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United States | Aged | 47.5% ABV
Rum enthusiasts will appreciate the Oxbow Estate Barrel Aged Straight as a smooth and pleasantly complex spirit. This rum is distilled from fermented sugarcane juice and carefully aged for several years in oak barrels, resulting in a rich amber color, a subtle smoke aroma, and a palate of caramel, vanilla, and tropical fruit notes. Its high-quality craftsmanship and balanced flavor profile make it a perfect sipping rum or a key ingredient in cocktails that require a more refined and sophisticated spirit.
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I tried it on a tour of the distillery in early 2023. The aginig had not taken it too far from the Small Batch White Rum, which is to say it was fine for mixing but not especially flavourful for sipping.
Sipped and was unimpressed. No depth, real good flavor and a little harsh bite. But it is so much better than others in this age and price range. Then I tried it in a couple of cocktails. Good stuff. Better than average. Way better than Bacardi.
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Surprisingly good! 7 out of 10
Being that this rum is only aged for a minimum of two years in new oak barrels, I had my doubts before plunking down $40 US for my bottle. How they manage to beat the pants off of most releases from Foursquare ECS rums is beyond me. Since there is no char to their barrels here, don't expect any bourbon notes, which I hate. This one has a really unique taste that I cannot put my finger on. It has no additives of any kind. The sugar cane is grown on their estate to create their finest molasses. It is bottled at 95 Proof. This one is best served on the rocks.
On my third pour, the plastic top became permanently separated from the cork, which I had to remove with a nutcracker. I was tempted to dock it one point, but I have an endless supply of backup corks for episodes like this. One of them finally fit.
Update November 30, 2022: I almost downgraded this rum to my rating of 6 because the flavors are too strong, even on the rocks. Then as usual when I get to the bottom of bottles that I am tired of looking at, I pour whatever remains into my mixer bottle of various different cheap rums. Well, when I used this mixer rum to make a rum & cola today, it finally dawned on me that this is a "seasoning rum" like the most popular DRE on this site, except that this one has no added sugar. Just like a good chef knows how to use seasonings to enhance dishes, this rum should only be used for seasoning and never as a main ingredient. It put my rum & cola over the top! My 7 rating remains.