It really is the year of “firsts” for us, isn’t it!? Don Q is no stranger to us and we’ve already tasted a few expressions before but nothing managed to land on this blog so far. It was about time to change that.
Don Q Single Barrel 2007/2016 (40%): I have absolutely no idea why they call this ‘Single Barrel’ as I have seen bottle numbers in the 50.000s… By the way, you know we were going to complain about the abv, no!? Alright. Nose: Very light and fresh, with yellow stone fruits. Especially apricot is pretty obvious if you ask me. At first, we might have mistaken this for a fruity Cognac. Then vanilla, some oak, sour apple, summer meadows and indeed, also sour cherries. This doesn’t reinvent the wheel and we aren’t huge fans either but you can tell that this is an honest, well-crafted Rum. Palate: Naturally sweet, but probably quite a bit too sweet for my liking. Sugar, candied apple (still the sour version), apricot, oak, citrus (bergamot), fresh grass and some candle wax. Again, very solid, but not very exciting. Finish: An extension of the palate but drier and definitely not as sweet. This is a Rum that doesn’t make any mistakes but that still isn’t good enough to be called average if you ask me. Weird territory. (70/100)
Don Q Single Barrel 2009/2019 (49,25%): Just like with the 2007, I don’t understand the name of this bottling to be honest. The higher abv can only be helpful however. Nose: You can definitely tell that this is the same distillery, even though I probably wouldn’t have been able to detect it in a blind tasting. It still isn’t distinct enough for that matter. Cherries meet vanilla pudding, apple pie, oak and fresh grass, perhaps even herbs (think oregano or thyme, heather as well). I think we should take a sip. Palate: Oh boy, the Rum clearly benefits from the higher abv. It is not as sweet, comes with fewer fruity notes (the apricot is still there, no worries) and has the power and intensity it requires. Rooibos tea, rosehip, oak and bitter vanilla are other associations I have. And let’s not forget about that apple! Finish: Medium long, slightly medical in a sense and full of herbs, oak, vanillla and salted apple. I like this way more than that 2007 Single Barrel. (75/100)
Rumclub Puerto Rico (Don Q) 9YO (48,3%): What would this blog be without an IB in the session!? Nose: Right away, you’ll notice that this is more interesting than the OBs. It is much more edgy if you want, with way more herbal and medical notes I’d say. Vanilla and oak are present, of course, but this note between iodine and saline solution really upgrades the Rum. That said, I am still missing some more bold flavours but we have to acknowledge that this is good stuff. Palate: Salted vanilla pudding with oak chips that has been sprinkled with herbs. Perhaps a thin apple slice and coconut shavings. That kinda desribes it I think. We are approaching Albion territory here, even though we are far away in terms of quality and flavour intensity but that might give you a rough idea of where this is going. Finish: Salted coconut, not a whole lot of oak and some fresh grass. Yup, it works for us and from what we’ve had so far, this is where the distillery shines. (82/100)
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