5 Oct 2011
Longtime readers may recall my two previous articles on two other Angostura rums: 1919 and 1824. Both are wonderful, but there are some important differences. The former costs around $35 and has a sweet and spicy profile, while the latter runs in the $50-60 range, is more full-flavored, and carries the title of Angostura’s flagship rum.
Like 1919 and 1824, the Seven Year Old is made by the same Trinidad & Tobago-based company that’s better known for its highly concentrated food and beverage flavorings than its rum. Angostura’s beginnings can be traced back to 1824 when a surgeon general in Simón Bolívar’s Venezuelan army sought to improve the appetite and digestive well-being of the soldiers. It wasn’t until 1947 that Angostura began to ferment, distill, age, blend, and bottle rum in Laventille, Trinidad. According to the company’s history, today Angostura produces over 600,000 cases of rum each year, most of which is shipped to America, Great Britain, and other islands in the Caribbean.
The Seven Year Old is made from rums aged 7-10 years in American oak bourbon barrels, filtered through charcoal, and then blended and returned to barrels to allow the various light and dark rums to marry. It is less expensive than its 1919 and 1824 brethren, costing about $22 per 750 ml. bottle (40% alcohol by volume).
The nose of this spirit reminds me of rich caramel, banana, and butterscotch. It has very little alcohol tinge and carries a light copper hue in the glass. The lightness of the Seven Year Old is also apparent in the taste. Each sip begins with a muted introduction that slowly builds into a warm, tingly finish. Flavors include smoke, butter, and chocolate. Leaning toward the mild range of rums, this Angostura is creamy and lacking in spice.
Truth be told, I remain unconvinced that this is a suitable sipping rum. It’s much more serviceable mixed in a rum cocktail. I don’t dislike the Angostura Seven Year Old, but I’d much rather pay the additional $13 for a bottle of 1919 since to get what is—in my opinion—a much finer rum.
That said, don’t let my lack of enthusiasm dissuade you from trying this spirit for yourself. If you don’t care for it, you aren’t out too much money; conversely, if you find it surprisingly good, you’ll have a rum that meets your needs and is easy on the pocketbook. Either way, be sure to pair the Angostura Seven Year Old with a mild- to medium-bodied cigar that won’t drown out its soft profile.
photo credit: Stogie Guys