Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2005
Industrial Rum – from a modern multi column still.
ABV Hydrometer Test: 40% ABV @ 20°
I love exploring new expressions of rums at RumFest. One of the great things is being able to chat to blenders and distillers, finding out some info as well as getting a heads up regarding new or forthcoming releases. One such example at 2016’s RumFest was my chat with Don Q Master Blender, Roberto Serralles. Whilst chatting, Roberto was exhibiting their new 2005 Single Barrel rum. I enjoyed a nice tasting during the show along with a sneak preview and tasting of the 2007 version due for release in 2017.
I enjoyed the tasting so much that as soon as I returned home, I found a bottle to buy online and it arrived today.
For Don Q, this is a move in a new direction, their first ever single barrel release. This is a limited edition – depending on who you believe, it is either limited to 6,000 bottles or 6,000 cases. Given that the label on my bottle is number 05808, I suspect it is more likely to be 6,000 cases as otherwise, I would expect they would only have four digits in the bottle number.
Under Richard Seale’s/Luca Gargano’s proposed rum categorisation, this would most-likely be classed as “Industrial Rum” – from a modern multi column still.
There is a distinctive Don Q 2005 label, displaying some info regarding the release, its ageing in American white oak barrels and 40% ABV. I would have liked some more production information such as the types of still used and also the fact that it has been aged for ten years.
There is a lovely firm natural cork enclosure with a nice brass embossed Don Quixote picture with “Since 1865” inscribed alongside.
- Glass/Aroma 8/10
The rum is a light orange to golden brown colour. It is likely to contain a little added caramel colouring, but I do not have a problem with this. The aroma starts with a full-on whack of vanilla. There is a bit of a tropical fruit salad underneath this with some bananas and pineapples dominating.
Further aromas of oak and toffee appear, giving quite a sweet profile.
Taste, Initial-middle 31/40
Toffee, oak and some nuttiness in the first tasting. The rum is smooth and light, but despite the initial aromas, it is not overly sweet. It has an element of initial stickiness, which is mellow with soft molasses. Further tastings reveal some subtle spices – nutmeg most notably.
- Taste, Middle/Throat 35/40
The rum really comes to life here. A little bit of fire appears, unusual from my previous experience of Don Q, but then again, this is meant to take their rums in a different direction and at this point, it really does just that. Most of the sweetness has dissipated, replaced by a hint of almond, some oak and quite a dry finish to it, reminiscent of a creamy Sherry. Subsequent tastings lead to the development of some tannins, coating the roof and sides of your mouth leading to a long oak finish.
The afterburn here is long and gentle. It is not a raging fire like a Jamaican rum, but instead is delicate and soft burning embers delicately warming your throat. It continues to linger and please the senses long after swallowing…good stuff!
Morning After Aroma
Some light vanilla is still present.
This is a really enjoyable rum for those who want something smooth and light. At £40-£45, it is really great value – not too much to be a day-to-day relaxing tipple, although perhaps it is a little too much to be a mixing rum and to be honest, I think it would be wrong to waste something as good as this on a cocktail. It highlights that a good end product can be achieved from a multi-column still, when it is done correctly.
Don Q have achieved what they set out to do and have produced something exciting and new.
I eagerly await the 2007 release in 2017.
More info at Don Q‘s web site.
P Denotes the rum contains POT still distillate.
C Denotes the rum contains traditional/Coffey COLUMN still distillate.
B Denotes the rum contains a BLEND of POT and COLUMN still distillate.
M Denotes the rum contains MULTI-COLUMN still distillate or is a MODERN rum.
A Denotes the rum is an AGRICOLE i.e. from Cane Juice.
S Denotes the rum is presented in a SWEETENED style.
Bottle/Presentation Out of 3
Glass/Aroma Out of 10
Taste, Initial-middle Out of 40
Taste, Middle/Throat Out of 40
Afterburn Out of 7