Tonight I’m sipping a bit of Don Q Gold, a nice little rum with 140 years of history behind it. Don Q Gold is aged three to five years and shows a light gold color in the glass, much like a light pilsner beer. Just as I did with Don Q Cristal, I’m going to taste test it on ice and neat (without ice).
Immediately upon pouring this gold beverage, I received potent scents rising throughout the room. I moved my nose closer to the glass and fresh pineapple with a neat black pepper and honey component built the structure of the bouquet. A deeper sniff brought on some intense alcohols but most of which were melted away with the spicy black pepper.
The iced glass brought on more strength in the pineapple but most other flavors were muted including the alcohols. Sipping the liquids brought on a few nice sensations including a warm caramel attack at the tip of the tongue with a nice black pepper mid-palate transition along with a spicy clean finish. The finish lingers for a minute or two and continues to bring spicy pepper notes. The taste was smooth and inviting with a nice aged thickness worth the USD $15.99.
Yet again I was less impressed with the iced rum alternative, the ice muted many of the spicier notes but brought a crisp refreshingly light flavor of caramel and pineapple. However, most of the flavors happened in the middle of the tongue with little balance on the front and back.The finish wasn’t nearly as interesting as the spice was dulled with the chill of the ice.
Overall, I think Don Q Gold would do a great justice to a cocktail as it brings great black pepper spice to the drink while maintaining a low price point. While it obviously fits into a Daiquiri or Piña Colada, I would be interested to see how it fits in a ginger beer cocktail. If you’re drinking Don Q Gold straight, I suggest staying away from ice and pairing it with a Mexican dish.