Ron Cartavio is a Peruvian rum brand that dates back to the late 1920s. Their portfolio is impressively large with no less than seven age-stated offerings, along with several bottlings more geared toward mixing. Our first look at the lineup starts at the very tip top with their oldest XO offering, a blend of 10- to 30-year-old rums with a weighted average of 18 healthy years. This rum was distilled from molasses and aged using a solera method in a mix of French Limousine, American, and, unusually, Slovenian oak casks. Let’s dig in.
This is decadent stuff from the get-go. The aroma is dark and syrupy with sticky sweet brown sugar, toffee pudding, and banana bread with sugary walnuts. The palate is somewhat brighter and lighter on its feet with a bit of spicy, drying oak that offsets more lush notes of plump fig, dried red fruits, candied ginger, and dark vanilla bean. A mild, hugging warmth builds moderately into the finish where a thick slug of torched sugar returns along with lingering notes of cocoa powder and leather. Impressive stuff and a solid buy at around $70.