Brugal XV is fairly new to the U.S. marketplace. The rum is replacing their Extra Viejo rum. It is blend of molasses based rums aged between three and eight years old using American oak barrels and red European oak Pedro Ximenez casks. It was initially released in the Caribbean marketplace in December of 2012 and began entering the U.S. in May of 2013.
The XV bottle was one of the first releases to have the new sleek design that we began seeing with the release of 1888. The Stelvin screw cap is secured to the bottle locked to the metal skirt wrapped around the neck. The rum has a mahogany and amber hued color in the bottle, that lightens to a pretty rosewood color in the glass.
Agitating the glass creates a medium band that beads up quickly but then slowly releases thin legs that speed down the side of the glass. While swirling the liquid it was easy to spot the green halo indicating a good amount of oak aging.
When I poured the rum in the glass there was initial rush of caramel and oak. I capped my glass and let the liquid settle for a few minutes. When I returned to it I discovered a pleasant upfront honeyed fruit note, toasted almond, chocolate, with a light hint of orange at the end.
Notes of mocha, almond, and toffee delight my tongue with the first sip. The second sip, I detect honey and dried banana juxtaposed against a spicy orange flavor. Subsequent sips reveal a coffee and roasted almond baseline that unveil a light tobacco note as the rum fades in a pleasant dry finish.
Brugal XV Ron Reserva Exclusiva is a lovely, complex rum. It did not have the sweetness that I expected to discover that can be so easily found in other sherry cask aged products. From the aroma to the palate, the complexity created a fun puzzle to explore. It definitely has the earmarks of other eight year old rums that I have enjoyed and will become a staple in our rum selection. If you spot this one in the stores it is definitely a worthy purchase and can easily be enjoyed in any manner that you wish to consume it.
This Review originally appeared in Got Rum? magazine.