In 1520, the Spanish colonists brought sugarcane to Mexico. It was not long after, the crop began to flourish in the Veracruz region of the country. Veracruz is known for its fertile landscape, lush mountains, and bountiful rainfall. Conditions are perfect for sugarcane to thrive. The region is now known for its sugarcane plantations and is home to Licores Veracruz Distillery. The distillery produces molasses and sugarcane juice based rums using continuous column and copper pot stills for domestic and export markets.
Villa Rica Single Barrel 23 Year Rum recently entered the southeastern U.S. market. The rum is distilled from sugarcane juice using yeast indigenous to the Veracruz area. It is aged in toasted European white oak barrels and bottled at the distillery at 80 proof for distribution.
The wooden cap has a skull and crossbones on top with the number 23. It holds a synthetic cork and is secured to the bottle with a gold wrap and plastic security strip. The 750 ml bottle is on the tall and lean side, slightly taller than the average bottle on the shelf.
The gold label boldly states on the upper center of the bottle “Ultra Premium 23 Years”. The Spanish galleon logo and script on the bottle are imprinted in gold with cobalt blue highlights. The back label has the bottle and barrel number on it. The bottle for this review is 61/240 and the barrel was YR28.
The rum has a solid chocolate-mahogany color in the bottle and glass. Agitating the liquid formed a thick band around the glass which produced solid slow moving legs.
The aroma of the rum revealed sweet raisins, vanilla, prunes, with light hints of leather, coffee, and wood.
Sipping the rum revealed the prune and raisin notes from the aroma front and center. They formed the high notes while the vanilla carried the middle. Where it got really interesting was in the baseline. The intermingling of oak flavors provided pops of leather, tobacco, coffee and dark chocolate. These flavors took over at the end and lingered in a light dry finish.
I enjoyed the balance and complexity of the rum. There was an underlying sweetness that I suspect may have come from what was first put inside the barrel, possibly some sort of wine. At under 40 dollars, this rum holds up nicely to other rums in the same age range. Due to the heaviness of the oak notes, I would recommend drinking it neat after dinner while enjoying a cigar.