Don Q Grand Añejo Conmemorativo

Category: Dark
Country: Puerto Rico
Aged: 3-12 years
Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)
Availability: Extremely Limited
Price: $35 in San Juan, P.R. (750 mL)

Appearance (0-5): 5
Aroma (0-25): 17
Taste (0-35): 25
Smoothness (0-10): 5
Body (0-5): 4
Overall Quality (0-20): 16
Machete Grade (0-100): 72

Notes: After returning home from my Caribbean-hopping honeymoon last year, my wife selected two rums to set aside: Don Q Grand Añejo Conmemorativo for when she got pregnant and Havana Club Añejo 7 Años for celebrating the baby's birth. As far as I was concerned, this meant holding onto the unopened bottles for years. Less than a year later... man, was I wrong. Don Q Grand Añejo from Serralles distilleries comes beautifully presented in a classy, squared decanter with large glass-topped cork. The Conmemorativo is for commemorating the 500 year anniversary of Puerto Rico's discovery by Cristóbal Colón. The liquid is a dark gold with a light pour and somewhat quick legs. Underneath a strong smell of alcohol, the aroma is slightly sweet and spicy, and initially doesn't seem very aged. Given some time to breathe, brown sugar and an almost fruity molasses comes through with toasted oak. Alcohol makes the initial taste introduction, followed by molasses, some spiciness, and a faint fruit taste - not defined enough to pinpoint, but it's somewhere between banana and papaya. Quite dry and overly harsh but it doesn't linger. Overall, it's not very complex. A few merciful drops of water released some hidden sweetness, as well as tamed some of the heat, making the sipping a bit more palatable. The faint fruit flavor is now closer to banana. It's fairly enjoyable - and preferred - in simple cocktails; the tangy sweetness from splashed citrus juice is particularly appreciated. It may be too pricey and tough to find for what it is, but it's definitely a star attraction on the shelf and not a bad way to celebrate the anticipated arrival of my first-born.

Reviewed: March 2008