When you hear the words “Puerto Rican Rum” you’re likely to think of the 1,000 lb gorilla in the room, you know the one. But you’re limiting yourself if you stop there. There are lots of other great distilleries on the island. For example, today I’m reviewing DonQ rums. While DonQ has been around for 145 years there is a distinct possibility that you’ve never heard of them. That’s due largely in part to the rum being unavailable in the US for a number of years only recently having been reintroduced in 2006. Before I get on to the tasting notes I want to point you to a page on the DonQ site that talks about their sustainability practices. I think it’s really cool when companies do everything in their power to reduce their environmental impact. DonQ is doing just that, and taking it truly to the next level. Well done.
|Cristal – Crystal clear with aromas of caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch. The flavor carries the same sweet notes as the aroma and adds very slight notes of fruitiness. The finish is medium in length and carries on the spiciness, but there is something more there than just the vanilla, but I can’t put my finger (or tongue) on it. Very pleasing finish and overall a nice white rum.|
|Gold – Light honey color with strong vanilla and caramel aroma with solid sweetness. The spice notes, specifically allspice, are intensified here. Strong vanilla in the flavor, but less spice than I expected from the nose. Long finish with lots of vanilla and spice. A solid gold rum with clean flavors.|
|Añejo – Honey colored with a sharp aroma very similar to bourbon in terms of spice and vanilla qualities. Distinct wood flavor from the aging starts coming through here. The mouth feel is really special with this rum. Very full bodied and creamy, almost like melted butter. Your mouth gets a great coating of the rum with flavors of sweet dough, figs, butter, vanilla, Christmas spices and caramel. The finish is medium/long and leaves you wanting another sip. Really enjoyed this rum and would definitely drink it neat.|
|Gran Añejo – We had a bit of anxiety starting the tasting of the Gran Añejo. We’d built our way up to it so much so that there was almost a worry that it wouldn’t meet our expectations. And truly it didn’t meet them, it exceeded them. The color of well polished teak this rum is visually striking. The aroma is less punchy than we found in the añejo with the vanilla, spices and caramel having blended and mellowed into a delicious harmony. The mouth feel is still coating, but not as much as the añejo. Flavors are, like the aromas, well blended and mellowed with notes of butter, vanilla, caramel, spices (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon) and dried cherries. The finish is medium in length and leaves your palate very clean and craving more. I would sip this rum over the course of a evening. Taking a sip, savor the flavors as they fully run their course before taking another. Truly a great sipping rum.|
If you’re looking for a new rum or simply looking to change things up, then you you should definitely keep DonQ in mind. From the Cristal and Gold for mixing to the Añejo and Gran Añejo for slow sipping, you’ll be very pleased. In addition to their standard line, DonQ offers a range of flavored rums. Keep an eye out for reviews of those to come.
† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.