Dos Ron 8 and 16 Year rums arrived in the United States in 2018, and they had a hell of a time getting here.
This particular rum odyssey stars the Colina family, who began distilling rum in 19th century Cuba. The family was dispossessed of their distillery by Castro, and their son Carlos wound up in East Germany as part of an exchange between the communist states. Carlos went on to open a string of Cuban restaurants, but longed to revive the Colina distilling business.
That dream materialized in 2001, when Carlos teamed up with his father’s former business partner, who’d fled Cuba in the aftermath of the revolution and had begun distilling rum in the Dominican Republic. Carlos began to blend the rums using recipes from his father, and the Dos Ron brand was born in 2012.
Speaking of those rums, just what do they taste like?
Dos Ron 8 Year
The eight-year-old rum pours medium gold in the glass and has vanilla, brown sugar, baking spices, and fig on the nose. It starts with light flavors of cherry and vanilla, but the most powerful impression is the dry, resiny wood that emerges shortly after the first sip and sits on the tongue through the finish. It’s remarkable how full-bodied and powerful the flavor is: I imagined it as a thumb pressing down against the tongue. That would be quite unpleasant if this were a disagreeable flavor, but I welcomed the bold, bracing oakiness of the Dos Ron 8 Year. The dry and tannic finish doubles down on the oak and sends it off with a lingering wave of spice.
If there’s anything to knock the 8 Year for, it’s that the powerful presence of oak seems to diminish the other flavors: the cherry and vanilla are light in comparison, and few other flavors emerged. Yet it’s not one-note, as the nature of the oak changed throughout the experience. The complex and powerful presence of its primary flavor, as well as the overall dryness of the experience, make this an excellent slow-sipper at a great price.
— 40% ABV
Dos Ron 16 Year
The 16 Year rum has a ruddy, reddish-gold color and carries aromas of vanilla bean, brown sugar, and butterscotch. It’s light in body and silky in texture, and manages to coat every inch of the tongue and palate while seeming to float above them.
The first flavors are of caramel and banana, leading to cherry and burnt sugar as a dry snap of spice emerges toward the back. An energetic yet never overwhelming spice carries to the finish alongside dry oak.
Dos Ron 16 is lighter than the 8 Year, and its flavors of caramel and banana make it more suited to an after-dinner dram. But the most commendable part of the experience is its beautiful and delicate feeling on the mouth, an experience that seamlessly flows into the gentle, spiced dryness of the finish.
— 40% ABV