Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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My bottle of Siglo De Oro with tasting notes…before going to my all inclusive

Posted by Rishiray on August 20, 2008

So after the long night of drinking and what not, I made a nice little breakfast with Diane for everyone. The plan was to go see a bunch of caves and the beach, however in the aftermath of the previous night, we decided to chill out and just go directly to the All Inclusive that Diane had booked for us. Now on a side note, of course I managed to find the best rum that the DR had to offer. It is a wonderful nectar of a rum called Siglo de Oro. It is the top product from Brugal which is the main rum distillery in the DR. Of course, I had to check with the Ministry of Rum before truly looking throught this rum http://www.ministryofrum.com/rumindex.php . Siglo de Oro is only sold in the Dominican Republic and hard to find – so I paid a handsome premium for it.

I have included a couple reviews of this rum


I poured the spirit in to my tasting glass and did the requisite swirling.  The rum is a warm amber color and has very strong legs.  The legs are a tad bit runny (no pun intended), but watching the glass, you almost get the impression that you’re watching syrup run down the sides instead of rum.


The eyes having been appeased, it was time to turn to the nose of the spirit.  I swirled the rum in the glass while I kept my nose several inches above the rim.  There are a lot of different scents that jump right out.  Hints of orange peal and leather come to the forefront, with woody notes and a bit of a surprise with the scent of banana floating on top.  The nose was cool and earthy, evoking images of the rain forest.  I was suddenly more interested than ever in what flavors I would find trapped inside my glass.


As the nose foretold, this rum has a woody flavor to it.  The immediate flavor on the tongue is that of the barrel with a mellow sweetness.  There is a hint of leather which is blended nicely with notes of orange and coffee.  Despite the syrupy legs, the Siglo de Oro has a very light but earthy body to it.  The finish was clean, leaving a slight tingle on the tongue.  The most dangerous aspect of the rum is probably the burn – which is non-existent.  If a person didn’t know what they were drinking and how hard and expensive it might be to replace, they could easily finish the entire bottle in a single sitting without realizing it.

I was a tad surprised at the fact that I didn’t taste any of the banana that I had detected in the nose.  I rechecked the nose and, sure enough, it was still there; but no amount of searching revealed the flavor to go along with the smell.  The mental imagery, however, was still intact.  If you close your eyes while drinking this, you quickly find yourself standing amidst the calls of birds, standing on a mountain-top under the shade of the rain forest canopy…broken shoots and branches behind you where you cut your path with your machete…you old companion Pedro and his ever-trusty horse standing next to you.  You remove your hat to wipe your brow as you glance around, trying to determine where next to search for the lost idol of – wait, what was I talking about again?

Siglo de Oro is impressively packaged in a blue box.  The rum itself is contained in an attractive blue pottery bottle with a cork stopper.  Some of the purchase price for this rum clearly goes on the flash packaging.  Would the rum itself live up to the hype? Of course, I have nicely tucked away in high end liquor cabinet at home now.

I removed the stopper and poured a little into a glass.  It poured with a deep gold color and a rich, almost syrupy, consistency. The following tasting notes, are copied from Bunnyhugs (http://bunnyhugs.org/2008/08/16/brugal-siglo-de-oro-tasting/) – why bother typing the tasting notes out when someone else has done it for me.

On sniffing my first impression was that it was awfully like the Brugal Extra Viejo.  I even wondered for a moment if I had not been sold some kind of fake.  I am finding this is the case with rums though.  The differences between different products from the same company can be fairly subtle.

Without analyzing the nose much beyond thinking “smells like Brugal”, I dove in for a taste.  Differences between the Siglo de Oro and the Extra Viejo immediately became apparent. Incidentally, a little later I put the two rums side by side and their differences became even clearer.  The Siglo de Oro is just far smoother than the Extra Viejo, and has less alcohol burn and tannin bitterness.  The Extra Viejo, a very smooth rum, tates rough in comparison.  Still, while the palates lean in different directions (as described below), the overall character of both products is similar.  I would characterize Siglo de Oro as a refined version of the Extra Viejo rather than a totally different rum.

The Siglo de Oro leans towards a gentle honeyed character, versus more of a caramel profile in the Extra Viejo.   While sweet, the palette is complex.  The honey evolves into a hint of waxy honeycomb on the tongue, and there is a little bitterness in the finish. The wood and tanin tastes you would expect in a fine old rum are present, but lingering behind a wall of sweet and pleasant flavors.  Sipping on this rum you enjoy a complex medley of dried fruit like figs, bananas and apricots. The spicy notes in the Extra Viejo are moderated to mere subtle hints in the Siglo de Oro.  While the flavors in this rum tend towards the sweet of the spectrum, their highly concentrated form and the exceptional balance prevent the impression of sweetness.  The finish is dry enough to prepare you for another sip.  At the same time though, the taste lingers in your mouth and you feel you can afford to wait before actually taking that next sip.

Siglo de Oro is a subtle rum, perhaps a bit too subtle for me, but still dangerously good stuff.  Given that they export a little, it is worth keeping an eye out for.


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