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Ron del Barrilito 3 Star rum is produced in Bayamón Puerto Rico by the Fernández family, which has been producing rum in the area since 1804, making it the oldest rum manufacturer in Puerto Rico. The rum is first blended and then aged for a minimum of 6 years.
A single barrel of Ron del Barrilito rum was set aside in 1942 called the 'Freedom Barrel.' When Puerto Rico gains its independence the Freedom Barrel will be opened in the Bayamón town square for all to share.
Recommendable to most
This is a pretty good rum. Molasses, smoke, pepper, oak, almond, sherry, and even a light touch of orange.
It's a good rum, though I think it's a little hot at 43%abv (I think only the 8 and above rated rums do really well at that alcohol content). Still, a very decent rum for the money, and one I would recommend for the cost.
"Barrilito tres estrellas" is a classic; still produced the same way as in the 19th century. Hard to find outside of PR -- in PR, it's the cheapest sipping rum -- at $20-25 per bottle, it's better than most rums twice that much. Perfect with a couple of rocks, or if you have to mix it, with a bit of dry cranberry and soda. Do not use it for cuba libres -- it would be a waste!
Every time I've gone to pick up a bottle of this (and I've gone through plenty), I'm absolutely floored by the fact that this is a sub-$40 bottle of rum. It's smooth, and lush, with a wonderful balance of caramel, vanilla, and oak, while still having that clean, refined mouthfeel that you expect from a column-still rum. It's fantastic on its own, and remains one of my favorite components of most tiki drinks as well. It absolutely shines in a mai tai with a good Jamaican pot-still as a funky counterpoint (I'd suggest my favorite, Appleton 12-year). It's also essential to a good zombie or jet pilot.
If you're drinking on its own, just be prepared for the fact that this has minimal or no added sugar; it's not going to be a Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva or a Zaya. It's dry and clean like a Spanish sherry. It's a much better palate cleanser than a digestif.
As a mixer, I have yet to find a drink in which this doesn't shine. It has this magical ability to play nice with others while still not having its own unique flavors lost among others. I've used it in a Coronado Luaus special before which has somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-12 ingredients, and I can still pick out the unique notes of the Ron del Barrilito even in that setting.
A truly fantastic rum, and amazing at this price point.
Love this stuff. Way better than Bacardi Solera or possibly Bacardi 8 for that matter. Just a finer produced product all around.
Good rum to drink in a tulip shaped glass with an ice cube or a splash of water or straight. Goes down like any good cognac. You do not want to insult this rum by mixing it.
Edit - bumping this up to a 10, just love this rum!!!!
The smokiness continues to build the more you drink of it.
Picked it up on the way out of Puerto Rico knowing little about this 3 Star or sipping rum. The flavor made me add less and less coke till there was just the rum and the ice by the third glass. After easily polishing the bottle off, I desperately needed more of that rich smokey after taste!
I know that this company has admitted that they have altered their rums. What is unusual is that it is not nearly as sweet as most altered rums - rather it seems to have a faked-up woody-smoky, almost phenolic taste.
I really wanted to like this but I don't. A much better example of the Cuban style is Doorly's XO or R L Seales' 10 yr, which have a similar taste to this without the offputting phenolic taste.
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