When I think of rum, I usually think of rum and cokes. Or rum in a Pina Colada or a Mojito. What I don’t think of is rum neat or on the rocks… but that’s because I’ve never had double filtered, doubled aged rum. Rum is typically aged for just a year in bourbon oak casks but the Brugal 1888 is a blend of rums that have aged anywhere from five to fourteen years – resulting in a smoother spirit. They are aged first in American white oak barrels followed by Spanish oak barrels. It’s rum by name but aged as long as some Scotch whiskies and that’s partly the reason why a self proclaimed scotch addict is reviewing rum today!
The Brugal 1888 is a limited edition release and a celebration of 120 years of rum distillation – it shows. It’s a rich dark amber color and I have to believe more of that color comes from aging longer in an oak barrel (rather than caramel added later). The nose is sweet and a little spicy but the sweetness is intriguing. I think that because rum is distilled from fermented molasses (or sugar cane), the sweetness is different than the floral fruity sweetness some scotches have (whisky is distilled fermented barley). On the palate it is remarkably smooth compared to almost any rum I’ve had (which is, arguably, a fairly small list) and the age really shows in this regard.
If you’re a die hard whisky drinker, I don’t think this will replace any scotch in your collection. If you want to try something different, the Brugal 1888 is a fun little diversion that introduces a different type of sweetness to your palate.
I think that in order to fully understand this spirit, I’ll have to dry some more. 🙂