Matusalem Gran Reserva 15

Matusalem Gran Reserva 15

Product of:  Dominican Republic
Aged:  15 years (Solera blend) 
Price: $30
Alcohol: 40% ABV 
Sugar:  0-5 g/L (
estimate)
Context:  Premium Aged Rum 
RG Rating:  8.5

Tasting Notes
Very Smooth.  One of a very few fine rums made in the Solera method, whereby rum's of various ages are separated into tiers, maturing in French oak casks, and as the rums mellow, the younger barrels are periodically blended with the older until the desired aging and flavor is achieved. I've tasted a precious few rums made in this unique system, and rate them all very high. Matusalem, a blend of rums up to 15 years old, maintains the tradition of excellence that is Solera. Matusalem has an excellent primer on the process at: Matusalem & Co.  

Anecdotes 
I'd heard about Matusalem for years before tasting it, then was pleasantly surprised this spring to spy its uniquely shaped bottle buried away on the top shelf of a bar in a café on Antigua. Roger and I anxiously awaited our first taste, and were rewarded with an exceptionally smooth, full bodied rum. Almost a selfish pleasure like a bite of warm apple cobbler before dinner. Now, Matusalem can be found online and in some of the more esoteric liquor stores - progress indeed. 

Sniffing Ron Matusalem before sipping reveals a mildly aromatic rum with distinct aromas of leather and caramel. I'm not a cigar aficionado, but I suspect this could become a preferred rum for those involved with that historical vice. No wonder then, that Matusalem is distilled by a family exiled from Cuba following that country's takeover by Fidel Castro. Sipping brings forth a very smooth, medium full bodied rum with absolutely no bite, a whiff of smoke, coffee beans, and a finish that had me thinking I was a child again eating vanilla ice cream topped with caramel sauce. Except of course, I was drinking Matusalem Gran Reserva neat at room temperature - no need for ice to mellow this nectar. What a way to grow up.

Opinion 
Ron Matusalem is a superior rum, period. No pretense, just old world flavor in perfect harmony. Good anytime, and now available widely enough to share with others.

Reviewed:  April 2006 on Antigua and occasionally thereafter at the Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017