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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.
This one was another rum that I was hesitant to buy with such a wide disparity in the ratings. So I ignored all of the low ratings and plunked down $40 for my bottle today. I let it breathe for at least 20 minutes in a snifter. The aroma of light vanilla and light oak is wonderful and I could sniff this one all day. Then the first neat sip on the tongue had so much of a burn that it wiped out any of the flavors. Going down the pipe was a bitter burn. Treating this one at 43% ABV just like my Clement 6 year at 44% ABV, I wisely added an ice cube and let it sit for a few minutes. Ah, the burn on the tongue was gone so that I could taste vanilla, caramel, and oak. Going down the pipe still had a somewhat bitter burn, but not nearly as bad as being served neat. Just like the Clement 6 year old, this rum was made for consuming on the rocks in the hot tropical climate down there. Neither one has any added sugar. I would not dream of using either one as a mixer, especially at these prices.
Due to the high price and scarcity of it where I live, I originally gave it a rating of 6 while not realizing that this very unique rum needs to grow on you. No other rum out of 80 tastes like this one. After the second glass later that evening with two ice cubes, the very strong smoky flavor is what originally puts off those new to this rum. Flavors are very assertive and this one is not for wimps. To give you an idea, following this one up with a different rum made Mount Gay XO seem downright nasty. Bumping my rating up did not take very long at all.
Many of us criticize the solera method, but that is only because of deceptive practices from many companies showing false ages. This company specifically states on the back of the bottle that their rums are aged between 6 and 10 years in charred oak barrels. It is their own 3-Star solera blend that supposedly remains the same year after year. The solera method greatly increases the odds of a company producing consistently similar results. Such is not the case with single barrels, which could be hit or miss. This company does not lie about the ages inside the bottle, but it is up to all of us to inform all the rest about companies with deceptive aging statements. Many of these have already been pointed out by fellow reviewers.
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.
Excellent rum with one of the best value for money rate! Smooth sweet and a hint of smokiness. Love it
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.
With its nice and smooth smoky aroma, it was a surprise. The price is very low for such a great Rum.
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.
Love this stuff. Way better than Bacardi Solera or possibly Bacardi 8 for that matter. Just a finer produced product all around.
Rich with smoke and vanilla flavours. Underrated, especially at its price.
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.
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!
This is a great rum. It comes of soft but that quickly changes into a strong smokey flavor. This is a great rum that reminds you what you are drinking. The smell is also great. I was lucky to find a store in town that had 2 bottles left. I may go get the other if it is still there.
"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!
This is one of those rums that's a road mark on the journey of rum. No, not everyone will like it because you know from experience that if everyone likes it it's probably mediocre to dumb. This rum will not be mistaken. Like Smith & Cross, Lemon Hart or Appleton Estate this is one of the rums that outlines great rum. Now, I'm going to tell that this is not one of those aged 18 years in a Hungarian sherry cask slung in a sling of pure minks fur and sharks gut sinew rums. Those are a whole other thing. This a great rum because it's bold and flavorful by itself and it's good in mixed drinks and coke. It does it all.
First had this rum in Puerto Rico. It was recommended by the bar tender. Ended up drinking quite a lot of the stuff. Really great rum and a really great memory
Strong alcohol taste, heavy throat burn. Has some redeeming qualities though.
One of my all time favorites. Great taste smooth, nice color and great finish.
A golden hue of wood and citrus glory. Surprised me being that the bottle was nothing special. Be thirsty my friends
This rum has great aroma that accentuates it's strong smokey flavor and is followed by hints of vanilla. It's versatile in its ability to be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or even in mixed drinks. As sipping rums go, an excellent value
This is NOT the sweet rum you might have been looking for; but it IS a good rum! Others have compared to drinking cognac, and I would have to agree. It has some bite and smokiness that both mellow with a single ice cube and a little time to breathe. This also opens up the other flavours and aromas to increase the complexity. Not my everyday favourite, but definitely a regular option when I want something a little different (but still great) to sip. And I have to say that even though it's a good deal (especially if you buy it in PR), I do think it's wasted in mixed drinks.
A little astringent at first, so I like to let it mellow out with an ice cube and breath a little. I think it helps bring out the natural sugar flavor on the finish.
Didn't try many local rum while in PR, but this was the one til notice. Good flavour and colour, and lots of alcohol. Fairly good price as well.
Great rum. I drink it like we drink rum back home in PR. Straight no ice or mix.
This bottle has been a staple in my house since I was a kid. My dad loves it, I still love it. They haven't change the formula and it works good for me.
Unique and complex flavors. Wonderful on the palate at.a GREAT price!
Very well aged rum. Pleasent aroma and intense taste. Spice, sweet caramel, vainilla, oak, smooth and...43%abv. It is said the "cognac" of the Caribbean....I couldn't disagree. I like it neat, but adding a few drops of water soften this rum and oh boy...the real taste comes to play..and yes!...oranges. Always on my bar.