Rum Journal: Brazil’s Oronoco


YOU MAY RECOGNIZE the name Oronoco from our 2012 Rum Awards, when Rum Journal gave Oronoco the “Bottle Design of the Year” award.

But this white rum, grown from Brazilian sugarcane, is not just a pretty face.

Brazil is known for Cachaça, the country’s most popular drink, made from fresh sugar cane juice like rhum agricole.

And Oronoco is produced by Cachaça company Vicente and Roberto Bastos Ribiero.

But it’s not quite Cachaça — it was developed to bring a more refined, smooth taste to a typically harsh (though usually very good) spirit, and includes some molasses as well.

And it’s not quite a regular light rum either.

Oronoco has as very clean, almost metallic aroma (on that count, it’s very similar to Cachaça). But the flavour profile gives strong notes of vanilla and sugarcane, a very subtle hint of citrus peel and an almost floral character.

It’s exceptionally smooth. But Oronoco is most interesting because, while it’s a light rum (usually for mixing), it belongs by itself, or on the rocks.

This is a premium, fine sipping rum that just happens to lack the hue usually developed by spending a lot of time in an old barrel.

And we recommend it wholeheartedly. (And yes, in this case, you can judge the book by its cover).

— CJ