Matusalem Gran Reserva 15 Year Rum

Posted: May 28, 2010 by bacchation in Liquor/Liqueur
Tags: , , ,

Ron Matusalem, hailing from the Dominican Republic was our dark rum of choice today.  Sweet, smoky, and mild was how it was described to us by our local shop, best paired with ginger beer in the form of a Dark and Stormy (more later).  Bedecked in medals from awards won around the Caribbean, it seemed like a safe bet to try.

The nose on the rum was of strong vanilla and caramel flavors, but there was no hint of the promised smoke.  A nice amber color in the glass and a decent level of viscosity alerted us that this may be as good for sipping as it was for light mixing.

First impression, vanilla and sugar, lots of sugar.  Not a half a second later, the sweetness yielded to a puff of smoke traveling up the nasal passages like a strong scotch.. but don’t let that deter you.  Even people who dislike that smoky aroma will be relieved to know that it dissipates as quickly as it arrived.

First tasted neat it was very pleasant as the sugar moved on to smoke which turned back into a vanilla sweetness of aged molasses, this is one that does not need rocks to make it palatable, it is fine on its own.

Mixed into a Dark and Stormy the flavors developed even more, brought out by the sour of the lime and the fizz of the ginger beer.  All three reviewers were ready for another, but knowing that we had another bottle to get to, and after an impromptu vodka tasting just before, we held back.  Though it is a dark rum, there is definitely a daiquiri in the near future to be made.  The flavors are strong enough that it should hold up against stronger tropical flavors like pineapple juice and coconut cream, but again, that will have to wait for another day.

For those unfamiliar with a Dark and Stormy, here is the recipe that we went with… simple, not too cluttered with flavor, and perfect to try a new a flavorful rum in.

Dark and Stormy

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice

2 oz. Matusalem Rum

3 oz Cock and Bull Ginger Beer

Tall Glass full of ice

Pour lime juice and rum into glass and stir well.

Add ginger beer over the top and lightly stir to incorporate.

Really quite a simple drink.  Our choice of ginger beer was Cock and Bull, but any strong substitute such as Reeds should work just as well.  While this is a drink typically mixed with dark rum, research shows that spiced rums work just as nicely.  Perhaps in the future a “rum off” Dark and Stormy tasting we can test that theory.

At $30.00 for a bottle it was tasty, but the strength of the sugar and smoke was not appreciated by one tester, and there wasn’t very much complexity to the rum, it was almost overly sweet.  While the smoke was a nice touch, it ended too soon to effect the finish and aftertaste, leaving another tester seeking a bit more.

Results:

Three tasters sampled this drink, results will be a composite of the three.

Matusaem Rum Gran Reserva – Dominican Republic $30.00

Sippability – 8.5/7/6 = 7.17

Mixability – 9/8.5/8 = 8.5

Cost  to Value Ratio – 8/7/7.5 = 7.5

Worth Buying Again – 7.5/7/7 = 7.17

Composite – 7.59 Good

Visit Matusalem!

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