The short necked 750 ml bottle is the standard Don Q’s expanded portfolio. The front and back
labels provide a bounty of information without over the top marketing stories, just the basic information, the Master Blender- Jaiker Soto, and that the bottle from this review is from Batch 1.
The liquid in the bottle and the glass is a lovely mahogany color with a small amount of particulates floating in the bottle. As light refracts through the bottle, red highlights streak through the rum. Agitating the liquid creates a thick band that spins off some equally think fast moving legs. The ring and legs evaporate quickly, leaving a ring of beads behind.
The aroma leads with lightly toasted oak tannins (honestly was expecting a darker char), followed by vanilla, cherry cobbler, dried papaya, raisins and Virginia pipe tobacco.
As I took the first sip, the alcohol enveloped my tongue with a swirl of charred oak tannins. (There’s the char I was expecting from the aroma.) The tannins are complex, with levels of baking spices, roasted almonds, charcoal, rich slightly bitter dark cacao (think cooking unsweetened dark chocolate). Additional sips infuse caramelized vanilla into the mix along with a fruity sweetness reminding me of the cherry cobbler note from the aroma. This note melds with the oak tannins and lingers in an impressively long finish.
In the early days of my rum journey I encountered my first sherry cask aged/finished rums and found them to be tasty but on the sweet side of the spectrum. More dessert style after dinner rums than something I wanted to sip every day. Don Q Sherry Cask Finish Rum is not that. This rum really did surprise me with its dynamic flavor profile. I enjoyed my brief taste of it at Tales of the Cocktail, but sitting down in my normal tasting environment and exploring was an absolute pleasure. Nothing about this rum felt contrived or overly sweet and believe the Master Blender did an excellent job creating this product. I can see where the rum would be a good ingredient in some classic cocktails or my preference just sipping it neat. As far as food I think it will pair well with steak or roasted/spicy chicken dishes. At the time I was writing this, the Rum is available in all outlets where Don Q is sold in the United States.