The history of the Serralles family in Puerto Rico dates back to the early 1800’s. Sebastian Serralles, an immigrant from Spain, grew sugar cane on the family estate. In 1865 his son, Don Juan Serralles Colon, imported a pot still from France and began producing rum. He kept the operation small, providing his product to the citizens of Puerto Rico. Then Prohibition in the U.S. ended and Don Juan Serralles Colon saw an opportunity. He expanded his operation and Don Q Rum was born. Named for the famed Don Quixote, penned by Miguel Cervantes, the logo is easily recognized wherever the rum is sold.
Fast forward to 1993 and Don Q released Gran Anejo Commemorativo to celebrate the 500 year anniversary of Columbus discovering Puerto Rico. In 2011 we tasted it for the first time on the Celebrity Summit and were happy to acquire a bottle to bring home with us. I enjoy using Don Q Anejo and Cristal when I am crafting cocktails and really wanted to see how Gran Anejo measured against other sipping rums. The last time we were in Puerto Rico it was around 32 dollars duty free and I have seen in stores between 60 and 70 dollars in the U.S.
The Rum comes is a Brown box with gold lettering. The box slides open revealing a gorgeous crystal bottle on a yellow cushion. The bottle is sealed with a crystal and cork stopper with a ribbon over the top (front to Back) secured to the front of the bottle with a red wax seal imprinted with the Serralles crest. The liquid is dark gold amber in the bottle and the glass.
I give it a swirl and thick legs form and descend slowly down the side of the glass. I take a sniff and the aroma of brown sugar meets me half way to the glass. I use some will power and let it breathe for a few minutes. The brown sugar aroma subsides and I pick up hints of molasses, bananas, and just a hint of alcohol.
The rum has a honeyed flavored smoothness to it. A nice sweet molasses note is picked up on the front, while brown sugar floats around the edges and the alcohol bites toward the back of the tongue and throat. The rum is smooth going down with a lingering honey aftertaste. As I continue to sip the glass, I pick up a little more heat in the center of the tongue as the dryness of the spirit really comes through.
Don Q Gran Anejo is a blend of 3 and 12 year old rums that is good for sipping, but would be a nice addition in certain cocktails where the sweetness would play well with other fruit or chocolate flavors. For example, I thought it was outstanding in a classic Daiquiri. When you find yourself looking to try a new sipping rum I think you find this an excellent addition to the cabinet.