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Rum Review: Dos Maderas PX 5+5

Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5 Rum Review

Dos Maderas PX 5+5

What if you took a blend of Barbadian and Guyanese rum, aged it in the Caribbean for five years (I would assume in used Bourbon barrels) then shipped it off to Spain to rest in Pedro Ximenez Sherry barrels for another five? Well wonder no longer my rummy friend, for the answer lies in every bottle of Dos Maderas PX 5+5 (Dos Maderas means “two woods”,  get it?).

I decided to procure a bottle of this rum after hearing good things, and seeing it in a variety of craft cocktail recipes. Sounds like an interesting one; let’s take a closer look.

The bottle is a classic shape you’ve undoubtedly seen before–it’s similar to that of Plantation 5–fairly squat with just enough of a neck to form a confident grasp.The clear glass bottle boasts some really nice raised script lettering and the outline of an old Spanish brig, but the clear plastic label–while well-conceived–detracts a bit from the otherwise well-refined packaging. The natural cork stopper is capped with a smart wooden top bearing the image of a compass rose. Let’s get some in a glass.

In the glass, the rum is nearly as dark as it appeared in the bottle; the color is a deep mahogany that generates flashes of copper in the light. A swirl of the snifter produces a tight ring along the top of the glass, and it seems like an eternity before droplets form and fall. This behavior leads me to think there is quite a bit of residual sugars present here.

On nosing, there is a bit more astringency than I expected for this 40% blend, but it’s certainly not off-putting. Past the alcohol notes, there is some oak, vanilla, and cherries jubilee; just beyond that is a healthy dose of Sherry. Let’s have a taste…

The rum enters with a flourish of brightness that is rapidly subdued by the pronounced sweetness. The oak washes over the palate first, and is quickly covered with Sherry before the oak wins out again. But make no mistake, the predominant flavor here is Sherry, not rum.

At this point I have to pause for a moment to contemplate my first impressions. As I do so, I realize I’m being transported back to my first glass of vintage Port, which I was served after a fine meal. It’s as though my brain is telling me this rum should be used as a postprandial beverage to aid in my digestion.

Diving back in, the rum seems sweeter with each sip, and I struggle for a moment to identify flavors beyond the Sherry. There is a bit of spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise. As I focus more, the licorice note becomes more prominent, as does a layer of creamy vanilla just under the oaken Sherry flavors. Finally I detect something reminiscent of a clove-studded orange. The finish is quite long, but not terribly complex. Unsurprisingly, the Sherry has the last word.

After hearing so many good things about Dos Maderas PX 5+5, I must admit I’m a bit disappointed. Innovative? Different? Without a doubt, but there’s far too much Sherry sweetness here for me in the end. It won’t break the bank at $35, but if you’re not a fan of sweeter Sherry such as the Pedro Ximenez, I would sample this one before buying.

On to the scores:

  •  Total 6.5/10

Buy dos Maderas 5+5 online

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 21, 2013 8:45 am

    Once again, good stuff Josh. Way, way back when Sue Sea and I came across and were driven to review the 5+3 – without going into my usual detail suffice it to say that we felt that this particular issue had pretty much reached the limits of sherry barrel aging. Thus your review has confirmed our suspicions, thank you. Readers should absolutely try the 5+3, but not this one. We won’t.

    A few words about sherry aging and of the great aging myths, namely that somehow there is leftover sherry sloshing around or that this sherry has permeated the wood like a sponge, only to later reappear and merge with a rum to provide “sherry” overtones. Magically this sherry has not been modified chemically by the wood, nor has it turned bad due to oxidation.

    In truth, most sherry barrels are disassembled into staves, often recharred or toasted and treated for shipping (with sulfur). “Bad” and sour barrels are not uncommon and are rejected. If one has the distinct impression of “sherry sweetness” you can be sure real sherry and sugar has been added (a common practice), but is not a result of the barrel per se. The tones for which ex-sherry barrels, made of Limosin (and similar) oaks are responsible include apricot, deep orange and deep fruit (think raisin), and nuttiness – but not “sherry” per se.

    Some readers may be aware of MacCallan’s well known “sherry profile”, specifically deep orange tones. This is their signature, so when ex-sherry barrels became scarce this was a crisis for them. In desperation, they then aged their single malt whiskies in Limosin oak that had never carried a drop of sherry. The result: their famous “sherry profile” was maintained and proven the result of the French oak alone.

    Josh, the conjunction of your description of excess “sherry sweetness” with the ultra-slooooow legs is a pretty good indicator of added sugar and/or glycerol and perhaps even actual sherry (a common additive in rum). A shame for such an overpriced rum. Such is life…


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