Wednesday 27 November 2013

Ron Millonario - Paddington's favourite tipple?

Paddington bear - coming over here, eating our marmalade..
Peru, home to Paddington Bear, the charming Marmalade-scoffing illegal immigrant beloved of a generation of British kids has now given us another great export.

Ron Millonario is a relatively new rum brand, brought to us by an Italian who started off in wine, was an independent Scotch Whisky bottler and then came to rum.

Now, somehow, in the North of Peru there are three Scottish column stills working away to make this most International of rums.

Millonario make a point of mentioning in their materials that their wash is slow fermented, now this isn't something I'd ever really thought much about but a perusal of the excellent "Rum" by Dave Broom enlightened me on a few things (and I'd really recommend the book, it's a great read).  The longer the ferment the more acids and esters there will be in the wash, and esters give those lovely fruity aromas we all love.

Once it's distilled the rum goes into a 4 row solera consisting of American oak ex-bourbon barrels and Slavonian oak as well.  On average the liquid that comes out is around 7 years old.  As discussed elsewhere on this blog the age statement on a solera rum refers to the oldest rum in the blend, rather than the youngest as you'd see with a rum from a former British colony. Still, as long as you know what's what it doesn't overly bother me.

Toquilla, it makes me happy..
The bottle itself is definitely eye-catching, wrapped in toquilla straw from Northern Peru which is the same plant used to make Panama hats.  My only quibble is that it's a bog standard screw cap underneath, I can completely understand why but I love the sound of a cork popping out of a bottle.

Once you've poured yourself a glass it's a lovely dark amber colour with thick legs that linger.  As the rum warms up the room is filled with a cinnamon and a fruity, slightly smokey aroma, almost like fruit pudding that's been fried too long (for horrified non-Scottish readers think fried fruitcake).

Take a generous sip and you get a big hit of sweetness followed by stewed dark fruits, a little of the obligatory vanilla and banana bread (those esters again), and then a slight tart, almost citrusy edge to the flavours that's very refreshing and makes for a very moreish drink.  This definitely coats your mouth and has an almost syrupy mouthfeel.

Millonario - dark, rich and fruity
On the way down there's a pleasingly gentle warmth that brought a definite smile to my lips with a lingering fruity aftertaste that invites another glass. 

Ron Millonario is definitely a winter rum, ideal for sipping on a cold night to warm yourself up.  I've had a glass sitting next to while I type this and the room is suffused with the fruitcake aromas of the rum, the longer you leave it the more this opens up and develops.

Overall this is a very good rum that could be a great rum, evening out the slightly burnt edges to the aroma and flavour would elevate the rum markedly, but I suspect that's being saved for the XO version. Other than that it's nicely balanced, the fruity notes stop the sweetness being overpowering and the warmth of the finish is very appealing indeed. Retailing at around £35 for a 70cl bottle this is a great quality rum at a very reasonable price.

Bargains at Aldi

Currently Aldi, purveyors of cheap fruit,veg and random goods have El Dorado 15 for £35.99 and the 8 year old for £20.
Absolute bargains for two superb rums so fill your boots.