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Matusalem Gran Reserva 18-Year rum

Matusalem Gran Reserva 18-Year

Dominican Republic | Aged | 40% ABV

Matusalem Gran Reserva Rum is produced using a combination of rums aged on average 15 years and distilled from molasses using the solera process.

The Matusalem company was established in 1872 originally in Santiago de Cuba. The company fled the country following the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and the Gran Reserva rum is now produced in the Dominican Republic.

7.5/10
70 ratings
Recommendable to most
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70 Matusalem Gran Reserva 18-Year Ratings

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Traypark76 🇨🇦 | 15 ratings
Posted over 3 years ago

Good sipping rum , not too sweet decent price range

Mujuru 🇺🇸 | 155 ratings
Posted over 3 years ago

Nose: Maple Syrup, Chocolate, Oak, Vanilla, Butterscotch
Palate: Oak, Butterscotch, light smokiness, Maple Syrup, Cigar tobacco
Finish: Cigar tobacco, oak, Maple syrup

According to the website and other publicly available information, this rum is produced by one of the original Cuban rum families from Santiago de Cuba that fled the during the revolution. For a generation the family had stopped producing rum, until the grandson of the family picked up the family recipe and got back to work by picking a spot in the Dominican Republic with pretty much identical climate and soil conditions as Santiago de Cuba to restart the family tradition. What results is a phenomenal example of the original Cuban style even it is isn't produced on the island of Cuba.

To me this reminds me of a slightly more mellowed version of Zafra 21. It is excellent and easy to sip on. It is a drier and slightly more astringent rum with the oak, cigar tobacco, maple syrup playing prominently throughout, though these flavors are not quite as pronounced, nuanced, or comprehensive as they are in Zafra 21. Overall this is a very nice expression of the Cuban style which should be a mainstay in any serious rum drinkers cabinet.

On the nose you get Maple Syrup and Chocolate notes that remind me somewhat of Tootsie Rolls. You also get a pronounced aroma of oak with hints of vanilla which in turn mellows into butterscotch. These notes harmonize while remaining distinct and the overall nose is very enticing.

Taking a sip you get a flash of oak with notes of butterscotch underlayed by a smokiness that then fades into pronounced Maple Syrup and Cigar tobacco. Like many Cuban style rums, this would go excellently with a good cigar if you are into that. It almost seems to be tailor made to match the notes and flavors of a Cohiba cigar. Frankly, all on its own makes for a great experience.

The finish is dry starting with cigar tobacco and oakiness which eventually give way to lingering maple syrup and butterscotch. The after essence of maple syrup and butterscotch linger in your mouth for a long while though not as prominently as I might have wished. That said, it is quite a pleasant experience indeed. One outstanding aspect of this rum is that the more you sip, the more the notes build up which in turn make you want to drink more. This crescendo cycle is a hallmark of a great and dangerous rum.

Overall this is easily one of the better Spanish style rums I have had. If you like the Cuban rum profiles, which I do, this will become an easy repeat addition to your cabinet. It may not technically be from the Cuban island, but it's about the closest thing you can get to an excellent Cuban rum if you can't get actual Cuban rum. It has been mentioned elsewhere that it is extremely similar to Havana Club Seleccion de Maestros. I have not had that rum yet, but my tasting notes for this rum mirror the tasting notes I have read from that rum almost to the letter with the Tobacco, Maple Syrup, Oak, and Butterscotch combination.

If you are American and you want a great example of Cuban rum and you can't get actual Cuban rum, this is an easy stand in. Zafra 21 has the same profile as this rum and is slightly more expressive so I will likely reach for that over this one... but that is also a much bolder and also more intense rum, not to mention more expensive. Given the lower price point of this rum I have no qualms mixing with this even if it serves best as a sipping rum.

If you want to introduce someone to Cuban rum, but can't get actual Cuban rum (because of the stupid embargo), this is a great place to start.

Nose: 8
Palate: 7
Aftertaste: 6
Smoothness: 7
Versatility: 9
Price: 9

Total: 7.6

keithfoster00 🇨🇦 | 18 ratings
Posted almost 4 years ago

Nice sweet smell without being too sugary. Silky feeling on the tongue.

Reiwa 🇯🇵 | 142 ratings
Posted almost 4 years ago

I think this 18 year is the best of Matusalem brothres.
Typically Cuban style, has the light body and nice vanilla flavor.

Andrewofcalgary 🇨🇦 | 292 ratings
Posted almost 4 years ago

Sweet rum, with maple and butterscotch flavours. Smooth and sweet like a butter pecan tart.

JosephCharles 🇨🇦 | 54 ratings
Posted 4 years ago

Au nez, vanille et mélasse, banane et orange.
En bouche, des notes boisées, fruitées avec des touches de vanille et de café.
La finale est assez longue sur les agrumes et la vanille.

Neman3 (PREMIUM) 🇨🇦 | 297 ratings
Posted 4 years ago

Tonight it's Matusalem vs Fortress. Cuban classic vs Canadian innovations.
60$ vs 50$.
First touch - Mat 8 : 7 Fort
More detailed round - Mat 7 : 6 Fort
Nirvana state - 8 : 6.5

Pollux 🇨🇦 | 269 ratings
Posted over 4 years ago

Plus doux que le 15 ans, moins bon que le 23 ans. très bon rapport qualité/prix pour un rhum de dégustation.

Mo McGurk 🇺🇸 | 270 ratings
Posted over 4 years ago

Less impressive than I would have hoped. It was decent straight with only a little after-burn initially. Slightly sweet flavor. Mixed it was non-descript. A 6.5 on my scale.

Bstayer 🇺🇸 | 10 ratings
Posted over 4 years ago

First time sipping, seemed a little bitter. Tried it a few weeks later and got a lot better. Needs to be on ice.




Brand Details

Type: Aged
Company: Matusalem
Country: Dominican Republic
ABV: 40%
Name: Gran Reserva 18-Year
Years Aged: 18
Raw Material: Unknown
Process: Unknown
Distillation: Unknown
Women Led: No
1. Total Wine
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