Review: Flor de Cana Rum 18 Year

Like 10 Cane, Flor de Cana is a name you see “called” on many a bar menu. I just got my hands on Flor’s 18-year version (which, apparently, is so new it does not yet appear on the company’s website). Some thoughts.

The initial nose is, bluntly, heavy with smoke. Smoke to the point where that’s all you think of. Smoke not altogether in a good way, but sort of like being around a chain smoker and trying to have a cocktail or two.

I powered through, and the smoke (as one would expect) follows the nose. The good news is that Flor 18 comes across as, distinctly, sugar-fueled and rummy — better than the nose hints at — but a little bitter and, again, almost tainted with an overwhelming smokiness. In the abstract, smoke, bitter, and sugar are all fine flavors, but they come together haphazardly in the glass. (I tried it straight and on the rocks. It’s considerably better with ice.)

Over time and after continued sampling, Flor 18 becomes more palatable (and of course it works just fine in cocktails), but still not a standout. I am guessing 18 years is just too long in the cask for this Nicaraguan rum — which would explain the insane smoke levels and the bitterness — and I’m itching to see how the 12 year is in comparison.

B- / $48 / flordecana.com

flor de cana 18 year Review: Flor de Cana Rum 18 Year

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9 Responses to Review: Flor de Cana Rum 18 Year

  1. What are you talking about? I’ve had three bottles of this stuff so far and have never found it to be overly smokey or bitter. One of my favorite rums, no wait, one of my favorite liquors period.

  2. Jeff – You sure it was the 18 year?

  3. I’m pretty sure, the 18 is all that’s available around here. And I still have the 3 empties

  4. Chris, I agree with Jeff. Smokey is not the main characteristic I would think of while drinking 19 year Flor de Caña. I perceive it more to be a sweet liquor.
    However, I’m not too fond of 18 year old Flor, but a big fan of 7 year’s FdC. That’s the kind of rum I consider to be perfect for mixing, but it’s also drinkable as a shot.
    If it comes to older rum, I have recently found a new love as you can read here: http://flordecana.wordpress.com/2008/10/09/zacapa-rum-or-flor-de-cana/

    cheers,
    Dwayne

  5. Dwayne – Yes, I’ve reviewed Zacapa here, very favorably I should add: http://www.drinkhacker.com/2008/11/17/review-zacapa-rum-23/

  6. You are exactly on the money. The 18 yr is a bit overdone. The 12 yr however is probably one of the best in the world! Buttery and Vanillas…. aaahhh!

  7. Found the Flor de Cana – 18 yr a bit disappointing, and agree it works better with a little ice. Just didn’t have an interesting blend of flavors. Dollar for dollar I’ll go with the Appleton products.

  8. Smokey? Idiots. The best rum I ever tasted.

  9. couldn’t agree more. i have this and i find it bitter and disappointing.

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