Cuban nation. The rum was apparently in development for 10 years, as the Cuban officials in charge of export took a lot of persuading.
To this spirit is added cocoa, coffee and Aji Dulce – a sweet, mild chilli pepper much like a less hot version of a Scotch Bonnet, this chilli is common in Cuban cuisine. No additional sugar is used.
The result is a bright, fragrant spiced rum with notes of floral black pepper, bitter dark chocolate, chilli spice, crisp dry molasses, freshly ground coffee, vanilla and dried tropical fruits.
The rum is named after a popular traditional Cuban song, “Lagrimas Negras” (which translates as ‘Black Tears’).
Island Rum suggest mixing in this rum into all manner of cocktails – particularly in place of whiskey in classic, boozy stirred drinks. We think it goes pretty well simply served with cola over ice!