Rum Review: Don Q Gran Añejo
Don Q Gran Añejo
Don Q hails from the venerable house of Serralles in Puerto Rico. While many are quick to dismiss all Puerto Rican rums as mass market swill, there are notable exceptions that should not be lumped in with the rest. Don Q Gran Añejo is one of those exceptions.
Arriving in a short square bottle, the Gran Añejo sports a gold leaf label printed directly onto the hefty squared off glass. A paper stamp and faux wax seal add a little old world charm. The glass stopper feels substantial as I pull it out of the bottle–good thing, too, as the artificial cork provides a significant resistance to my efforts. Coming in at 40% ABV, this rum is a blend of rums up to twelve years old. Let’s get some in a snifter and investigate further.
In the glass, the rum presents as a deep bronze with significant golden flashes. A swirl produces an evenly spaced set of small legs that move slowly toward the base. On nosing, there is a fair bit of astringency, but it quickly dissipates. After the alcohol dies down, the first notes are of melon, a mix of honeydew and cantaloupe. After the melon comes citrus, bitter orange, and lime. Supporting the fruit is a base of chocolate and caramel. Far off in the distance is the impression of freshly cut grass. Time to taste.
The entry is bright and spicy, bringing with it a heavy dose of charred oak I didn’t pick up on initially. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, but after the second sip, my palate is happily modified with a light coating of tannins. The aromas may have been a bit deceptive given the charred oak impression, but the significant melon notes have come over as flavors, and my disparate sensory perceptions are beginning to gel. In addition to the aforementioned fruits, I begin to taste ripe cherries on the finish, which combined with the heat suggests a Cherries Jubilee. Further along is a hint of banana and a light dusting of black pepper and nutmeg.
While this rum is quite good on its own, it benefits greatly from a single ice cube or a few drops of cold water to tame the astringency and coax out the more subtle flavors. It also makes an incredible Old Fashioned cocktail–I make mine with two dashes of Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters, a dash of simple syrup, and an orange twist. It’s synergy in a glass.
On to the scores:
- Appearance: 1/1
- Nose: 1.5/2
- Mouth feel: .75/1
- Taste: 3/4
- Aftertaste: 2/2
- Total Score: 8.25/10