We don’t use white rums often but when we do, Don Q is our brand of choice. Imagine our surprise when we found Don Q Gran Reserva Anejo XO on the shelves of our local liquor store. If this sipping rum presents anything like the Cristal, we are surely in for a good experience.
The Serrallés family arrived from Spain in 1820 and settled in Ponce, Puerto Rico on a sugar cane plantation named Hacienda Teresa. By 1865, Don Juan Serrallés imported a copper pot still from France and produced his first cast of rum. Although Don Juan sold the rum locally it wasn’t until 1934 that the Don Q brand was launched for general consumption. Don Q is named after Don Quixote, the literary character from the family’s favorite novel. Today, Don Q, produced by Destileria Serrallés, is the number one selling rum in Puerto Rico making it a local favorite over Bacardi and Captain Morgan.
Don Q Gran Reserva Añejo XO is a rebranding of Don Q Gran Añejo. Gran Reserva XO is a blend of column-distilled rums aged 9 – 12 years in American oak barrels. The rum is finished with solera rums aged up to 50 years. According to the company, this creates a blend of sweet and dry. The price point of $50 makes it higher than other rums in this age range however, no other rums in this category include the additional aged rum.
He Said Rum Review of Don Q Gran Reserva Anejo XO
Immediately I pick up charred oak notes on the nose with orange blossom, vanilla and earthy notes (think forest after a rain.) The palate though is very earthy with hints of the orange and vanilla and very little oak. There is also a spice that sits in the background, blending well with the other notes. The character is smooth with a “what you taste is what you get” air. There is very little fanfare on the finish, dissipating immediately. As I allow the rum to breathe, the vanilla takes the point on the nose and palate with the finish leaning toward oaky.
She Said Rum Review of Don Q Gran Reserva Anejo XO
The nose has baked apples with a hint of orange and an ever so slight hint of cinnamon. There is a slight sweetness on the nose but I can’t decide if it’s vanilla or molasses. For me the palate does not live up to its delightful nose. The baked apple notes are there but are overpowered by the cinnamon. The vanilla actually is off-putting, reminding me of the generic vanilla sold in bottles for baking. For me there is a bit of a spicy finish but it’s very short lived. Subsequent sips didn’t produce any further exploration.
Overall Rum Review Don Q Gran Reserva Anejo XO
While we enjoyed Don Q Gran Reserva Anejo XO we felt there should have been more complexity for the $50/bottle price point. It may fare better however, head-to-head with its competitors. Stay tuned.
3.75 out of 5
About Clint and Terry: We have sampled many a dram over our 33 years of marriage and quite often we don’t fully agree. Could be the difference is male/female taste buds. Or, somebody is just wrong.