BARRIO – While you may not realize it, the Dominican Republic’s Ron Brugal the most popular rum brand within the Caribbean.
That’s not exactly a surprise, given that it’s the number one seller by far in the Dominican Republic, the third-largest country in the Caribbean.
And it is rather ubiquitous in the rest of the region — even in local bars that don’t have rums outside of their own islands, you’ll often find a bottle of Añejo sitting on the corner of the shelf.
Outside of the Dominican Republic, though, the range is a bit limited.
There’s the white, the aforementioned Añejo, and the de facto flagship, the Brugal 1888. The 1888 is a blend (the company doesn’t specify the aging) that’s aged first in ex-bourbon and then in ex-sherry casks.
That brings us to the newest rum fro Brugal: the Leyenda Fifth Anniversary Edition.
The first Leyenda debuted five years ago as a special edition, notable for its double aging in bourbon and sherry casks.
The new Fifth Anniversary edition is also a blend: according to Brugal, that means a blend of rums aged two to five years in ex-bourbon, and rums aged four to six years in ex-Sherry barrels.
So what is it like?
The aroma is marked by notes of sherry, brown sugar, candied apricot and a hint of fennel.
The flavor profile is marked by citrus peel, oak, tropical fruit and even a hint of maraschino cherry.
There’s the unmistakable dry finish that marks all Brugal, but it’s a bit more understated, more elegant.
Interestingly, it’s bottled at just 38 degrees, a bit of a rarity in the premium rum world; but it’s got some welcome boldness on the edges, a warm glow that adds to what is a very balanced, drinkable rum.
It’s a very good rum, one that’s a perfect way to cap off a long dinner with friends, and enough boldness to enjoy with a fine cigar — a perfect cigar pairing for replacement for a cigar you might traditionally pair with a glass of port.