Earlier this week a bottle of Cruzan Single Barrel arrived on my doorstep to sample. Looking back it was clearly brought by some kind of booze angel. Never having tasted a single barrel rum before I popped the cork that night and poured a bit noticing first the mellow amber color. This color is imparted during it’s dual aging process. First the rum is aged for 4-12 years in refilled bourbon or whiskey barrels. After this first aging the rums are blended to the satisfaction of master distiller Gary Nelthropp. Once the blend is perfected the spirit is returned to the barrel, new American white oak this time, for a second aging. 6 – 12 months later, when the flavor profile is just right, Cruzan Single Barrel is bottled, numbered and sent off for lucky rum lovers to enjoy.
My first whiff of this delightful elixir introduced me to a wide range of vanilla notes and oaky aromas. You can definitely tell this rum was aged in new oak barrels for that second aging. In the vanilla and oaky aroma you also pick up the sweetness of this rum. On your tongue those vanilla and oaky flavors are more fully expressed. The light sweetness detected in the aroma comes through in a very pleasant way that works extremely well with the complex vanilla notes in this rum. The spirit has a lasting light finish echoing the oak and vanilla notes.
Since the bottle arrived Monday and I had my first taste that evening I’ve been having a small bit, neat, every evening as a night cap. This rum truly is wonderful tasting and it’s complex flavor keeps me coming back sip after sip. Although I have been drinking the rum neat I’ve included a couple munchies in my tasting. Last night I sampled it with a bit of homemade banana bread, which was simply fantastic. Tuesday I tried it with a bit of good quality milk chocolate, also super tasty. I think it would also go very well with fresh tropical fruits like mango or pineapple. All these additions aside first give it a try all by itself with nothing to complicate the enjoyment. You may find yourself simply sipping and enjoying the flavor of this complex rum all on it’s own. I know I certainly have.