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Don Q 2005 Single Barrel Puerto Rican Rum

Don Q 2005 Single
Barrel Puerto Rican


By Robert Plotkin

Rum enthusiasts are hooked on the thrill of discovery and the joy that comes from finding a tremendous rum with which they’re unfamiliar. When a bar affords them this new experience their continued patronage is assured. Such is the case with Don Q 2005 Signature Release Single Barrel Puerto Rican Rum. It is assuredly what both novices and aficionados are searching for in a world-class rum. And while the brand Don Q is highly esteemed within the drinks community, it’s not exactly a common household brand. This Caribbean gem might well change that.

Distilleria Serrallés is one of the storied rum distilleries of the Caribbean. It was founded in 1865 by Juan Serrallés at the Hacienda Mercedita sugar plantation outside of the city of Ponce on Puerto Rico’s southern coast. Using a copper pot still he had imported from France, Serrallés began distilling rum from their estate-grown cane and pristine spring water. The brand—Don Q—was created in 1935.

Now more than 150 years later after its founding, Destileria Serrallés is one of the oldest family-owned and operated businesses in the Americas. It has achieved an international reputation for excellence producing molasses-based, continuous- and pot-distilled Puerto Rican rums. The recently released, vintage dated, single barrel rum is its finest, most exclusive expression to date.

The rum selected for this 2005 limited edition was drawn from a single barrel, and when that individual cask is emptied, that’s it. Another rum distilled at the same time resting in a neighboring cask may be similar, but their taste profiles won’t be an exact match. The 2005 vintage possesses distinctive characteristics that president and CEO Roberto Serrallés and the master distiller were searching for. It is a slice of life never to be duplicated.

This elegant, unblended Don Q Rum is matured 10 years in American white oak used previously to age bourbon. It is bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof).

The rum has a lustrous, golden/copper appearance, a lightweight, satiny textured and a wafting bouquet of flora, roasted coffee, caramel, vanilla, allspice and brown sugar. Its aromatics are lively and thoroughly irresistible. The rum has a warm initial entry and then at once the flavors pour through with a tempting offering of cinnamon, vanilla, honey, molasses, and toffee. Its long, lingering finish is dry and spicy warm with slightly fruity and smoky notes.

This barrel-aged spirit serves up more mouthwatering flavors and enticing aromas than your neighborhood bakery. Its alluring qualities are the result of skilled distillation rather than artful blending. And to think the 2005 vintage is being marketed at the value-laden price of only $39.95. What more can you ask for from a rum and still reasonably expect to attain?