The cream colored box with the simple scripted letters caught our eyes and left us wondering what elegant rum was awaiting us. The tear drop shaped, heavy glass bottle with the simple beige label allows the rich copper color to be the star. As we lifted the wood top cork stopper, El Pasador de Oro XO unleashed its subtle aromas inviting us to explore.
We know very little about the history of El Pasador de Oro XO. The rum is a blend of molasses based rums from different Guatemalan distilleries aged in oak barrels anywhere from six to fifteen years. It is then exported to Les Bienheureux in Paris France where it matures in cognac barrels for around six months before being bottled.
Guatemala has thousands of acres of sugar cane along the coastal plains west and south of the volcanic mountain range connecting North and South America. In 2004, mills produced more than two million tons of sugar making sugar cane Guatemala’s second largest agricultural crop.
To be labeled a Guatemala rum the spirit must be distilled from fermented virgin sugar cane honey. This dark sweet syrup is made by filtering fresh sugar cane juice, then boiling off the water until the syrup contains about 72% sugar. Guatemala requires the fresh spirit to be put into oak barrels at no more than 60% abv. then aged for at least one year.
The rum has a very subtle nose making it hard to pick out a dominant note. There is a molasses note with some vanilla and toasted coconut. The front of the palate is also subtle, but then opens up on the back of the throat. Molasses and vanilla carry through to the palate with the toasted coconut on the finish. I added an ice cube hoping to open the rum up. If anything it made the notes even more subtle from start to finish. Definitely drink this rum neat.
I agree with Clint that the nose has a molasses base but I don’t get vanilla or coconut. Honestly, there’s nothing on the nose worth exploring. The rum has a nice and creamy mouthfeel. It coats the palate and lingers at the back of the throat before dissipating on the finish. I love the softness to this rum from start to finish, however there’s truly nothing to explore. The ice cube does allow me to experience a finish but it’s more of an alcohol note rather than a particular flavor.
El Pasador de Oro XO Overall
We differ on how to rate El Pasador de Oro XO. Clint wants to give it a solid 4 or 4.25 because he feels it is a good sipping rum while Terry leans more towards a 3 or 3.25 because it lacks character. At $37/bottle, one of us expected more.
Tell us what you think in the reviews below!
3.5 of 5
Sipping Rum Scale
1 – An expensive mixer
2 – A quick celebratory shot
3 – Wouldn’t be embarrassed to share with friends
4 – Are my friends worthy of a sip
5 – Special moments rum