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Easily consumable in a bind
Although listed here as "Villa Rica 23-Year" there is nothing on the bottle indicating the "23" is indicating years aging. All it says is "23 years" and "superior aged rum". Ambiguous. I hope some day there will be standards for labeling rum. The tag attached to the label doesn't clear things up. In part it reads "created with distilled sugar cane juice and aged since the 20th century in ancient European white oak toasted barrels". I want to know what they consider "ancient". Did they dig up the barrels at some archaeological site in France or Britain? The tag also reveals it originates from Veracruz, Mexico. My bottle was identified (handwritten) as "Bottle: 128/240 Barrel No. VR49". The bottle is rather elegant. Tall and slender...a little taller than typical rum bottles with gold leaf lettering.
The rum itself is a nice amber color and has a sweet, fruity aroma in the snifter. The flavor starts off sweet which is unusual for rum made from cane juice...I expected something a little drier...which makes me wonder if this rum has been sugared and by how much. I get hints of prunes and raisins in the flavor along with a bit of pepperiness and a decent burn which fades swiftly leaving a drier finish but lingering raisin flavor remains. The oak barrels have imparted their flavor in the rum giving it a slight bitterness from the tannins.
I have to disagree with some of the reviewers saying it's a terrible rum. It's not. It's a fairly decent rum that seems to have been sugared somewhat apparently to ease some of the harshness. It doesn't have the character nor smoothness of a rum aged for 23-years in single oak barrels so I am of the opinion the labeling is misleading. I would expect a legitimate 23-year-old single-barrel rum would be far more expensive than the $30 USD I paid.
It's not as smooth of a rum as one would expect from an aged rum but it's not overly harsh either. It's on the borderline of sipper/mixer. Personally I would prefer it as a mixer rather than a sipper but I can see it being enjoyed by some neat or on the rocks. Definitely worth a try. Don't let the very negative reviews here keep you from at least trying it. I've had some incredibly bad rums (see my reviews at the "1" level for examples) but this is far from being one of them.
I've been a fan of aged rums and tried many. This is the worst one ever! It was so bad it was exciting. Just like daring a friend to taste something so bad it's traumatic.
Smell: Burned chemical treated wood
Taste: Charcoal, soot, and aged shoe leather
Aftertaste: Yeah, the shoe leather taste lingers just for fun!
This is a smooth rum made with sugar cane juice in charred oak barrels. It's got a nice array of enticing notes that work together well. Leather, tobacco, vanilla, chocolate and dried fruit. Rather dry rum that goes down nicely with little heat. Another rum which is a staple at Total Wine and More stores.
Enjoyed straight or mixed...price is about $40
As of this review, this rum has an even mix of ratings between a 1 and a 10. I find this rum to be decent, but different from other rums.
Somewhat sweet with vanilla, but also has charred oak, leather, tobacco, chocolate and a touch of pepper. It's unique, and I can see why the scores are so varied. I expect this rum to get a lot more very high and very low scores. I'm in the middle on this.
Next to blackmask.. worst rum I have tasted. A waste of caloric intake and a sad day for rum. Almost threw it away like black mask rum..
Mahogany color with amber glints and golden glints. Clean, crystalline, shiny, of strong body and slow drip. Interesting on the nose where the aroma of the barrel predominates. Then delicate notes of vanilla, almond and hazelnut. Fine touches of chocolate, coffee and tobacco, decorated with fine notes of caramel.
Taste: Congruence between aroma and flavor, balance between acidity and alcoholic grade, of kind character and refined to the palate.
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