Part 3 of the Sibling Rivalry series leading up to the World Cup brings me to my beloved Flor de Caña. As a Nicaraguan, this is a line of rum I am very familiar with, and very fond of. Both the Centenario (12 Years Old) and the Centenario Gold (18 Years Old) qualify for the World Cup, but only one can make it. So here they are, about to face off for a chance to compete.
The setup should be familiar by now. Each rum is poured into a glass labeled “A” or “B” on the bottom (where I can’t see it) and I make a note of which is which, then I mix up the glasses (or have someone do it), and I end up with a (sort of) blind tasting. After that, it’s just a matter of tasting and choosing the one I like best.
The first glass opened with a sugary oak smell that then gave way to a fruity sweetness (bananas perhaps) that was a joy take in, and because there was very little alcohol in the aroma, you could actually sit there and sniff for a while. The taste was no less pleasant, building from a caramel start to an almost fiery finish. Of all the handful of rums I have tasted so far in these pre-World Cup match-ups, this is the one I spent the most time on. And will probably have another glass of it in the near future.
Upon tasting the second glass, two things became quite evident: 1) this was the 12 year-old, I recognized it right away; and 2) it was not going to win. Don’t get me wrong, it was really good. I still love it, and it will remain my drink of choice on those nights when I just want to relax and have a good drink… but its smooth and mellow caramel and butter flavor does not have the strong presence of its older sibling, which I think is necessary to make it stand out against potential competitors in the World Cup.
I turned the glasses over as a mere formality since I had no doubt I was right. I didn’t even need to do my usual post-revelation tasting to confirm my findings: The winner was Flor de Caña Centenario Gold (18 Years Old).
Next up: Sibling Rivalry Part 4: Barbancourt (last one, I promise)