Once you understand how Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5 is aged, you’ll have a full appreciations of it’s deep mahogany color, a reddish brown hue like brilliant sapphire. The heavier caramel rum aromas are lifted by sweet traces of sherry, and subsequently reveal nuts (pecan) and vanilla, charred wood, dried fruit (raisins, figs, dates, plums and black cherries), then comes slightly earthy, musty and tannic scents where sugar cane meets grape, and old leather. The initial taste wows from the complexity of fine rum blended with sherry depth, delivering herbaceous and sweet flavors without being cloying, fruity and substantial, and some spice (nutmeg, allspice) to enhance the flavors. A medium-heavy weight body sets up a a finely balanced, long duration finish that enables you to savor more lightly charred oak, hints of tobacco, more than a little sherry, and very mild anise.
To better understand Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5, it helps to decipher the name: Dos Maderas = “Two Woods” in Español.
P.X. = Pedro Ximénez, a grape varietal used in making sweet sherry.
5+5 = 10 in any language. The rum originates in the Caribbean (Guyana and Barbados), where it is aged in oak for five years before being shipped to Jerez, Spain for another five years of aging in wood barrels. Interestingly, the Spanish word Jerez came to be spelled in English as “Sherry” over the years.
Upon arrival at Williams & Humbert’s bodegas in Spain, the rum undergoes two additional aging steps in used sherry barrels, totaling five years. The rum first spends about three years in barrels formerly containing “Dos Cortados” Palo Cortado sherry before finally resting for a final two years in casks that previously held “Don Guido” Pedro Ximénez sherry. Both sherrys are aged for an average of 20 years, no doubt embedding significant residual sugar in the wood, which ultimately contributes to Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5’s characteristic sweetness.
Dos Maderas’ rums elicit even more interest when you consider their sources. Bajan rums are numerous, generally exhibiting distinct character, always boastful and full of earthy flavor. Guyanese Demarara rums also span a wide range, but all possess big flavors seemingly steeped in old world history, with molasses, licorice, charcoal and wood in abundance. Age that blend in different used barrels, in different climates spanning two continents, and you’ve got the basis for a pretty dramatic spirit.
Much has been written about this highly anticipated rum, and all of it good. The Rum Gallery is pleased to heap more onto that stack of accolades. After all, you expect serious complexity from a blend of rums that originated in two different Caribbean countries, and aged in three different kinds of barrels for 10 years. Dos Maderas P.X. 5+5 delivers abundant complexity - on par with the world’s best spirits. Also noteworthy for it’s absence is any turbulent character that often results from blending dissimilar rums. For my tastes, the P.X. 5+5 is truly an exceptional rum, more interesting than fine sherry and smoother than most Bajan and Demerara rums. Dos Maderas P.X. 5 + 5 is blended and aged to smooth perfection.
Reviewed: May 2010 in Miami, at Rum Renaissance Festival, where the rum earned a well deserved Gold Medal - Best in Class award.