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Brugal Ron Anejo

Review: Ron Brugal Anejo – Desde  1888  (85/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on June 7, 2010

Introduction

I am sipping a little Brugal Ron Anejo closing my eyes and letting my imagination build a place where the rum takes me….  Its late afternoon, and I have I found myself at a road side cafe near the ocean, separated from, but within walking distance of a small Dominican Village.  I’m sitting on an old wooden cabana chair with the smells of the nearby village caught up in the canvas umbrella overhead.  Oils from the roadside, and saps from the trees overhead have speckled the umbrella, mixing with the canvas and leather only to be washed out by the rain every now and again.  Some large ceramic urns with banana trees stand on the patio nearby.  The table beside me has a bowl of dried  fruit and exotic looking nuts for me to chew on.   Inside the cafe they must be baking, as I can smell  banana bread and sticky cinnamon rolls whenever the door opens.

Across the road there is a path to the ocean.   I can see the roll of ocean surf in the distance as the waves break on a rock strewn coastline.  Occasionally a gust of wind brings a little of the ocean brine across my face…..

History

The Brugal distillery was founded in 1888, by Andrés Brugal Montaner.  Over the next one hundred and twenty years the company grew steadily, and it is now one of the three largest distilling companies in the Dominican Republic.  The original family which founded Brugal is still in the control. George Arzeno Brugal, is the current chairman, and most of the board members are direct descendants of the original company founder.

In fact, the Brugal Distillery has become an institution in the Dominican Republic.  Pretty much every friend I have who has visited this wonderful Country has a vivid tale to tell of a an amazing bus ride to the distillery,  ….  and a tale to tell of how much fun it was to sample the rum.

The Brugal Ron Anejo is a blend of rums aged from 2 to 5 years.  It is being brought into my market by Beam Global Brands.  Beam Global Ambassador,  Simon Mooney arranged for me to receive a sample of the Brugal Anejo for review.  (He also arranged for me to receive a set of Brugal bar glasses which I have used to showcase my recipes at the end of the review.)

If it suits your wishes you can learn a little more with a click on the link here to visit the Brugal Website.

In the Bottle 4/5

Brugal Ron Anejo arrives in a typical style rum bottle pictured to the right.  The label and bottle are not spectacular,  but they are definitely adequate for the purpose.  A plastic screw top cap completes the display and although I am not inspired,  I am not dismayed either.

In the Glass  9/10

The initial aroma from the glass is that of brown sugar spices followed by woody tannins.    There is an earthy accent in the breeze which carries a light oily or perhaps tarry aroma.  As I sat back and let the rum decant, baking spices began to rise as did a deeper dark brown sugar.  Banana and cocoa bean (fruit)  wafted lightly from the glass as well.

When I tilted the glass and checked side for legs, I found swift moving droplets running down back into the mahogany coloured rum.

In the Mouth 51/60

Brugal Anejo is soft and pliable in the mouth with more viscosity than the initial entry of the rum would imply.  A light taste of smoke and dried fruit seems to grab me first with a quick follow through of the sharp woody tannin and a mildly bitter bite of banana peel.  As the rum sits in my glass, flavours of  deeper brown sugar and cinnamon build, as does a mild nuttiness…

In the midst of all of this is a slippery haunting flavour which pervades in the rum, but identification of this flavour sensation at first eludes me.  Vague images of soft banana and papaya ride in the currents, and I can almost but not quite taste a musty tobacco and old leather.

Then it hits me, like a gust of wind blowing off of a rocky seashore… I taste the ocean!  It tastes like drying seaweed trapped on the rocks on the warm seashore.  I can taste a dash of sun-dried sea-salt mingling with a smidgen of  iodine.  The flavour which was initially so hard to identify has become  a mild musky ocean brine that mixes with a leathery smoke at the heart of the rum.

In the Throat 12.5/15

The rum has a medium length  finish with cocoa and dried fruit starting the parade down my throat, and then a gathering of woody tannin and banana peel providing a lasting impression. Perhaps I get a touch of sea-salt right at the end, or perhaps that ocean brine was just a figment of my imagination.

The Afterburn 8.5/10

Brugal Ron Anejo is not overly sweet. It carries some banana peel bitterness which will at times make both the entry and the exit seem a little rough.  But it also carries wonderful nuances of the Caribbean Sea which I have never noticed in a rum before. It is complex and rich. When I am in the proper mood to relax and appreciate the nuances, the rum is wonderful.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.

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Suggested Recipes

Comfortable in HispaniolaComfortable in Hispaniola

1 1/4 ounce Brugal Anejo
3/4 ounce of Southern Comfort
3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon sugar syrup
ice

Mix the ingredients in a metal shaker until frosted
Strain into a suitable cocktail glass
Add Ice

This drink is amazingly yummy.

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Brugalicious

1 1/4 ounce Brugal Anejo
3/4 ounce of Southern Comfort
3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon sugar syrup
ice
Orangina

Mix the ingredients in a metal shaker until frosted
Strain into a highball glass
Add Ice
Top with Orangina

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The Klondike Mule

1 1/2 oz  Dark Rum (Brugal Anejo)
3/4 oz Yukon Jack
juice from 1/2 Lime
ice
Ginger Beer

Fill a tall glass with ice
Add the Brugal Anejo, Yukon Jack, and Lime Juice
Top with Ginger Beer

Enjoy!

And remember the aim of my blog is not to encourage you to drink more…it is to encourage you to drink better!

Note: If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

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You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)

4 Responses to “Brugal Ron Anejo”

  1. Viny said

    I have enjoyed Brugal, for a long time. Experimented with many mixtures but my absolute favorite is as simple as Brugal and pepsi. A true delight.

  2. André said

    Great review! I can’t wait to read your reviews of the Extra Viejo and Siglo de Oro. Them too have that signature Brugal ‘musk’ combined with extra ageing.

    • Thanks Andre

      I did this review blind refusing to look at any other reviews or commentary until I had finished. When I came up with all of my tasting notes I was, I admit, a little fearful of putting it down on paper. The underlying flavour was so unique, and my interpretation was so…lets say off that beaten path to the ocean, that I was really worried I got it wrong. Then a few days ago, I drank some Johnnie Walker whisky and tasted that same muskiness deep down. I realized that if a Scottish whisky could carry elements of the seaside, then certainly an Island rum could too. So I published the review with no thought to changing the tasting notes, and I am glad I did.

      • André said

        That taste you detect is obviously there, but I could never give it justice like you did. I always refered to is as a tobacco or leathery taste. With your oceanside taste description I think you may have nailed it! I can’t wait to go home and take a swig of Siglo de Oro to confirm this…

 
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