Review: Ron Colon Salvadoreno

Ron Colon Salvadoreno from El Salvador, draws its name from the Salvadoran currency (in circulation between 1892 and 2001) called Colon which was named after Christopher Columbus – Cristobar Colon in Spanish. Quite a few rum enthusiasts, including myself, got a package containing the bottle I’m reviewing today and a second bottle with the same rum but infused with coffee beans.

If you go on their website they have a nice backstory along with some signature serves, but in the Brand Info section there are some PDFs with very detailed production information which I’m gonna transcribe here.

While this is marketed as a Central American rum from El Salvador complete with the “ron” on the label, I was surprised to find out (before tasting it) that it has Jamaican rum in the blend – more specifically:

  1. 15%: Jamaica, unaged, distilled in pot stills from Worthy Park, Hampden and Monymusk.
  2. 15%: Jamaica, 3 years old, distilled in pot still from Worthy Park.
  3. 70%: El Salvador, 6 years old, distilled in muti-column still from Licorera Cihuatan.

Licorera Cihuatan started producing rum in 2004 and is El Salvador’s sole distillery. They are known for using a Solera system method of ageing but I don’t have more details. The distillate from Ron Colon’s blend is molasses based, fermented for 36 hours and then multi-column distilled and aged for 6 years in ex-Bourbon barrels on site.

Ron Colon doesn’t come with a misleading age statement or any large number on the label and given that it has an unaged component in the blend that is the right way to do it. Yes, I have to give a Central American rum credit for not using any dodgy marketing strategy as many more commercial “rons” do nowadays. On the contrary actually, they are very transparent.

Bottled in the Netherlands for now, due to logistical reasons, at a spicy 55.5% ABV and seemingly unsweetened – I can’t test it, so you’ll have to trust me and my palate.

On the nose the young Jamaican distillate jumps out and takes all the attention. Acetone, glue, candied pineapple, banana peel, melon, sweet peach and honey. A little bit of ground coffee and vanilla, oak, lemon zest, pistachios and hints of nutmeg. The Jamaican funk pretty much takes over the Salvadoran distillate, so let’s see the taste.

On the palate it’s spicy, the ABV does stand out. The funk is dialed down, I get more wood and coffee notes now. The obvious tropical fruits like bananas and pineapples are still here, but some more spices like black pepper, cloves and chili. Tobacco, butter, cacao nibs and black tea with a touch of white vinegar. Tropical yet quite earthy. Finish is medium to short with wood spices and a fading funk.

Definitely not what you would expect from a “ron”, it doesn’t seem sweetened, quite a bit of body but yet it has that wood forward note typical to a multi-column distillate. Also the higher ABV is a nice touch as well and for £36 doesn’t seem like a bad one for the backbar. Nothing crazy or too out there, but a fairly good balance. I also made some drinks with the coffee infused one and it works really well.

Ron Colon Salvadoreno score:
Flavour/taste: 48/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 78/100


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