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Tasty, but not quite great
I've considered myself a mojito connoisseur, but after going on this website, I haven't even tried most of these kinds of rum that have such a high rating. However after doing some research, it feels like most of the rums that do have a good rating (8+, it's not readily available....)
Nearly neutral, light, not a strong alcohol in nosing or tasting. This is not bad straight but it goes down like water, a very light rum in both viscosity and rum flavor, but still distinctly a rum. Not a huge amount of flavor going on here from its brief aging. This lack of flavor would my main complaint but this is consistent with its style.
The flavor this lacks is made up by its insanely cheap price! While we all know there are better rums to sip this one is easily consumed straight up just lacks a full flavor.
Overall, this rum is a genuine article not doctored up with lots of sugar or other additives, it is what is says just rum, for that I can't give this less than a 7 rating. Great for mixing also if that's your thing. I may add that I find this much better than it's gold counterpart.
Since this one is highly rated for a light rum here and it was about $10 cheaper than my favorite white rum mixer, I picked up a bottle today at Walmart. But for only $2 more, I could have gotten 1.75 liters instead of 750 ml. Now THAT is some scary, so I had apprehensions when I got home.
The only way to compare them was to do side by side taste tests neat with my favorite light rum mixer. My Matusalem Platino went first and was smooth and velvety with no after burn. The Don Q Cristal tasted like nothing at all, but had a strong after burn. No contest! However, Don Q Cristal is still a step above anything produced by Bacardi or Captain Morgan. This Don Q Cristal would best be paired with Simply Limeade (as a quasi-daiquiri) or ruby red grapefruit juice to disguise the after burn. It can also be kept on hand for guests that tend to drink too much from your cabinet and you don't want to serve them Bacardi. As for Cuba Libres, I always preferred anejo rums instead of the lighter ones, but coke would also hide the after burn on this one.
I will stick with my top two white rums of Matusalem Platino and my even higher rated Plantation 3-Star Artisanal, which is in a class all by itself because it is a filtered dark rum with the most flavors by far.
And later that evening! Luckily I had most of my bottle of Don Q Anejo on hand to compare two different versions of Cuba Libres. The Anejo is light years better than the Cristal and for only a few bucks more. So if your budget restricts you, the Cristal is a good mixer for fruit juices, with citrus ones for those on a diet.
And later the next morning! Now I see why it is very popular in Puerto Rico where it is made. This is the ultimate penalty free drunk I have found in 45 years of drinking. Vodka can eat it's heart out! If only this were around when I first started drinking! One will never be married to the royal porcelain throne with a raging headache the next morning. The scientists who came up with this formula should be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. As for taste, forget it since it has none at all. If you want to add exotic sweet juices or soda for tastes, then you will create your own hangover. For someone like me who likes to savor an ounce of very fine sipping rum over an hour or two, following it up with Don Q Cristal would be too late to avoid a king hell hangover. On the other hand, this is the ultimate diet cocktail that beats the pants off of the popular Cosmo. Just add Perrier to Don Q Cristal over the rocks and you will taste nothing at all. Now I see why Walmart stocks tons of it. As usual, I am always the last to find out about any trends.
Dryer than many of the mass market options I've had at the same price point (Bacardi/Captain Morgan White), and distinctly more "rummy". Made a great daiquiri, my drink of choice, and wasn't too bad on the rocks. If it were next to Bacardi on the shelf, I'd usually take this, but given it's much harder to find, it's not far enough ahead of Bacardi to merit the time investment to seek it out. Good stuff though!
A good light rum at a good price. Not a lot of light rum drinks that I enjoy, but compared to others of this type it does very well and is reasonably priced. Beats Bacardi Superior for sure.
My favorite light rum drink we call a Naranjito. Light rum, 7UP, orange zest and an orange wedge. Using rum and coke proportions with light rum and 7UP, zest the orange right into the drink and stir. Garnish with wedge. Good Summer drink that almost all I introduce it to enjoy.
Its $10 a bottle, and though an industrial column-still rum, isn't bad at all. Very light, slight floral whiffs that suggest flowers and detergent. Everything moves very hurriedly across the palate, leaving only nuances of flavor and a mild burn, which I actually enjoy.
This is a mixing rum for people that don't like the taste of alcohol. It is a good introductory for people to start building an appreciation for rum, albeit through weak mixed drinks like the mojito. Its crazy thinking back to when I was younger, when anything with a high alcohol content tasted simply like nail-polish remover. Significant training (and desire) needs to be present for someone to develop a palate for appreciating good rums, and I consider a rum like this to be a good gateway to that.
Let us be honest, for its price this is a great white rum, that is just perfect for making your rum-colas and mojitos. But if you like your Rum to be special, this is not the one for you, its the perfect rum in a way it is not too much of anything, Not in taste, not in price, a perfect basic white rum.
This is absolutely my go-to light rum. The aroma is one of a light rum, pure and simple. The alcohol burn is quite gentle, and I even enjoy sipping it from time to time. This stuff is cheap too; a fifth of Don Q Cristal where I live in Colorado costs about $9!
I love this rum for cocktails. You can drink it with just ice and water or jazz it up in a mojito. A friend of mine from Puerto Rico swears by his hang over free mornings after a Don Q evening, I must admit the damage was minimal compared to other selections.
"It is surprisingly “smooth” and quite easy to sip. The sweetness from the rum is very sugary rather than fruity. ."
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