“Rum, n. Generically fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers,” (Ambrose Bierce).
Did you know that 70% of rum in the United States comes from Puerto Rico? It was one of the first locations for Spain’s sugar plantations. Historians have traced rum production for locals to a sugar mill located in Añasco in the 1520s. A few years later, between the 1540s to the 1550’s rum plants were established in Bayamón and Loíza.
Probably the most popular rum from Puerto Rico is Bacardi. Castillo and Captain Morgan can be found here as well. But, Don Q is hailed as exquisite among many rum aficionados. Recently many boutique distilleries are finding new life in the tourist industry and the burgeoning internet rum stores.
Puerto Rico was one of the important underground sources for liquor during the prohibition. Through a chain of distribution, Puerto Rican rum and other spirits would make their way toward the U.S. Those bootleggers who moved liquor into the United States were known as “Rum Runners.”
One famous Rum Runner would scour Nassau, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico for the best stock of liquor, including Rum. His name was William McCoy. He was a boat builder and captain. Of course the coast guard was on to him early in the game, so he chartered a number of smaller boats to meet him three miles off the coast, in international waters, otherwise known as the “rum line” or “Rum Row.” The quality of his goods were in such high demand they were known as “the real McCoy” ( A phrase that was invented much earlier). Interestingly, McCoy never touched a drop of the stuff and considered himself “an honest lawbreaker.” Mccoy’s first shipment from the Bahamas to Savannah, Georgia, in 1921 brought $15,000. Realizing the potential for growth, McCoy bought the 130-foot Arethusa. When asked about his days as a rum runner, McCoy said, “There was all the kick of gambling and the thrill of sport, and, besides, these, there were the open sea and the boom of the wind against full sails, dawn coming out of the ocean, and nights under the rocking stars. These caught and held me most of all.”
The Drammed Truth - Review of Don Q Exceptional Aged Puerto Rican Rum : Gran Anejo
Alcohol: (750ML, 40%ALC) Alcohol
Color: Light amber color
This has the scent common to many rums. The bite of rum pours through. With a lighter rum, that is to be expected. There is a hint of citrus with an overtone pepper.
The family in charge of brewing this rum has been doing it for quite some time. Six generations of the Serrallés family developed their unique blend for over 150 years.This bottle contains a blend of rums aged between 9 and 12 years.
There is the usual rum kick, though not as intense as a darker rum. My sinuses fill with a fennel/licorice cloud that dominates the taste. This is followed with a peppery aftertaste. The tongue is still active after a few samples. To really gain an appreciation for this rum's variety, you need more than a dram - you'd need a glass. It is subtle, with subdued flavors and a definite sweetness.
If I was to keep the bottle around, I'd probably squeeze some lime, or mix with a sour component. It is sweet enough on its own. If one was to compare this to a wine tasting, it is more a light Pinot rather than a full-bodied Merlot
2014 Gold Medal : The Rum Masters