Aged Rum 2012
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Best Aged Rum - 2012

The Fifty Best Aged Rum Tasting 2012

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 30 aged rums from 14 countries with 17 pre-qualified judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the rums were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and bar snacks were available to cleanse the palate. The judges tasted through four flights of 7 rums and one flight of 2 rums. Food was served during a break between the third and fourth flights.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges.

The tasting notes which follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions. The countries of origin are identified for each brand.

 

Here are the final results:

 

Zaya 12 yr.

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

1. Zaya 12 -
(Trinidad & Tobago)

Nose: Rich, baked sugar, molasses, toffee, vanilla cake, buttery, chocolate, fudge, almonds, walnut, cola notes, sherry. Palate: Molasses, brown sugar, sweet cane, buttery, chocolate fudge, caramel, vanilla, dried fruit, hazelnut, coconut, perfectly balanced, delicious. Finish: Soft, gentle, clean, easy, smooth, very balanced, mellow, great.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



2. Dictador 20-
(Colombia)

Nose: Dried fruit, cola, sweet, honey, maple syrup, molasses, dark muscovado, sugar cane, vanilla, creamy. Palate: Brown sugar, burnt maple, butterscotch, molasses, walnut, dried fruit, chocolate, cola, buttery, very smooth, balanced, outstanding. Finish: Woody, spice, smooth, easy, well balanced, lingering.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Dictador 20 yr.


Pusser's 15 yr.



3. Two-Way Tie -
Pusser's 15 -
(Tortola, B.V.I.)

Nose: Bourbon-like, vanilla, treacle, nutmeg, spice, green fruit, pine, oak. Palate: Sherry cask, raisin, prune, apricot, caramel, mollases, spice, woody, oak, well balanced. Finish: Prune, buttery, sweet, wood, oak, very clean, soft, perfectly balanced.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Ron Zacapa 23 yr. -
(Guatemala)

Nose: Caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, honey, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, pineapple, herbal. Palate: Vanilla, prune, raisin, cane sugar, treacle, soft cola, vanilla, walnut, toast, hay, flowers, sour mash, woody, nice, smooth, light, balanced, flavorful, like a summer day, elegant. Finish: Creamy, spicy, sherry, crisp, gentle, soft, short.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Ron Zacapa 23 yr.


Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva



4. Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva -
(Venezuela)

Nose: Tropical fruit, clotted cream, buttery, caramel, vanilla, light maple, coconut, nutty. Palate: Tropical fruit, banana, honey, caramel, caramelized sugar, vanilla, nutty, tobacco, sweet, smooth, well balanced, amazing. Finish: Caramel, soft, spicy, silky, smooth, delightful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



5. Vizcaya VXOP -
(Dominican Republic)



Nose: Subtle, lightly fruity, creamy, vanilla, almonds, light cane, blossom, soft. Palate: Rich caramel, butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, dried fruit, apricots, orange, mango, grass, coffee, wood, oak, spice, creamy, silky. Finish: Rich cola, burnt molasses, tropical fruit, spice, well balanced, soft, smooth.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Vizcaya VXOP


Clarke’s Court Old Grog

GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Clarke’s Court Old Grog -
(Grenada)

Nose: Ripe fruits, banana, coconut, dried fruit, sugary, bubble gum, citrus. Palate: Tropical fruit, banana, pineapple, creamy, caramel, cane, cinnamon, floral, smooth, mellow. Finish: Ripe fruit, woody, spicy, soft, subtle.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Gosling’s Black Seal
-
(Bermuda)

Nose: Ripe bananas, cola, cinnamon notes, toffee, spicy, gardenia, blossom, light herbal. Palate: Banana, dates, molasses, sugar cane, maple, ginger, nutmeg, mint, nutty, woody, smoky, robust, dense, very smooth, well balanced, well crafted. Finish: Some spice, nutmeg, banana leaf, tea, brown sugar, smooth, gentle, very clean, woody.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Gosling’s Black Seal


Bohemio 15 yr.



Bohemio 15 -
(Panama)

Nose: Fruity, vanilla, molasses, sweet corn, floral, rich, soft, light. Palate: Dried fruit, fruity, caramel, molasses, dark sugar, honey Graham, clove, cinnamon, spices, medium spicy, nutty, tobacco, oak, fantastic. Finish: Burnt orange, peppery, spicy, silky, creamy, mead-like, light, crisp, smooth, mellow.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Dzama Rhum Cuvee Noire Prestige 3 yr. -
(Madagascar)

Nose: Dried orange, butterscotch, caramel, molasses, honey, vanilla, chocolate-covered pretzel, round. Palate: Caramel, toffee, honey, vanilla, honey Graham, creamy, hazelnut, coffee, milk chocolate, silky, sweet, leather. Finish: Buttery, toasted honey, light, creamy, smooth, mellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Dzama Rhum Cuvee Noire Prestige 3 yr.


Clarke’s Court #37



Clarke’s Court #37 -
(Grenada)

Nose: Dried fruit, fruity, banana, coconut, fresh figs, nutmeg, woody, toast, light. Palate: Peach, apricot, banana cream pie, mango, pear, melon, caramel, molasses, toffee, barley, pepper, exceptional. Finish: Citrusy, cinnamon, spicy, woody, smooth, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Havana Club Añejo Reserva -
(Cuba)

Nose: Banana, strawberry, vanilla, citrus, nutty, dried fruit, spice, light, subtle. Palate: Hazelnut, almond, buttery, toffee, perfect touch of honey, vanilla, sherry, woody, soft, gentle, smooth, complex, balanced, nice, great. Finish: Apple & honey, good caramel, pepper, light, easy, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Havana Club Añejo Reserva


Ron Zacapa XO



Ron Zacapa XO -
(Guatemala)

Nose: Caramel, banana cream, oaky, herbal, grassy, light wheat, citrus, light, crisp. Palate: Molasses, toffee, dates, raisins, toast, coffee with milk, allspice, eucalyptus, wood notes, well balanced, exceptionally smooth. Finish: Fruitcake, peppery, clean, mellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ron Carupano Añejo -
(Venezuela)

Nose: Dried fruit, green leaves, unripe fruit, honey, caramel, toffee, treacle, butterscotch, sherry. Palate: Butterscotch, caramel, maple, honey, molasses, tropical fruit, coconut, herbal, peppery, sherry cask, smoky, soft, smooth, nuanced. Finish: Toffee, clean, fresh, light, easy, gentle, nicely balanced, mellow.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ron Carupano Añejo


Don Q Gran Añejo



Don Q Gran Añejo -
(Puerto Rico)

Nose: Floral, vanilla, faint honey, toffee, coconut, sweet, citrus. Palate: Buttery, vanilla, caramel, molasses, banana, licorice, spicy, woody, well balanced, complex, very good. Finish: Creamy, vanilla notes, peppery, spice, smooth as silk.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Gosling’s Gold -
(Bermuda)

Nose: Hazelnuts, caramel, toffee, herbal, flowery, lemon grass, spring-like. Palate: Dried apricots, citrus, caramel, buttery, toffee, cane sugar, vanilla, coffee, espresso, nutty, peppery, spice, well balanced, solid, well rounded, what a fine rum should be. Finish: Soft, spicy, smooth, balanced.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Gosling’s Gold


South Sea



South Sea -
(Australia)

Nose: Tropical fruit, ripe bananas, coconut, citrus, lemon, molasses, treacle, vanilla, flowery, mint, nutty, Graham cracker, toasty, bold. Palate: Strawberry, sherry, woody, tree bark, eucalyptus, flowers, toast, coconut, almond, caramel, creamy, acidic, well balanced, smooth, pleasant. Finish: Woody character, spicy, peppery, toffee, cereal, soft, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Bohemio 8 yr. -
(Panama)

Nose: Brown sugar, pure cane, caramel, toffee, fruit, nutmeg, thistle, nice. Palate: Apricot, treacle, buttery, barley, corn, molasses, peppery, flowers, light, soft, smooth, golden. Finish: Spicy, gentle, soft, smooth, nice, lingering.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Bohemio 8 yr.


Dictador 12 yr.



Dictador 12 yr. -
(Colombia)

Nose: Creamy coconut, pineapple, dark fruit, cane, sweet, maple syrup, vanilla, subtle spice. Palate: Caramel, butterscotch, Graham cracker, cola, prune, fruit, malt, coffee, clove, peppery, spice, oak, well balanced. Finish: Rich, deep caramel, raisin, black pepper, gentle spice.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Pusser's 3 yr. -
(Tortola, B.V.I.)

Nose: Maple, banana, dried fruit, caramel , toffee, butterscotch, honey, brown sugar, dark muscovado, black walnut, spice, sweet cane, soft. Palate: Banana, pineapple, Christmas dried fruit, raisins, hazelnut, honey, vanilla, caramel, toffee, creamy, buttery, nutty, cinnamon, allspice, quite nice. Finish: Soft, round, balanced, oak, spicy, molasses, sweet wood.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Pusser's 3 yr.


Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum



Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum -
(Bermuda)

Nose: Raisin, prune, buttery, molasses, caramel, sherry, cola, soft. Palate: Toffee, molasses, honey, buttery, creamy, fruit cake spices, cinnamon, orange, ginger, clove, nutmeg, wood notes, rich, nicely balanced, very enjoyable. Finish: Dried dark fruits, rum cake, spice, oaky, dry.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Pyrat -
(Various Caribbean)

Nose: Sweet candy, strawberry licorice, raspberry candy, fruity, apricot, honey, citrus. Palate: Molasses, demerara sugar, sweet candy, cola, orange, orange marmalade, tangerine, apricot, cherry, cinnamon, chocolate, hot spice, hot anise. Finish: Ripe banana, lemon, creamy fruit, sweet, clove, soft, round.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Pyrat


Carupano Legendario



Carupano Legendario -
(Venezuela)

Nose: Brown sugar, light banana, sweet, cane, maple, caramel, bubble gum. Palate: Dried fruit, apricot, marzipan, butterscotch, salty caramel, dried coconut, rose, barrel wood, smoky, nutty, creamy, soft, balanced, really nice. Finish: Soft, gentle, smooth, light pepper, long.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS:

Bohemio 3 yr. -
(Panama)

Nose: Faint herbs, green apple, very light, sweet, butterscotch. Palate: Vanilla, sugar cane, cola notes, plum, apricot, dried fruit, cinnamon, almond, nutmeg, oak, wood. Finish: Slight toffee, round, woody notes, slight spice, robust.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Bohemio 3 yr.


Bohemio Honey



Bohemio Honey -
(Panama)

Nose: Honey, pollen. Palate: Honey, creamy honey. Finish: Honey, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Dzama Rhum Nosy Be Prestige 4 yr. -
(Madagascar)

Nose: Floral, light, subtle, cream, creamy, vanilla, oak, sweet, soft, round. Palate: Honey, toffee, molasses, semi-sweet, peppermint, rose petals, floral notes, grass, anise, wheat, nutty, oak. Finish: Spice, clean, smooth, well balanced.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Dzama Rhum Nosy Be Prestige 4 yr.


Don Q Gran Añejo



Don Q Gran Añejo -
(Puerto Rico)

Nose: Woody, treacle, honeysuckle notes, nutty, citrus, green leaves, almost peaty. Palate: Light spice, rye, treacle, raisins, dried flowers, spicy, peppery, dry, herbal notes. Finish: Dry, soft, buttery, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Diplomático Reserva Añejo -
(Venezuela)

Nose: Creamy, vanilla, butter, nutty, cinnamon, floral, delicate pine, soft. Palate: Dried citrus, butterscotch, caramel, creamy, vanilla, burnt honey, nuts, coconut, spicy, oak, pine, rustic, well balanced. Finish: Burnt orange, smoky, spicy.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Diplomático Reserva Añejo


Rhum Barbancourt 8 yr.



Rhum Barbancourt 8 yr. -
(Haiti)

Nose: Smoky, sugar cane, soft fruits, grass, tea leaf, citrus, nutty. Palate: Toffee, treacle, vanilla, buttery, creamy, hazelnut, walnut, dried fruit, herbs, wood, oak, light, smooth. Finish: Toffee, light, soft.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Gold Miner -
(United States)

Nose: Herbal, grass, cinnamon, cask sherry, sweet cherry, caramel, sweet. Palate: Biscuit, marzipan, banana, strawberry notes, eucalyptus, roses, woody, buttery oak, subtle pine, light, sweet. Finish: Light, smooth, gentle, lingering.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Gold Miner

 

 

 

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Comments or questions welcome, please e-mail to: editor@thefiftybest.com

 

Comments and Suggestions:

 
Mon. March 4, 2013 7:09 PM - by: Eric
I like the Barolito from Puerto Rico, but I've not seen it at home. Of course, I live with state liquor stores so that's not too surprising.
 
 
Fri. January 25, 2013 11:55 PM - by: Joe
You guys have obviously not had the 7 year old Havana Club or the 15 year old Barbancourt, both of which are better than the HC Anejo or the 8 year old Barbancourt. As a matter of fact, the 7 year old Havana Club makes the 5 year old taste quite pedestrian, suitable only for mojitos, much like going back to Palm or Leffe Belgian beer after having something like a Rochefort 10.
 
 
Wed. December 26, 2012 11:16 AM - by: Charles Lundy
The Barbancourt listed is the mid-level of the brand. The Estate Reserve is the best produced in limited edition every year.
 
 


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Fifty Best > Spirits Archive > Aged Rum 2012
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