Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera (40.0%): Continuing tire-bouchon's malternative January with a rum from Venezuela... Santa Teresa 1796 is a vat of rums of various ages matured in ex-Bourbon and Cognac casks which goes through a solera process after it's blended. The solera system created by master distiller Nestor Ortega is made of four rows of French Limousin oak casks which gives an additional four years of maturation to the spirit. The process was originally built in 1992 to launch a special product for the 200th anniversary of Santa Teresa Hacienda in 1996 and has been used since then.
Color: Dark amber, old copper with a ruby hue and faint legs around the glass.
Nose: Leather upholstery, the rack of old bomber jackets in your favorite second hand shop, tobacco leaves and molasses. Dark honey, almost like buckwheat honey. Overripe baby bananas, cherry coke and Snapple fruit punch. Dried cranberries, sticky toffee pudding and honey roasted nuts like the ones thay sell from pushcarts on the streets of New York. Toasted wood, bitter almonds and freshly grated nutmeg.
Palate: Not so sweet, almost salty... Thin in texture but oily and mouth covering. Salted butter, caramel filled chocolate drops, molasses and cocoa nibs... Spicier than the nose suggested: cloves, cinnamon, allspice and tons of nutmeg. Cherry coke and bananas are present on the palate as well. Roasted nuts I had on the nose are lightly salted now: Macadamia nuts, cashews and hazelnuts. Candied orange peel, toasted coconut chunks and damson plum jam. Beautiful palate...
Finish: Long with sweet spices rather than the salty notes. Caramel, wood and quince paste.
Overall: That's my kinda rum..! Not overly sweet and well balanced. Old enough to hide all the young alcohol notes but young enough not to show any over-oaked character. Great cask management, the wood influence is as delicate as in old style sherries... Only thing I could ask would be slightly higher abv. to give a little more texture and body. For this price it is a steal, one of my favorite rums priced under $50...