Aged five to seven years, Don Q Añejo Rum pours a nice gold color, not exactly copper but double the darkness of the Don Q Gold. I’ve not had a lot of chances to try an Añejo aged rum so I’m pretty happy to be putting this liquid to the test. I’ll be drinking one glass neat (no ice) and a second with some water. Instead of ice, I’ll be using about a 1:5 ratio of water to Don Q Añejo to keep the liquid at a warmer temperature as I’ve not been too impressed with the subtlety after most rums are chilled.
First, the nose has distinct caramel and sweet brown sugars with a slight alcohol melody. There is a slight bit of chocolate after the caramel blows off wrapped with a beautiful white pepper and pineapple. In total, the bouquet can be summed up as slightly sweet with a spicy candy-like profile. The glass containing a bit of water (and sitting for 10-minutes) brings more chocolate and caramel with only subtle brown sugar and almost no alcoholic scents.
Tasting is my second favorite part and I was expecting some intense oak profile but was given something much more complex. While there is a hint of oak on the attack I’m immediately taken over by a sweet buttery caramel with a chocolate mid-palate and a finish covered in brown sugared pineapples. I detect a slight smokiness on the finish which dissipates to a vanilla and oak as it lingers for a minute or so after the final sip. The mouth-feel of the Don Q Añejo is well rounded, smooth and has a good viscosity to it, impressive. I was happy to see the complexities were not masked by too much oak presence.
My glass containing a slight hint of water brings much more oak to the initial sip which reminds me of a Michael Collins blended Irish whiskey (but a bit more affordable). Even with water, the thickness to this liquid is fully mature and well rounded. I detect a bit more white pepper throughout the mid-palate and finish with a bit more fiery burn upon swallowing the rum. Overall, add water and you’ll get a more lingering oak and up-front caramel; definitely a fun experience.
Don Q Añejo will cost roughly USD $19.99 and, for a five-to-seven year rum, that’s a nice price. You’re getting good value and complexity for the cost. Rum tends to age faster than a whiskey but give you many of those same properties. Because of the region where rum tends to be rested (Puerto Rico and islands surrounding the equator), a five year-old rum is closer to a 12 year-old whiskey but you don’t have to pay the price of aging to get something quality for economic value.
Don Q Añejo is a great tasting experience and, while you can use it in a cocktail, I suggest sitting down and relaxing with a small glass in hand. What do you really have to lose?