Ron Pampero Aniversario

by Matt Robold on June 4, 2008

A few years ago, I was a rum neophyte.  I was a babe in the rummy wilderness, knowing only that I had tasted good rum, and I wanted to taste more.  My collection?  What collection?  I probably had about 3 or 4 bottles of rum…mostly consisting of 2 or 3 bottles from St. Lucia and probably a bottle of Captain Morgan.

Then one day a new bottle entered the fold.  A gift was brought unto my household in the form of a squat little bottle from Venezuela, hidden inside of a leather sack.  The rum, of course, was Ron Pampero Aniversario Reserva Exclusiva.  Yes, all of that is the name of the rum.  I’m not kidding.  But, since you know me, I’m sure he’ll be cool with you just calling him Ron Pampero.

Come to think of it, that would be a great name for a TV character or something.  This summer Brad Pitt is: RON PAMPERO!  *cue explosions*

The rum was first introduced in 1963 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Pampero.  The rum is aged in oak casks, but the bottle posseses no age statement, and the website for Pampero (which is actually run for them by Diageo) is essentially worthless when it comes to any real information on the rum.  I kid you not when I say that I spent a significant amount of time digging through the dark recesses of the internet, braving the dark and dusty tubes that move information about, to figure out that the rum is a blend of rums aged from 2 years to 8 years.  Many thanks to Cigar Aficionado for having that info when no one else seemed to.


The Pampero is a dark, mahogany color.  It’s a rich-looking rum…very inviting and it just looks like it will be warm and welcoming.  The glass gets its required swirling and a nice sturdy rim appears and quickly gives rise to very strong, nice looking legs.


Moving right along, I brought the glass up and inhaled deeply of the rumly perfume.  The nose is full and rich.  Notes of cocoa are dominant at the front, with just a touch of vanilla.  More nosing around and you can find hints of toffee and even a very slight hint of leather – and no I didn’t just drop the bottle’s sack into my glass.  At least I don’t remember doing so.  I generally don’t start making Leather & Rums until the bar is at a higher elevation than my head.


Through the lips and over the gums, watch out palate, here it comes.  The spirit is light and warm on the tongue.  It is smooth on the entry and finish.  There’s almost no burn until it reaches your chest and gives it that lovely rummy warmth.

The cocoa that I found in the nose is the first flavor to hit my tongue.  It’s strong and rich, without being too sweet.  There’s a little vanilla riding on top of this, as well as a hint of leather and a slight woodiness imparted by the oak barrels used for aging.  The finish is buttery – slightly oily – with some smokey notes at the back.

The Long & The Short Of It

All in all, this is a rather simple-tasting rum.  I know I’ve mentioned quite a few flavors…but it really took some searching for those to come through.  The rum is predominantly cocoa, vanilla, and oak.  There just doesn’t seem to be a great deal of complexity to this rum…which seemed a little disappointing.  Not disappointing because the rum isn’t good.  It is.  It’s very good rum.  There’s nothing wrong with simplicity.  The disappointment stemmed more from this being one of the first truly good rums I had ever had, and now revisiting it with a slightly more evolved (i.e. snobby) palate yielded slightly less effusive results.

Man that sounds like I didn’t like it.  I DID!  It’s a great rum.  It’s incredibly sippable neat, or with an ice cube (I prefer neat), and it plays VERY well with others – allowing you to use it to make fantastic cocktails.  If you want a simple cocktail to try with the Aniversario, try 2 oz of the Demon Rum in an Old Fashioned glass with ice and top off with real Jamaican ginger ale/beer and a small squeeze of lime juice.  For a little extra pop, add a dash of bitters.  It’s fantastically refreshing and easy to power through a number of them until you suddenly find yourself surrounded by empty ginger beer bottles and an empty bottle of Pampero.

Dood’s Rating: 4 Bottles of Rum Out of 5

* Photo of rum used courtesy of Refined Vices

For another perspective on Ron Pampero Aniversario, be sure to check out Silvio’s review at Refined Vices

Dood’s Other Rum Reviews

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