Ron Navazos–Palazzi Cask Strength Rum


Product of:  Spain. Column-distilled and aged in the Dominican Republic, with secondary aging in Jerez, Spain.
Aged: 15 years
Price:   $150-$165 in 2013, but could be found for under $100 in late 2014.
Alcohol 51% ABV
Context:  Premium Aged Rum 
RG Rating:  9

Tasting Notes
 Extremely Smooth.  
Ron Navazos–Palazzi Cask Strength Rum shows the color of dark brown nutmeg shells.  Swirling produces many beads that form slowly into legs that run with no hurry whatsoever.

Navazos–Palazzi is one of the most densely aromatic rums experienced at the Rum Gallery.  It rewards repeated, slow approaches with your nose to fully understand and appreciate the cacophony of aromas in this rum.  The rum fist exhibits the characteristic Dominican foundation of earthy caramelized sugar and molasses before the fruitier Sherry aromas appear.  In color and initial smell, Ron Navazos-Palazzi reminds me of very old, fine Brandy, only more approachable.  It smells nutty like Pecans, wood, dates, a light clove spice, and heavy larded pastry.

The initial taste is unique among rum, even those that undergo secondary maturation in used Sherry barrels.  The rum melts over your tongue and palate like a syrup of dates.  The body is heavy, there’s a dry texture yet the taste is not sweet.  Secondary flavors of chocolate, tea and subtle persimmon emerge later.  The finish fades is long and smooth too.

Our friend Wyatt Peabody of Soutirage is a huge fan of Ron Navazos-Palazi, and explains how the old rum was discovered:  "For some time, Palazzi had been following rumors about Spanish rum; while working with Barquín and Eduardo Ojeda—winemaker and keeper of some of the oldest and greatest soleras in Jerez—he stumbled upon one of those fabled casks.  What was originally described to him as ‘some old barrel of rum’ that people didn’t want to talk about, turned out to be something singular and ethereal.  The cask was revealed to have contained rum that was distilled in the Dominican Republic, where it was aged on-site for five years; then shipped to Jerez; it spent an additional decade resting in Oloroso cask.  There are a mere fifteen hundred bottles for the world.”

Ron Navazos–Palazzi Cask Strength Rum is nearly sublime, and … well, just too darned expensive!  Every once in awhile, some scout from the spirits industry alerts me to a long-lost and pricey rum treasure.  Most often they turn out to be nothing more than temptations, tugging at my ego, a hazard to my bank account.   This time, the scouts were credible, persuasive, and I took a chance.  Unfortunately. If you’re wondering but were afraid to ask, Ron Navazos–Palazzi Cask Strength Rum at less than $90 is a value, but spend your hard earned money carefully.  The rum is wonderful, and it might be rare, but purchase cautiously.

Reviewed:  Rum Gallery sampled bottle No. 717 of 1,500 in November 2013 in the USA.  Bottled July 2013.

© Dave Russell 2017