oronoco rum

Author Mack McConnell is a contributing writer for Cocktail Enthusiast. He also runs a Rum of the Month Club.

Clear rums aren’t typically my thing. If I’m drinking clear rum, it’s usually mixed with something else. That’s not very flattering for the category, but hey, such is the case for me.

But Oronoco is a bit different from other clear rums – mostly because I think it’s awesome. I imagine it mixes well, but I never find the need, as sipping it with ice always feels right.

From Brazil, and produced by cachaca makers Vicente and Roberto Bastos Ribeiro, Oronoco is seriously smooth stuff. The flavor is crisp and clean with a bit of fruit mixed in with some floral notes, vanilla and molasses.

Rum from Brazil is a bit of a rarity, I understand, but these guys do it well. In fact, they managed to pick up a Gold Medal in the 2005 San Francisco World Spirits competition.

Brazil is better known for producing cachaca, a cousin to rum. And though Oronoco tastes quite similar to cachaca, it fits squarely in the rum category, as it’s distilled above 54% ABV (the limit for cachaca) and is blended with a bit of molasses-based Venezuelan rum.

Oronoco Rum is made from sugar cane grown in the Paraiba du Sul river valley near Rio. It’s triple distilled in a copper still, then blended with that Venzuelan rum, which is partly what gives it the slight green/gold hints and thicker viscosity. From there, it’s aged in Amendam, a native hardwood from Brazil.

Now, let’s open it up.

Oronoco Rum Tasting Notes

Nose: Smooth vanilla and molasses, fruity and floral tones with a bit of grass. Light alcohol, anise and licorice.

Taste: Clean and light with flavors of vanilla, light fruit, caramel and a bit of cinnamon.

Finish: Smooth and very short. A bit warm, with some wood-spice to close things out.

- 40% Alcohol by Volume
- Roughly $35. Prices vary by market.

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