Julian Barcelo began developing his rums in 1929; a year later in the city of Santo Domingo he founded Barceló & Co. They began by focusing on producing Blanco and Viejo Barceló rums. As time passed they added six more rums to their line. In the 1980’s Miguel Barceló created his signature rum - Ron Barceló Imperial Premium Blend. He took 10 year old rum and aged it for two more years in specially built American white oak and Chateau D’Yquiem barrels. Now each year the Barceló family releases 9000 bottles of Ron Barceló Imperial Blend worldwide. For 2013 they created Ron Barceló Premium Imperial Blend 30 Aniversario with the United States receiving an allocation of only 600 bottles. This award winning rum is bottled at 43% alcohol by volume and comes in a unique 750ml bottle.
On the shelf there is no way this rum does not stand out. The bottle is encased inside a gold tin with an image of the bottle etched into the side. A bold “30 Anivesario” takes center stage and makes it clear the company has something special it wants us to try. Once you open the sealed tin, you find the specially designed bottle settled on a wooden stand. In gold letters “Ron Barceló Imperial Premium Blend” flows along the curve of the bottle with the raised image of the Barceló crest nestled in the left hand corner. Secured with a black neck wrap, it thankfully has an easy pull tab that reveals a black wooden cap securing the synthetic cork in the bottle.
On the back we found our bottle was numbered 625 of 2012.
In the bottle and glass the rum is dark brown with garnet hues. Swirling the snifter creates nice thick legs that slowly descend and cling to its side. No surprise, as I tilt the glass a lovely green halo appears around the perimeter where the rum kisses the glass. This indicates the rum has definitely been influenced by the barrel it was aged in.
The lovely smell of caramel and coffee rises from the glass. I sit and savor as the aroma unfolds. As this first wave subsides I pick up creamy vanilla and oak. Next I pick up sweet raisins, orange peel, nutmeg, toffee, and just a faint hint of tobacco.
I let the glass rest for a moment, then take my first sip. This is the type of rum that you let sit on your tongue and enjoy as it sinks away. The promised caramel is there, followed by a rich mocha-toffee swirl that provides a full bodied mouth feel. Other sips reveal dark chocolate, roasted almonds, tangy cherry, dried orange peel, and a touch of nutmeg; a light spicy pepper pop hits as the rum slowly lingers and fades.
Every once in a while I have the pleasure of discovering a new rum that challenges and pushes my experience and expands it. Miguel Barcelo‘s creation is a true celebration and expression of the art of blending and crafting of a quality spirit. This rum has a lovely subtle flavor profile that any rum connoisseur will want to explore and savor. Take your time with it and enjoy the experience. Drinking this one too quickly would be a crime.