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Any rating lower than a 9 for this rum is nonsense! It's a godsend...and King of the Agricoles!
Oak, vanilla, and caramel are the dominant flavors with hints of brown sugar, molasses and maple syrup. The nose is almost candy-like. It finishes like silk, smooth and luxurious with no bite at all and with a pleasant tobacco note. This is not a hot or spicy rum and despite its 23 years in a barrel the conspicuous tobacco note is not burnt or foul tasting, more like a very well maintained high quality cigar. It has a deep cherry wood color and a thick, rich body that sticks to the glass. This rum needs to breathe a bit before drinking, I say at least a half hour. The next day I chilled it in my freezer and it was amazing, more candy like.
This is a sipping rum and I know its not the smartest thing to do with a rum such as this but if you add it to Coke you'll have Vanilla Coke with a kick! I'll be buying this rum again next week... I'm glad to have taken this one off my wish list. For $42 a bottle this rum is actually under priced!
Edit: I've always said the best way to really get into a rum and discover its character is to get hammered off of it! I did that this weekend. I woke up and there was that beautiful tobacco note lingering in my nose and the taste of vanilla beans in my mouth. Then, three hours and two Gatorades later I got out of bed. Yes, this is a very fine rum...but it delivers a crippling hangover! Play with caution.
This is a delicious rum from start to finish. Somewhat sweet with nice butterscotch tones to it. Does make my tongue tingle. This has joined Vizcaya VXOP & Plantation XO 20th Anniversary as my official sipping rums. I place this third in line because although I would be hesitant to use this in Coke Zero or as a mixer, the butterscotch and toffee undertones would really be an asset. So consider this a hugely delicious versatile rum.
Sugar: 2 to 5 gpl. The 23 year old is sweeter, more complex and is a darker tone of mahogany than the 12 year old. The 23 has a lot more aroma and taste with a much longer finish. You can tell from the smell and taste that is has spent a lot more time in the barrel. Molasses, pecans, caramel, vanilla, and plums or apricots, are tastes and smells that I found. The surprising thing is that the 23 year old is just a few dollars more than the 12 year old, but. Skip the 12 year old and go for the 18 or the 23 year old version.
I was super impressed by the Kirk & Sweeney 12 Year Rum, so I bought their 18 and 23 year rums. Those are even better! What's more impressive is that they are both primarily based on sugarcane (agricole), which I've never cared that much for before these. The 18 is pretty close to the 23 in taste; in fact they're almost equal. The 18 is just a bit sweeter, while the 23 tastes just a bit more aged (much like the difference between the El Dorado 15 and 21). I like both sweet and aged, so I'm torn between the two. I'll give the 18 a very slight edge over the 23, just like I give the ED 15 a very slight edge over the ED21. But I definitely believe they are both very good. Vanilla, sugarcane, caramel, nutmeg, oak, and just a hint of sherry. The nose is incredible. You've GOT to try these!
This is a Grandmaster rum, more akin to a fine bourbon. Very, very smooth with clean aftertaste. There is only a slight caramel note and a very slight oak note. No burn. No bitterness.
I became a big fan of the K and S 12 year recently. The 23 year has everything I like about the 12 year... except better! Same dark caramel color. A tad sweeter. But, the same velvety smoothness that makes it dangerously drinkable. This has easily become one of my favorites. Beware and enjoy!
For a $50 bottle of 23 year aged rum with an 8.4 rating I popped the cork on the neat looking bottle expecting greatness. The aromas came across as simple and underwhelming but that did not mean much because first aroma isn’t indicative of full taste. Alas when I took a sip the taste was the same as the aroma. I have since gone back for a second visit and the experience is the same. Compared to the sea of rums, it is not terrible and it is definitely drinkable, but it has nowhere near the complexity or smoothness demanded of an 8.4 rating. Zafra, Plantation XO, and Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva are all far, far superior in the same price range. I even find Barcelo Imperial superior to this...and that just should not be happening with a $50 bottle of 23 year aged rum.
*Update August 2020* This rum definitely doesn't come close to the good sipping rums in my cabinet, and so I have been using it to mix with. It is a great mixing rum that adds a nice round caramel taste to whatever you are making. For example, it is excellent in a Painkiller and adds a nice bit of character to that drink. Still...I am not about to drop $50 again for a mixing rum when there are other rums just as good to mix with for 1/3 the price.
Looking at older reviews, I am beginning to suspect that they may have gone "Zaya" and changed the process with this rum, but that's only a guess reading other's tasting notes and comparing them to mine.
Ce rhum est vraiment cher a l'achat au Quebec, acheté a l extérieur du pays. Ce rhum vraiment est excellent. Meilleur que le 18 et le 12 ans oui, mais la différence pour le prix ne vaut pas la peine. Meme si je ne suis pas un fan des rhums agricoles celui-ci surpasse mes attentes. Il est bien balancé et complexe. Il goûte le caramel, miel, amande et vanille. Il est complexe et long en bouche. On ne goûte pas trop le chêne comme son frère 12 ans.
K&S 23 is my absolute favorite rum so far. You won't find anything as deliciously complex at this price point (~$55). I'm traditionally a bourbon drinker, but this bottle called to me one day and opened up another world. Toffee, oak, tobacco, dried fruits, caramel, mild spice...it's got it all. The finish is long and velvety smooth and leaves a smile on your face every time. No ice, no water, and definitely no mixer needed. The following rums are comparable in price point but no where near as good: Zafra 21, El Dorado 15, Ron Zacapa 23, Brugal 1888, Rhum Barbancourt 15, Flor de Caña 18, and a bunch of unforgettables.
Try to get a well lit shot from the front of the rum label
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