Ron Pampero Aniversario

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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  • The Scribe

    June 9, 2008, 13:56

    Hey Dood!
    It’s interesting to real your review and Silvio’s since I reviewed this rum a couple weeks ago. I didn’t taste and cocoa, but next time I have a dram, I’ll have to watch out for that taste. If you want my tasting notes, they’re on my blog:
    Cheers. – S

  • Capn Jimbo

    June 17, 2008, 23:47

    Dood, I couldn’t help but notice some similarities with the Barcelo Imperial review. Do you consider that they have similar profiles? Can you do a compare and contrast with these two?

    May all you wish for be the least you receive…

  • carol

    July 12, 2008, 13:20

    I think you are the only one that can tell me about this bottle of pampero that I have. It is 45 years old, never opened. The leather pouch is a little worn and one of the laces are ripped. Thanks for any info. Carol

  • Matt Robold

    July 12, 2008, 16:18

    45 years old you say? Hmm…I’ll have to do some looking around…sounds fascinating.

  • Capn Jimbo

    August 12, 2008, 20:57

    Like the Barcelo Imperial, not a beginner’s rum. It is pungent and spicy, heavy, and leaves a definite heavy and coating aftertaste that borders on cloying. Sue Sea and I found this rum was pleasant, but lacked complexity or subtlety.

    Still a powerful rum that some would love with a good cigar, methinks. This is rum you have to learn to like, but scored a solid “7” (of 10)at our tasting.

    Would we buy another? Juries out…

    Our review:

  • Scott

    December 16, 2008, 04:32

    Hey Dood been a while. On a tasting search due to the fact that laws changing in Michigan will prohibit my importing my usual Imperial. Ahh a rum quest. Could do worse. Stumbled onto this bottle and found it a bit “oaky” and a little sharp in the finish. Tasty for sure but lacked the depth I so enjoy in my Imperial. I will find a substitute in time. So many rums…Cheers.

  • Lew Barrett

    January 8, 2009, 03:46

    Great review, Dood. Your description is a perfect copy of how I’d describe this rum. To demonstrate how tastes vary subtly though, it’s Pampero’s simplicity that I enjoy. I find it straightforward, honest and fundamentally soothing to my taste every time.It is in short for me…..comfort rum. this is a rum to drink when you want classic, simple, satisfying flavors. I don’t think it’s an expert’s rum in an absolute sense, but rather, an every man’s rum. And, it is excellent paired with a good cigar.

  • Ali McGregor

    February 2, 2009, 03:26

    Dood… I luv this rum. Only one problem – I’m living in Australia (Melbourne) now and I can’t seem to find it. I know it’s made it to these sunny shores down under (in the form of cocktails at some exclusive clubs) but I’d like my own stash. Can you help me find it?? The dark recesses of the internet are not forthcoming!

  • Jonathan

    June 17, 2009, 20:01

    I originally bought this rum at Isla Margarita and for a very low price – didnt know anything abour rums, so I just bought the most expensive one they had.
    I brought it home and tasted it many month later and was blown away!
    I since then tried to find it and discovered its very hard to come by, but I found it by chance in a airport in the Canary Islands….an airport of all places.
    My point it, if you search for it, you will find it when you least expect it 🙂

  • CPTG (not the sea CPT kind)

    July 17, 2009, 04:06

    Simple, huh? Simple as in Simply Elegent?!!!All I know is that we were hosting an ‘Officer’s Call’ with some visiting Puerto Rican Officers and they brought out some killer, small lable Rhums. Talking Rhums to Puerto Ricans is like talking Tequila to Mexicans—you have to be on your top form to maintain any kind of creditability.

    On the ‘sperm’ of the moment, I ran into _________ and spied a cool, squat looking Rhum in a letter bota bag (that I intended to use for my GPS). That was the Rhum I poured, sans coke, before we lit up our apre dinner cigars.
    To this day, I still receive e-mail complements about that 5 minutes of glorie!!!

    FYI, one rarely finds complexity in dark rhums because the malassis concentration in dark rhums usually overpowers all other aspects of the pour. Thats why they are usually reserved for mixed drinks like coke and Rhum.
    It’s unfair to compair light Rhums to dark Rhums because they do different things—it would be like compairing a Ferrari F50 to a General Dynamics M1113 Hummv—the Ferrari would blow the doors off the M1113 on the pavement but the M1113 would blow the doors off the Ferrari crossing sand dunes or river crossings.

    For Complexity, I usually gravitate to the Agricole Methode certifications like Chaffe Cour of Martineque which I will take over a Flur de Caine any day of the week.

  • Gordon Bennett

    February 4, 2010, 12:42

    When I was working, colleagues from Ven. would give me a bottle of this and when they visited me in the U.S. they would bring a bottle. I wasn’t familiar with rums at the time but I new I loved it from the first taste and savored it each time. Now to find it in the U.S.

  • Trey

    December 25, 2010, 05:58

    I found mne at th Publix liquor store n Gainesville Fl. Know very little of god rums but love this rum. It seems so sophisticated. Neatt it is amazing and whe it is a shame to do so it tastes amazing in coke.

  • Carolina

    September 26, 2011, 08:37

    I’m from Venezuela and i love Aniversario and i’m loving that you all love it … but don’t use it to make a coktaill it’s too good for that 🙂 ! i cant send aniversario bottle’s to any country so.. if you are interesting can you write me to

  • Tripdforlife

    September 28, 2011, 08:44

    Has anyone tried it the “El Ritual” way ? A shot with some ground coffee, some sugar and a lime wedge; best way to enjoy it in my opinion.

  • Sandra

    October 29, 2011, 13:36

    We tasted this while on a cruise that stopped in Caracas, Venezuela! Fantastic rum! First bottle went down so fast, now we just bring it out for special occasions. It was our travel gifts to many friends and family when we returned home.

  • Kushiel

    December 21, 2011, 02:52

    hey, just thought i’d google this rum, i bought a bottle for my dad while i was in Venezuela in 1996. it is still sitting in the dark recesses of his cupboard as none of us are rum drinkers (well not dark rum anyway).

    We are doing a clean out and i thought there maybe a site somewhere that i could sell it on?

  • Scummy little Rhummy

    December 22, 2011, 08:13

    There is a problem in being an Epicure. Ya lift your leg to fart and then instead of excusing yourself, you immediately ‘pontificate’ it ‘appears to have a ‘Woodsy nose with a hint of leather and cocoa’.

    THIS IS NOT SWILL; IT’S SWIRL!!! The Ron Pomporo is a fine ‘SIPPING RHUM” that one pours into a balloon snifter and swirls. This is not a “Plantation Rhum” that one gives a Viking Funeral to by throwing it overboard into a sea of Coca Cola!!!

    Finally, Simple isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My Miata is a SIMPLE Roadster which is fun to drive, easy to repair and sips gas. Now compair that to the BMW roadster which is OK to drive, COMPLEX to work on and chugs gasoline like, well, a Rhummy!!! The Pomporo is Simple, Smooth and makes yer lungs GLOW. Now compair that with the Depaz Blue Cane Rhum Agricole which is SO COMPLEX as to be undrinkable (It is so aciditic as to make yer tongue curl, it burns like a Habanero Chili Pepper going down yer throat and the aftertaste makes you think someone used yer glass to clean their paint brushes in).

    I’ll stack this rhum against any sub $100.00 rhum you care to name!!!

  • Matt Robold

    December 22, 2011, 08:20

    Totally agree that there’s nothing wrong with simple. There are times when I want simple, and there are times when I want something more substantive. Sometimes I want a funky Jamaican, sometimes I want a nice and clean Bajan.

  • Priory7

    February 25, 2012, 16:07

    This is my fave rum. Of all the sipping rums, this one I would welcome as a constant companion–with a good heart. Not one other has measured up to this one, for me.

  • AC

    May 10, 2012, 20:20

    Totally agree with the review. I discovered this rum 07 in Pamplona as a gift from my in-laws. Absolutely love the taste straight on rocks. I now get 2 bottles a year delivered from Spain since its not for sale in Oz. For Oz lovers: Cost in Spain was 22 euros and I’ve seen it for sale on net for AUD110, crazy! Although, Dan Murphy has a younger version for sale, not sure about the taste.

  • Paul

    July 20, 2012, 06:43

    Enjoying some Ron Pampero añejo aniversario right now. We have ranked it higher than the flor de caña 7 years And the Havana club 7 years. Maybe it will compare with a flor de caña 12 years. Sweet dark rum.