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Matusalem Gran Reserva 18-Year rum

Matusalem Gran Reserva 18-Year

Dominican Republic | Aged

Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum is produced using a combination of rums aged on average 15 years and distilled from molasses using the solera process.

The Matusalem company was established in 1872 originally in Santiago de Cuba. The company fled the country following the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and the Gran Reserva rum is now produced in the Dominican Republic.

59 ratings
Recommendable to most


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59 Matusalem Gran Reserva 18-Year ratings

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Posted over 3 years ago by frohikey from Czech Republic with 7 ratings

Nice one for sipping especially on rocks. It's not perfect but I appreciate it is an overall nice experience - not lacking in any of the rum aspects. And it kinda grows on me so I may rank it even higher later.

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Posted almost 6 years ago by Earl Elliott from Canada with 202 ratings

Sugar: 8 gpl. I had my doubts but they went away once this was in the glass. A very nice aroma of butterscotch, vanilla, and a hint of coconut and raisins. Oak is in the background aroma as well as the taste. Very smooth with a nice finish. Not harsh at all but just the right amount of heat. Nice sipping rum. I wouldn't mix this as I don't like too sweet a drink, but if you wanted to it would be a great drink.


Posted over 8 years ago by Remy Chevalier from United States with 34 ratings

Someone handed me a nip of this one the other day, thinking it was going to be something quite special. I wasn't thrown back by it, just a good standard rum.


Posted over 5 years ago by Rhum Man from United States with 8 ratings

I tasted this Matusalem and found it to be a textbook example of Cuban ron. I was very impressed with both the nose and lack of alcohol burn. The absence of alcohol burn was achieved without being sweet. Although not able to at the time, I imagine the Matusalem would go well with a Cuban cigar.


Posted 9 months ago by CaptainGreen (PREMIUM) from United States with 66 ratings

Aye, as sippin' rums go, this one be fairly decent. She not be a true 18 year-old tho. Trust the Captain on that [wink] She smells sweet with vanilla, caramel, oak, peppery spices, and just a hint of tobacco. As taste goes, she be a bit drier, not as sweet. The vanilla is still on board, but not so much for the caramel. There be a slight earthy bitterness about her, along with the peppery spices, oak, and a wee bit of tobacco from before. Still, she be fairly smooth and tasty with very little burn goin' down the hatch. Not terribly sweet, not terribly complex, not terribly honest about her age, but she still be a decent rum! arrrgh!


Posted almost 4 years ago by Beukeboom from United States with 305 ratings

Poured a little of this in my snifter and immediately noted a nice subtle vanilla scent. Very nice legs indicative by the rum clinging to the sides of the snifter after a good swirl. The color is a rich amber. The flavor supports the vanilla aroma and also has a pepperiness to it and a noticeable oakiness which I presume come from the barrels in which it is aged. It does have some sweetness to it that seems to be natural and not sugared (but that's just my opinion). Definitely a nice sipping rum which also could be effective as a mixer. This is a good, all-purpose rum but I think it is better suited for sipping.


Posted almost 4 years ago by Tom from United States with 230 ratings

Love this rum just as much as the other in the Matsulem line. Smooth, refreshing, crisp, complex falcons for the nose and palate. Not a bad price considering what your buying...a high class rum from the DR.
Please drink this neat or add an ice cube to evoke other flavors.
I have to try the 23 next.


Posted almost 5 years ago by Falcon91Wolvrn03 (PREMIUM) from United States with 472 ratings

Very similar to the Matusalem 15. Smells and tastes of oak, caramel, spice, with a touch of honey. The biggest difference is that the aftertaste isn't as harsh. Has a touch of sweetness, but still a bit on the dry side for my liking.


Posted 3 months ago by Herman (PREMIUM) from United States with 97 ratings

Was given as a present to me. I did smell the vanilla and slight caramel on the nose. Tasted somewhat light to me, with a clean finish and not much burn. Not too complex but overall a nice sipping rum.

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Posted 4 months ago by Traypark76 from Canada with 15 ratings

Good sipping rum , not too sweet decent price range


Posted 6 months ago by Mujuru from United States with 77 ratings

Nose: Maple Syrup, Chocolate, Oak, Vanilla, Butterscotch
Palate: Oak, Butterscotch, light smokiness, Maple Syrup, Cigar tobacco
Finish: Cigar tobacco, oak, Maple syrup

According to the website and other publicly available information, this rum is produced by one of the original Cuban rum families from Santiago de Cuba that fled the during the revolution. For a generation the family had stopped producing rum, until the grandson of the family picked up the family recipe and got back to work by picking a spot in the Dominican Republic with pretty much identical climate and soil conditions as Santiago de Cuba to restart the family tradition. What results is a phenomenal example of the original Cuban style even it is isn't produced on the island of Cuba.

To me this reminds me of a slightly more mellowed version of Zafra 21. It is excellent and easy to sip on. It is a drier and slightly more astringent rum with the oak, cigar tobacco, maple syrup playing prominently throughout, though these flavors are not quite as pronounced, nuanced, or comprehensive as they are in Zafra 21. Overall this is a very nice expression of the Cuban style which should be a mainstay in any serious rum drinkers cabinet.

On the nose you get Maple Syrup and Chocolate notes that remind me somewhat of Tootsie Rolls. You also get a pronounced aroma of oak with hints of vanilla which in turn mellows into butterscotch. These notes harmonize while remaining distinct and the overall nose is very enticing.

Taking a sip you get a flash of oak with notes of butterscotch underlayed by a smokiness that then fades into pronounced Maple Syrup and Cigar tobacco. Like many Cuban style rums, this would go excellently with a good cigar if you are into that. It almost seems to be tailor made to match the notes and flavors of a Cohiba cigar. Frankly, all on its own makes for a great experience.

The finish is dry starting with cigar tobacco and oakiness which eventually give way to lingering maple syrup and butterscotch. The after essence of maple syrup and butterscotch linger in your mouth for a long while though not as prominently as I might have wished. That said, it is quite a pleasant experience indeed. One outstanding aspect of this rum is that the more you sip, the more the notes build up which in turn make you want to drink more. This crescendo cycle is a hallmark of a great and dangerous rum.

Overall this is easily one of the better Spanish style rums I have had. If you like the Cuban rum profiles, which I do, this will become an easy repeat addition to your cabinet. It may not technically be from the Cuban island, but it's about the closest thing you can get to an excellent Cuban rum if you can't get actual Cuban rum. It has been mentioned elsewhere that it is extremely similar to Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros. I have not had that rum yet, but my tasting notes for this rum mirror the tasting notes I have read from that rum almost to the letter with the Tobacco, Maple Syrup, Oak, and Butterscotch combination.

If you are American and you want a great example of Cuban rum and you can't get actual Cuban rum, this is an easy stand in. Zafra 21 has the same profile as this rum and is slightly more expressive so I will likely reach for that over this one... but that is also a much bolder and also more intense rum, not to mention more expensive. Given the lower price point of this rum I have no qualms mixing with this even if it serves best as a sipping rum.

If you want to introduce someone to Cuban rum, but can't get actual Cuban rum (because of the stupid embargo), this is a great place to start.

Nose: 8
Palate: 7
Aftertaste: 6
Smoothness: 7
Versatility: 9
Price: 9

Total: 7.6