By: David Othenin-Girard
K&L Staff Member
Here's a good old fashioned closeout that everyone should take advantage of. We don't do a whole lot of Spanish style rum here at K&L. That's not because we don't like the style, but we feel that the few we stock offer a good cross section of the relatively homogeneous style. A few distillers in the category stand out from the pack and Don Q has always been one of them. It's Puerto Rico's best selling rum and has a long history of exceptionalism. That said their entry level stuff isn't exactly jumping off the shelves in California. But when I tasted the single barrel I knew we had to have it. There's no reason this shouldn't be worth $40 and we did sell it at that price for some time. But at $20, it goes from a good rum at an ok price to one of the best deals in the store from any category. This is "Single Barrel" in the Caribbean sense, meaning one make and barrel type without blending. It's just under 10 years old and is one of those rums you can literally do anything with. Sip it straight, it will appeal to bourbon guys or dark rum drinkers alike. Throw it on the rocks or with a splash of coconut water on a hot day, you'll plow through a bottle in an afternoon. Use it as a base for countless rum classics. It doesn't matter, this stuff makes everything taste good without tons of sticky sugar or caramel coloring. The nose is pure barrel spice, exotic candy, wild honey and maple syrup. The tiniest hints of rum funk let us know that this isn't Kentucky bourbon, but I bet some would have trouble guessing the genre by smell alone. The palate is packed with rich dark flavors of candied tropical fruit, turbinado sugar, chocolate covered raisin and baking spices, but unlike so many of the other light dark -that is to say column distilled, barrel aged- rums it doesn't turn cloyingly sweet on the finish. Instead a big drying oak builds to a pleasurable warming spice on the finish. It seems that the distillery decided to let this little rum speak for itself and for that we thank them. Unquestionably the finest rum deal in the store right now.