Tag Archives: dominican republic

Barceló

Barcelo
Barceló, hailing from the Dominican Republic, has a slightly unique trait in that it’s the only Dominican Rum to be manufactured directly from sugar cane juice.

A good start, but how did all it come to this?

In 1929, Julián Barceló arrived from Spain to Santo Domingo and founded Barceló & Co. where soon after he began producing one of his first rums and selling it throughout the country. After experiencing the local brands on the market, he decided to create and release in 1950 the Ron Barceló brand, and with it the Barceló Blanco and Dorado, (white and gold rums respectively), followed about 20 years later with the Ron Barceló Añejo (a mature rum).

In 1974, Don Julián Barceló handed over the reins of the business to his nephew Miguel Barceló and 6 years later, in 1980 Ron Barceló Imperial was born, becoming the most internationally awarded Dominican rum.

Following this in the 1990’s, Barceló & Co. gave a group of Spanish businessmen, themselves enjoying a long history of producing wines and spirits, the rights to export Ron Barceló. These entrepreneurs founded Ron Barceló SRL. and by 2006, had sold into 25 international markets, resulting in Ron Barceló SRL. taking over Ron Barceló completely, with the third generation Barceló’s, namely the Barceló Díaz and Garcia families, remaining on the Board of Directors and completed with a package redesign on the Ron Barceló Imperial, Gran Añejo and Añejo.

Currently, Barceló is available in over 50 countries worldwide and enjoys being the 4th largest exporter of rum in the world.

Barceló also comply with the ‘Ron Dominicano – Designation of Origin’, meaning rum producers must harvest the sugar cane, ferment, distill and age the alcohol in oak barrels for a minimum of one year, all within the Dominican Republic.

So how is the range produced? Lets take a look –

Once harvested, the sugar cane is unloaded from wagons by crane and then cut into small chunks, resulting in an easier process once it goes through the next stage, the milling. This extracts the juice from the sugar cane itself by compressing the chunks. It then heads to be fermented, which is the chemical process performed by yeast where the sugar cane transforms into predominantly ethanol and carbon dioxide, resulting in wort at around 7-8% proof that is then stored in tanks before heading to distillation.

The wort enters a column still where the vinasse and the low-grade alcohol (phlegm) are separated. The vinasse is used for fertiliser within the cane fields, and the phlegm passes through 3 more column stills where hidroselection, demethylation and rectification occur, finishing with a proof up to 95% alcohol with a balanced congener content. The resulting liquid is then stored within toasted American white oak barrels for at least one year.

All of Barceló’s rums are made by carefully selecting the lots of barrels that have completed the pre-established ageing process. These are emptied and blended in stainless steel tanks by the rum masters, before being bottled and labelled.

So, how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences so far –

Barceló Imperial – 38%

Aged for between 8 and 10 years. Heavy hints of toffee on the nose, with some intermittent hits of spice to compliment whilst on the palate, a smooth texture with a slight sweetness of vanilla and caramel. The flavours of dry fruits is also detected, although the caramel and vanilla are the dominant forces. Finishes well with a lingering after-taste of caramel.

Barceló Imperial Premium Blend – 43%

A limited edition bottling of Barceló, created in celebration of 30 years production. Every year since 1980, Miguel Barceló has set aside private reserves of his rum for two extra years of ageing, and has used these to create their Imperial Premium Blend.
Slight dry raisin upon the nose, with an orange and seasoned wood note coming through. A slight kick of butter on the palate, resulting in a ‘side-dry tongue’ that kicks up with walnut, orange rind and fresh stemmed cherry. Very long on the finish with black walnut present.

And the Barceló perfect serve?

Barceló Piña colada
Barceló Piña Colada

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

75 ml Barceló Platinum
3 tbsp Coconut Milk
3 tbsp Chopped Pineapple

Method –

Place all ingredients into blender add 2 handfuls of crushed ice and mix at high speed for 30 seconds, strain into cocktail glass.

A great choice of rums here from the Dominican Republic, with the sipping styles of the Imperial and Imperial Premium Blend highlights so far. Perfect to have one of two in your drinks cabinet.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Brugal

Brugal

The Dominican Republic only has a couple of rum brands coming from its land that many of you will know for example, Matusalem and Atlantico, but there is one that could stake a claim of being the most well-known – Brugal.

Brugal was founded by Andrés Brugal Montener in 1888. Andres was a Spanish émigré in Cuba, and it was in Cuba that he learnt the methods of rum production. He emigrated to Puerto Plata, a province in the Dominican Republic, where he founded Brugal and Company. A great number of Cuban immigrants were travelling to Puerto Plata to work the sugar cane fields and they preferred a ready workforce. Andre’s grandchildren built the company into the third largest rum producer after Captain Morgan and, of course, Bacardi.

After introducing its dark rum into the market in 1888. It would mark the beginning of a long family tradition. Don Andrés, unknowingly, would become the forbearer of entrepreneurial leadership in Dominican society. In 1920 the company’s first warehouses were built for the ageing of rum in oak barrels.  By 1976, with Extraviejo, the company developed the Premium rum segment in Dominican Republic.

Brugal rum is produced in the traditional style, double distilled, and matured in American white oak barrels.

So how does this major Dominican Republic brand fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes –

BrugalBrugal Ron Blanco Especial Extra Dry – 40%

Crafted from rums aged for two to five years in ex-Bourbon American oak casks and triple filtered. Light on the nose with a slight vanilla scent matching with grass notes. Sharp developing citrus and oak on the palate, that eventually softens to a tingle on the tongue on the long finish.

Brugal Añejo – 38%

Crafted from rums aged for two to five years in ex-Bourbon American oak casks. Light vanilla and caramel on the nose with a soft sweetness. Soft palate of vanilla and toffee with a slight sharpness of spice and oak coming through. Short.

Brugal XV – 38%

XV is unique blend of rums that combines aged rums of 3-8 years in white American oak ex-bourbon casks and rums which have been aged for 2-3 years in ex sherry Pedro Ximenez casks.
Smooth on the nose with dry honey notes coming through and follows straight to the palate. Dry oak with a well-balanced sherry finish.

Brugal 1888 Ron Gran Reserva Familiar – 40%

Aged in medium toasted, ex-Bourbon American white oak casks for up to eight years, followed by a second maturation, this time in first-fill Spanish oak casks previously used for ageing Oloroso sherry.
Very soft upon the nose, with fruits and cocoa beans combing well. Dry spice lingers on the palate, with the slice of ripe fruit coming through to add a lingering sweetness to the finish.

Not a bad sip at all from all four expressions, and there’s one that works perfectly with one of these –

Golden Mojito
Golden Mojito

Golden Mojito

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml Brugal Añejo
15 ml Sugar syrup
A few lime wedges
Small handful of mint leaves
Ginger Ale

Method –

Gently mix all the ingredients in a glass. Fill glass with ice and mix up the ingredients, then fill the glass with ginger ale.

A refreshing tipple, both mixed with other ingredients and on its own. Worth a try if you ever come across them, especially the higher end 1888, a talking point for any rum connoisseurs.

 © David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Matusalem Tasting Notes

Matusalem

To hear of a story that sets about a journey for one reason and one reason only can really captivate an audience – say for example the story of Matusalem rum.

Two Spanish brothers, Benjamin and Eduardo Camp, together with a third partner, Evaristo Álvarez, left Spain and settled in Cuba for the purpose of establishing a rum distillery. In 1872, the three of them established the Matusalem brand in Santiago de Cuba. The Camp brothers also brought with them their knowledge and expertise in the Solera system of blending and distillation used in making Spanish brandy. In 1912, Benjamin Camp returned to Spain, leaving the company in the hands of his brother Eduardo. The Camp and Alvarez families were united when Evaristo Alvarez’ daughter married the son of Eduardo Camp. During the next 25 years, the Company grew and thrived under the leadership of Claudio Alvarez LeFebre, the son of Evaristo Alvarez. During the 1940’s, Claudio Alvarez LeFebre was succeeded by his son, Claudio Alvarez Soriano. Under his leadership, Matusalem and Company captured fifty percent of the Cuban rum market. Disaster struck the family in 1956 though when the elder Alvarez died, and six months later, the younger Alvarez died of lung cancer.

Following the Cuban revolution 1959, the family-owned Matusalem brand went into exile, and Matusalem and Company was established in the United States. The Cuban government continued to make rum in the former Matusalem factory in Santiago de Cuba, marketing the product as Ron Santiago. Neglect of the Matusalem brand, a result of feuding between three branches of the family, was ended in 1995 when Dr. Claudio Alvarez Salazar, the great-grandson of the founder, gained control of Matusalem and Company in an out-of-court settlement. In 2002, Matusalem and Company was relaunched and is now produced in the Dominican Republic.

Even the logo survived. When Matusalem was founded, flocks of Barn Swallows nested in the barrel aging warehouses. The Barn Swallow, or in Spanish, ‘Golondrina’, was a smooth-flying bird common to the area of Santiago de Cuba. Throughout the day it seemed Barn Swallows were everywhere, flying in and out of the aging warehouses. The swallow was also considered a free flying spirit, possessing beauty and elegance. The Matusalem founders thought it was an appropriate symbol and ultimately a most fitting logo for the Brand.

So how does this relaunch fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Matusalem Platino – 40%

A combination of triple-distilled and double-filtered – an equivalent to a Solera 3 blending process. Subtle vanilla nose with a slight sweetness cutting through. Smooth palate with a developing sweetness and vanilla notes. Lingering dry finish.

Matusalem Clásico 10yr – 40%

Produced with select rums aged in oak barrels, using the Solera process. Soft caramel aromas on the nose with a toffee finish. Smooth beginning on the palate with oak flavours mixed with burnt caramel dominate the long palate.

All great as a tot neat or over ice, but to enjoy a long drink, maybe try out this –

Dirty Daiquiri
Dirty Daiquiri

Dirty Daiquiri

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients –

60 ml Matusalem (Patino or Clásico)
Juice of 1/2 lime
30 ml Simple syrup
1 Lime wedge

Method – 

In a shaker with crushed ice, add Matusalem Rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Stir a few seconds and serve in a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

A great rum, with a wider range to sample and indeed collect for you own collection, including a 7 yr and a 15 yr Gran Reserva. Give them all a go.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Atlantico Rum Tasting Notes

Lately I’ve been fortunate enough to try out a relatively unheard of rum brand in the UK. Hailing from the Dominican Republic and endorsed by such stars as Enrique Inglesias and backing its own charity, Atlantico is sure to create some waves in the rum world.

But what makes Atlantico different from every other brand?

Atlantico is a blend of molasses based rums (heavier style) and fresh cane juiced rums (lighter style). The molasses gives the rum a lot more body and richness, whilst the cane juice gives lighter, more delicate tones. It’s aging process however is unique in the rum production world. The molasses and cane juice rums are aged separately for 2-3 years but are then blended together for a further 2 years. Once finished, it is placed into a solera aging system for up to 15 years. For a proper solera aging process, barrels of rum of different ages are stacked on top of each other, the oldest on the bottom, and the youngest on the top. When it is time to bottle, only a small percentage of the bottom (the oldest) barrels’ volume will be used. The empty space created by this drawing-off will be filled with rum from the level above, and those barrels will be filled with the level above them, and onwards and upwards, while the barrels on the top-level will be topped up with new rum.

Atlantico Rum

Before bottling, a small amount of Aguardiente (commonly known as fire water, it is rum distilled at a lower abv so it retains more of the characteristics) is added to the blend to give it a unique tasting profile. Once bottled, the founders personally inspect, hand number and initial each bottle before shipping. Not bad, especially as the whole process from start to finish is done by hand.

So after a Dominican journey, how does it all fair? Well below I give to you my tasting notes.

Atlantico Platino – 40%

Clean and light on the nose, with a slight sweetness roaming around. Very smooth on the palate with light vanilla flavours coming through, and hints of citrus near the end.

Atlantico Reserva – 40%

Bold vanilla aromas on the nose with a light sweetness mixing well onto the palate. Very light with lots of vanilla and oak dancing to a long finish.

Atlantico Private Cask – 40%

Light notes of vanilla and wood hit the nose and palate and transforms into an incredibly smooth offering. Bold, ripe, sweet vanilla flavours evolve near the end of this very long tot.

Some fantastic offerings from the Dominican Republic, and the cocktails are not too bad either. Ask your bartender to create you one of these –

Red Ocean

Red Ocean

Glass –

Rocks

Ingredients –

50ml Atlantico Rum
35ml Lime & Simple Syrup
10 Mint Leaves
5 Fresh Raspberries

Method –

In a cup muddle raspberries & mint leaves. Add Atlantico Rum & lime with simple syrup. Shake and serve over ice.

At the moment, Atlantico is only available online or in Selfridges, but expect to see it a lot more on the back bars of your favourite bars. Atlantico is coming, enjoy it when it does!

Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Circle 360, via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Ron Barceló Imperial & XM Royal Rum Tasting Notes

I swung by Corks Out in Timperley today to have a chat with their new General Manager Karim about all things wine and spirits. After pondering whether Chase should have kept their Marmalade vodka packaging clear or in their current orange bottle, Karim moved our attention to some open bottles of rum that he had available and out came Ron Barceló Imperial, XM Royal Rum and XM Guyano Rum VXO!

Unfortunately due to me driving and always being one to abide the laws of the road, I could only sample a few. For the ones I did, below are my tasting notes –

 

Ron Barceló Imperial Rum

Ron Barceló Imperial – 38% abv – Dominican Republic

It released heavy hints of toffee on the nose, with some intermittent hits of spice to compliment whilst on the palate, it was rather smooth with a slight sweetness of vanilla and caramel. The flavours of dry fruits is also detected, although the caramel and vanilla are the dominant forces. It finishes well with a lingering after-taste of caramel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

XM Royal Rum

XM Royal Rum – 40% – Guyana

The smells and aromas of orange mix with the tropical fruits of carambola and grapefruit to give you a rather mouth-watering scent. Upon taste, a very sweet mix of vanilla and toffee which gave a rather creamy texture on the palate. Hints of citrus came through but my sweet-tooth was enjoying the long after-taste.

Both these rums are available on the Corks Out website –

http://www.corksout.com/products/Barcel%C3%B3-Imperial.html

&

http://www.corksout.com/products/XM-Royal-Rum.html

I also sampled Expre Espresso Liqueur, which unfortunately I can’t put into words how much I didn’t like it. I try to write the positives of everything I try but not being a coffee fan anyway, it was a little too intense and over-powering on taste. I would stick with Kahlua or Tia Maria, because I don’t think you will be seeing Expre Espresso Liqueur around for too long.