Puerto Rico has an extended rum heritage that has led to worldwide fame, however if you wish to sip as a substitute of combine, tip your glass with some Don Q Gran Reserva Añejo XO aged rum.
We usually don’t cowl the Caribbean islands right here on Luxurious Latin America from a journey standpoint, even when they do share a language and different similarities. I not too long ago made my first journey to Puerto Rico, nonetheless, and determined to dig into the Don Q rum model to see the way it holds as much as the mainland competitors.
This household distillery has been working since 1869, over six generations, in order that they have realized a factor or two about making high quality rum meant for savoring. See extra on the historical past right here.
Don Q Rum: The Higher Puerto Rico Possibility
There’s one title in rum that’s world-famous, spawning a complete liquor empire. That might be Bacardi and should you ask anybody who actually likes rum, they’ll normally scowl or shudder while you point out that model. Their bar staple white model is the rum equal of Bud Gentle if we’re going to be gracious, however actually the equal of Milwaukee’s Greatest if we’re going to be sincere. It’s yet one more instance of selling overcoming style deficiencies. Most drinkers don’t comprehend it’s awful as a result of they’re placing that liquor right into a fruity cocktail with numerous sugar and lime. They will’t actually style the spirit anyway.
I used to be in Puerto Rico not too long ago and drank a number of Piña Coladas made with white Bacardi within the land of their start I’ll admit. That’s all that they had on the island boat journey I used to be on and we have been having enjoyable with our day ingesting, so I perceive the aim of cheaply made rum in the proper circumstances. Solar, enjoyable, and rum drinks with an umbrella are an important trip combo. Simply perceive that there’s extra past that, even for cocktails.
In the event you’re going to combine it, a minimum of step as much as the common Don Q, which is clearly higher when sipped neat earlier than the blending or after in your mojito. The seven-year model is particularly good, disappearing earlier than it, earlier than it’s important to run out for one more bottle or two. It’s a well-balanced rum that works with just a few seltzer and lime, or it is going to be an important cocktail base with out imparting any funky overtones like its better-known competitor.
The attention-grabbing factor is, Don Q outsells Bacardi by a fairly broad margin in Puerto Rico itself. The latter could have received the advertising and marketing battle internationally, however the residence group is supporting the household enterprise that has been operating because the 1800s.
If you wish to sip a superb rum as a substitute of sucking a blended drink by means of a (hopefully paper) straw, step as much as the Don Q Gran Reserva Añejo XO.
Don Q Gran Anejo XO Tasting Notes
After I first popped open the gold-colored cap on my bottle of Gran Reserva rum from Don Q, there was a whiff of dried fruit that was extra overpowering than I anticipated. I poured a little bit right into a glass and began interested by the Mocambo Mexican rum I reviewed some time again that had a surprisingly sturdy prune style at first.
That one’s pruniness light little by little although and with this Don Q aged rum, the preliminary impression didn’t final in any respect. The rum mellowed out a bit in that first tasting, with only a trace of dried fruit on the nostril and the again of the mouth. On the 2 subsequent tasting periods although, the airing out had performed it some good and the flavour profile was extra harmonious.
There’s a heavy whiff of alcohol on the nostril with this rum. The smaller the glass, the extra you’ll discover it. Making an attempt to poke by means of are the same old heat vanilla, caramel, and toffee flavors you normally affiliate with aged rum, with the oak offering a little bit of heft beneath.
It will get rather more refined on the tongue, nonetheless, an explosion of heat and candy flavors increasing throughout your style buds and making it clear that some care went into the making of this model. The Don Q Gran Reserva is made with the solera methodology, that means it’s a mix of barrels aged for various time durations, however they don’t use that designation as a cheat like some corporations. They could combine in some rum that has been in barrels for many years, however they’re sincere of their advertising and marketing saying, “Our Gran Reserva comprises rums aged between 9 and 12 years.”
In different phrases, what you’re sipping was aged a minimal of 9 years, and a part of the mix aged for much longer.
After you sip this aged Puerto Rican rum for some time, it’s clear that this can be a severe spirit that’s not going to make you need to swap to one thing else for glass quantity two. It’s a posh, well-balanced rum that holds its personal with the finest from Central America and the very best of the Caribbean from islands like Barbados. After you exhale a little bit of alcohol after a sip, there’s a pleasure within the expertise that lingers on lengthy after it has moved down your throat.
It has all the weather you’d anticipate in an oak-aged spirit that’s spent a superb whereas in barrels, with hints of chocolate, cinnamon, and leather-based tones. You simply must let it breathe a bit and take your time sipping it nonetheless, as this isn’t a rum meant to slap you within the face in its first impression or overpower a cigar.
Don Q Gran Reserva Packaging
The Don Q Anejo rum is definitely designed as a worthy reward selection or one thing that can look severe in your bar shelf. It is available in a heavy glass bottle with indented vertical strains, making it simple to grip as you’re pouring. There’s a liberal use of gold foil within the labels and the highest seal.
Relying on the place you purchase it, the value ranges from $47 to $56, the latter I noticed at an airport duty-free retailer however with reward packaging as a substitute of the bottle by itself. That is according to costs for the very best rum from Central America, like Zacapa 23 or one of many greater Centenario choices.
The taller 7-year aged Don Q Anejo is about half the value, so at $25 or so, it’s a superb worth. I’ve actually loved that one in cocktails and can in all probability begin shopping for it extra usually to have readily available for that.
Whereas I really feel this Gran Reserva one doesn’t fairly maintain as much as my favorites, it’s a strong sipping rum that I’ll hold returning to on my bar shelf. And I’ll sit up for having it once more once I make it again to Puerto Rico.
For extra info, see the official web site, which is out there in English.