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Rum Review: Barcelo 30

Barcelo 30 Aniversario Imperial Premium Blend  Rum Review

Ron Barcelo Aniversario 30 Imperial Premium Blend

Hailing from the Dominican Republic, Ron Barcelo sells several expressions, some of which have been evaluated here with mixed results. Whereas the Imperial was delightful, the Gran Platino was among the worst I’ve ever tasted. But on the strength of the Imperial, let’s take a chance and sample Barcelo’s top marque: the 30 Aniversario.

Bottled at 43% ABV, the 30 Aniversario retails for around $120. The blend is said to be created from the company’s most prized rum stocks, some of which spend additional time in Bordeaux wine casks. Each bottle is hand numbered; the bottle we’re reviewing is 8384 from 2012.

The metal case holds a horseshoe-shaped bottle mounted on a wooden pedestal. The presentation is nice, albeit a bit over the top. If you look through the metal ring on the front of the bottle, you can see the 30 painted on the rear. The closure is an ill-fitting synthetic cork attached to a wooden cap. Again, it’s nice, but a bit “try hard” I would say. In the time the bottle has sat on the shelf, the metal ring has fallen off under its own weight. But enough about the packaging.

In the glass, the rum presents a deep and rich mahogany with copper highlights. A swirl of the snifter produces a ring atop the glass from which droplets fall freely. The nose is a bit hotter than the 43% ABV would suggest, but it’s not off-putting. The aromas wafting up with the alcohol include oak, cantaloupe, leather, vanilla, caramel and a bit of sherry.

The rum enters with a fair amount of heat, but it quickly dies down on the palate. The flavors here are plentiful. First comes the pepper and cinnamon along with a dash of cardamom, after which arrives a wave of sweetness that carries vanilla, caramel, oak, red raspberry and melon. There is also a sherry note here that announces itself between sips before fading into the background. The long finish has a slight bitterness that backs the dominant oak tannins and cinnamon.

All in all, the 30 Aniversario is a very solid offering from Barcelo. It manages to push the envelope without going overboard, resulting in a quaffable rum that manages to give the experienced rum connoisseur pause during evaluation. The mark of a fine rum indeed.

On to the scores:

  • Appearance: 1/1
  • Nose: 2/2
  • Mouth feel: 1/1
  • Taste: 3.25/4
  • Aftertaste: 2/2
  • Total Score: 9.25/10

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Have you tried Barcelo 30? Please share your thoughts below.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2014 9:40 am

    All said, all well and good but the “mark of a fine rum” would be expected at the least to make a statement of age, and it surely wouldn’t hurt to have a statement of purity. For example compare to Panamonte’s Rum Precisiosa which states “…25 years old …There are no additives, colorings or other barrels used in this slow aging process”, or Diplomaticos’ expensive Amabassor limted release which offers “…no sweetener, caramel or other additives …not chill filtered”.

    Let’s face it, our shattered economy has led to a rash of new releases that are inexpensive but heavily altered for the hoi polloi, or a handful of invented super premiums whose claim to fame is little more than their bottle or price. For this pricey rum to be presented as an NAS (no age stated) with no reference to its real purity is pure marketing. I don’t doubt that its – maybe – better than their mass sold products – but is it truly exceptional? We’ll never know, and they aren’t telling.

    According to your description and score, it’s really nothing extra special. We’ll pass.

  2. John Monroe Rum connoisseur permalink
    August 27, 2014 7:46 pm

    Thank you for this review. I personally have this rum but have not got around to cracking open my bottle. I bought this because my research shows sherry casks somehow involved in its making. I am also a major fan of Dominican Rum in general. This would point to your sherry note in the review. I personally would have thought you would find this closer to 9.75 if not a 10.

    To Mr. Jimbo’s thoughts: This rum may not be for everyone given the price and lack of apparent documented provenance. If you are a fan if the casks used, brand, and Dominican rums then this is a must.


  1. New Rum Review: Barceló 30 Aniversario | Inu a Kena

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