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I originally bought this to be a gold mixing rum as I was getting low. The reviews were pretty good, so I bought the rum. Did a taste testing with my other mixing golds, and this is far superior to them. I also did a taste testing to my sipping rums. While it was not a smooth, it was one I could do an evening supping over ice.
I though this one might be nice and I was not disappointed. Not sure why it hasn't gotten higher ratings. I like the taste and it' pretty smooth. I paid more than some other raters but it still was reasonable. If I could get nothing else for the rest of my life i would be happy.
Great aged flavor for every day. Nicely balanced and deep richness. Good for sipping on the rocks. Very good price. Not a 9, but a solid 8
After having just tried Old Brigand Black Label, also from Barbados, this one falls several rankings below. It still rates as a 7, but is in a crowded field in my rankings with Don Q Anejo and Flor de Cana 5 Year Anejo. It is a mixer, but can marginally pass as a sipper. Nothing offensive, but nothing memorable either. I don't regret buying this one, but probably not again, with too much competition and others being much more readily available. It also has no added sugar.
Update 02 SEP 2020: This rum has finally passed up my former cheap favorite of Old Brigand, which has also really sunk down in my ratings. This one is still a very good budget rum. It has now risen about Doorly's XO as my favorite Bajan rum that is still readily available. This is one of the very few rums that have improved in my likings over the years.
Total Wine and Spirits had this rum available for $21.99. Advertised with a 93 rating from the Beverage Testing Institute and 4.5 stars from customers. As a fan of Barbados rums I thought I'd give 896 a try. It's very good for the price, but as others have said here it's more of a mixer than a sipper. Expected a little more complexity for an 8 year rum.
A Great rum for mixing in coke or some ginger beer; brings out a lot of the flavor. It just isn't the best for sipping straight.
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