Story by Manos Angelakis
Product photos courtesy of the importer.
From the island of Hispaniola, the home-base for some of the most notorious pirates: Henry Morgan, Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Calico Jack and Bartholomew Roberts came a very enjoyable rum that would have been great booty for any privateer of the 16th or 17th century.
Ron Barceló Imperial Rum is produced in what is now the Dominican Republic (the Eastern part of Hispaniola), using column stills before being blended and aged in whisky and bourbon barrels. It is made from the best selection of Dominican sugarcane juice.
Enjoy this premium rum with a little water the same way you would a single malt whisky. A little cold water gives the rum the best sipping experience.
In a glass, the rum presents a rich copper bronze color with hints of gold and mahogany. The nose is light and gentle. Vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and some smoky oak notes are complemented by pear, grapefruit, lemon zest and ginger. It's quite nicely balanced with sweet toffee, brown spices, mocha and a strong toasted flavor that slowly fades. The finish is long and textured with hints of cedar and cigar box.
Some of the producer’s promotion states that the rum uses elements that are up to 6 years old, but a number of reviewers and the producer's web site, give an age of up to 10 years. In my opinion, the distillery is trying to make a consistent flavor profile for the rum and their blend is about taste.
It is sold in an eye-catching box display. Inside the box is a large, elegant, flat, stubby flask with a large cork stopper. I consider this to be a complex and original rum whose flavor will appeal to many individuals.
The Caribbean produces many great tasting rums or rhums -- the spelling differs with the language of the locals.
Every island has its own sugarcane production and, depending on the soil and production methods, rums look and taste different from island to island. Many producers use column stills while others still prefer an alembic to distill the spirit. Some producers also use second-hand oak barrels that previously held bourbon, a single malt, port or sherry to impart to their rum unique aromas and taste, while others use stainless steel and/or neutral oak. In most cases white un-aged rum, is used in cocktails, while darker rums, mostly distilled from sugarcane molasses, are savored with a small splash of water or a single ice-cube.
I have a collection of rums from different islands I have visited and I can attest that no two taste exactly the same.
From what is now Haiti, on the Western half of Hispaniola, Rhum Barbancourt Estate Reserve, a 15 year old, is a great sipping rum.
In contrast, their white and 3-year old rums are used as cocktail bases for Hurricanes, frozen Daiquiris, Piña Colada or Cuba Libre (Rum & Coke). Rum seems to blend well with most ingredients and stays mostly in the background.
From Tortola, I like Sebastian’s Rum. It is actually produced in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, under license from Tortola's “Sebastian's on the Beach” hotel. The legend is that centuries ago, Sebastian, the notorious pirate, was shipwrecked at Little Apple Bay, Tortola. As he lay on the beach, casks of rum floated to the shore. He mixed the rum with juices from tropical fruits that grew nearby, and that was the beginning of that drink.
The most intriguing of the cocktails that have rum, is the Rum Runner. It has a distinct tropical taste, but the spicy rum that is in the mix adds complexity. The ingredients are dark rum, white rum, crème de banana liqueur, blackberry liqueur, orange juice, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine! Quite a blend, but is a very refreshing summer libation.
In another article there is information about Ron Barceló Organic.
To your health!
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