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I'm surprised to be the first to review this, as it seems easy to find at Total Wines & More in the S.F. Bay Area (7 Total Wines & More stores in the Bay Area have it in stock as of this review).
What really stood out to me about this rum is how smooth and easy drinking it is compared to other rums at a similar price point and abv. And I prefer the taste to other Panama giants like Panamonte Reserva XXV, and Zafra Master Reserve 30-Year.
Smells and tastes of caramel, brown sugar, spice, oak, raisins, toffee, and vanilla. This is a really good rum - I highly recommend it!
Ready to dig into this dark skinned Beauty! Initially I saw this read about it and shrugged it off as another celebrity spirit, until I heard it’s from Don Pancho Panama who makes some of my favorite rums. Very dark brown in the glass something I like, very faint mild scent not getting an alcohol burn. Sweet liquid nectar with a very smooth lingering finish neat, which I suggest as how to drink. I thought I tasted a hint of port but don’t know if it had a second aging. Unusual and attractive bottle, looks first class for the $100 plus’s cost. I think it is similar to Zafra, better than 21, but just a notch below 30, but very damn good. Second tasting with a small square cube, which is what I use these days, I have an ice ball maker but with such a large ice ball I find it dilutes my great rums too fast. Just as I expected still taste great with one cube but dilutes the longer lingering finish down some. Best served neat, great full bodied rum.
When this rum first appeared on the market more than a year ago, I came close to driving about 400 miles to pick up my bottle in Texas. Instead I waited until it came close to me. It can now be found at 3 Total Wine stores fairly close to me, and I bought the only bottle from the closest store just as they opened this morning. And lucky me saw that it was priced only one penny below my $150 limit per bottle.
What is the appeal for me in this rum? One word, Don Pancho. Ask me who makes the best rum in the Caribbean and I will answer Don Pancho without hesitation. This line of Selvarey rums is partially owned by pop star Bruno Mars. His team took two years searching for the perfect rum that they could bottle and be proud to put their brand name upon. Heck, had he asked me, I could have saved him two years by telling him to go to Panama and meet up with Don Pancho. That Maestro Ronero is a living legend and his story is too long for this review.
The back of the gift box states, "From the owner's private collection". Gift boxes are always excuses to jack up the price. I am now wondering if Bruno told Don Pancho what he wanted in this 15-25 year blend or that he just picked from Don Pancho's best rums. I am sure that Bruno has a few casks of this one.
So what do I think of this one? It is now good enough for me to rank it as my overall best rum tried in almost five years. I seriously doubt that I will find another rum that I like better! Don't ask me about the tasting notes, since I am terrible with those. It is rich and super smooth with no after burn. Absolute perfection!!!
The shape of the bottle has finally dawned on me that it is not just for looks. Most rums will have a large surface area exposed to air after the first pour. Not this one. As one pours some every now and then, the surface area gradually gets larger. By the time one gets near the bottom of this bottle, the surface area is still smaller than those of most other bottles. This is a brilliant design that minimizes the deterioration of taste, even though this one is too tall to fit on my regular shelf.
A rum above all. SO yummy and complex. A perfect balance. Did a blind taste test with this and Zacapa XO. All of us picked Selvarey. And the box and bottle are the best looking bottle on my back bar. Super impressive.
Interesting rum. Deep aromas of darker fruit, some smoke, a mapley oak. Tastes great with little bite, some smoke and finishes quickly on the palate. It isn't heavy or syrupy.
This is a very good rum. Slightly better than Zafra Master 30. Falcon 91’s flavor notes are spot on. It is a smooth sipper with great nose and finish. The bottle and box are show stoppers. Found under lock and key at my local store in Mandeville, LA. Paid $150 But it was a ten minute drive. Will acquire some more.
Wow! I’m blown away this rum doesn’t cost more! Worth the price and perfect sipper!
I'm new to rum, so I'm not sure what constitutes a 10, but this came close. Its sweet, but not overly, and has a velvety mouthfeel that I've only found similar in Opthimus 25. But, I've only tried a couple dozen rums, so take that into account as well. Like Paul B, I have trouble describing the flavor in words (and to be honest when I read a review that lists 8 or 10 different flavors that were supposedly perceived, I tend to not believe it anyway) so I'll have to do my best without comparing it to other flavors.
The richness of flavors and feel on the palate is what sets this apart from all the other rums I've tried, but I have to say that Opthimus 25 came very close for a lot less money. At $150 vs. $90 I'd probably say that dollar for dollar I find the Opthimus to be a better value, but the SelvaRey was overall the better rum.
Another thing Paul B. had mentioned was the bottle shape minimizing the effect of oxidation due to the surface area increasing at a slower rate as the contents are consumed. It seemed to me that my bottle of Opthimus 25 got a little bit richer as it got older, but the SelvaRey didn't, and it may have even lost a little richness. Not sure how to quantify that, but I had both bottles open over a similar time and that's the way it seemed to progress to me. It might have to do with the fact that there's a lot of added sugar in the Opthimus, IDK.
Bottom line for me, I bought another bottle of Opthimus 25, and this will likely be the only purchase of SelvaRey for me. I switched to rum from whisky because I was tired of paying over $100 to get anything decent, so I'm trying to avoid going over $100 for a bottle of rum for now unless something totally knocks my socks off. SelvaRey was a very fine bottle of rum, but wasn't substantially better than the Opthimus to justify the extra $60 in my mind, and its harder to find than Opthimus as well.
Gal Gadot, Salma Hayek, Cameron Diaz, Ingrid Bergman (back in the day) have in common with SelvaRey Owners Reserve. They are all 10's. Okay so it is not fair to compare beautiful women with rum but they are not your run of the mill women and this sure isn't your run of the mill rum. Sweet, fruity with cocoa notes. Smooth. Did a blind taste with Zafra 21 (which I rated as a 9 and continue to stick by that) and this beat it, but not by much. This is not a dry semi sweet bajan rum from MG or four square so p!ease if you are going to spend the money know what you are buying. I just do not want anyone to be disappointed. This is a fruity, sweet, cocoa tasting rum. If you know what you are getting into then it is fantastic.
This IS tremendous rum. One of the best 3 or 4 I have ever tasted. I love Panamanian and this is absolutely superb. Beautiful color. Nice, rich nose. Cocoa up front with vanilla notes. BIG flavor. The best component is the bite. A burst on the palate and then an amazing and immediate softness. This is the best punch I have ever experienced. It is magical. An absolute triumph for this distillery. However, as great as it truly is it has a couple of competitors. The finish is lovely but definitely not as long and smooth as Malecon Esplendida or E Leon Jimenez. Besides, to give this a 10 is to say I will never taste better. As good as it is I just can’t do that. But try this. Worth every penny.
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Good, but not worth the price 8 out of 10
I’ve enjoyed this rum so far, but not enough to justify the cost for another bottle. There are other rums I would rather spend my time hunting and paying for. That being said, this is a very pleasant sipper. Very smooth and mild. I found the nose to be slightly sweet with banana, toffee, vanilla, and creme brûlée (I had my wife verify in case I was losing my mind on that last one). The initial taste is very mild with chocolate, maybe a hint of nutmeg, and bread. The finish was oak, tobacco, dark chocolate and coffee.