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Barceló Añejo Rum

Review: Barceló Añejo Rum  (70/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted July 25, 2012

Ron Barceló was founded in 1930 under the name Barceló & Co in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The rum brand quickly grew in popularity growing into one of the largest in the Dominican, and the brand is now exported world-wide to over 20 countries.

The Company advertises five indicators of quality which govern their production:

  • Only the finest sugar cane produced in the Dominican Republic is used.
  • All of our rums age in oak barrels from Kentucky that have been used to age Bourbon Whisky.
  • Constant research efforts by our Master Blenders lead us to the best possible blends.
  • Achieving a perfect combination of body character, great performance and exquisite bouquet.
  • Using the industry’s leading distilling technology with the age-old artisan knowledge of our local experts, heirs to a long tradition of excellence in rum production.

Ron Barceló rum is distilled from fermented molasses, and bottled at 37.5 % alcohol by volume.

I reviewed this rum almost three years ago, and recently acquired a new bottle. I decided to go back and see if the rum, or my perception of it had improved after three years.

Photo Courtesy of Lance Surujbally (All rights reserved!)


The RonBarceló Añejo bottle is shown to the left. I borrowed the picture (with permission) from the Lance Surujbally of Liquorature as the label on my bottle was messed up with rum stains from a leaky bottle. I hate bottles that leak, and the culprit in this case was the metallic screw top which had lost its seal somewhere between the Dominican Republic and my rum shelf.

Other than metallic cap that leaked, the presentation for this rum is fine.


Once poured into the glass, the rum is the colour of light brown sugar. I gave my glass a quick tilt and a slow swirl, and I noticed very skinny legs which moved down the sides of the glass. The initial aroma is a bit thin and a bit harsh with what I call burnt brown sugar notes combined with a ‘medicinal’ element. Frankly it appears to be quite rough.

When I allow the glass to breathe some of that initial harshness evaporates into the breezes, and I detect some notes of caramel, banana peel, and tobacco. However, the burnt brown sugar notes still tend to dominate the rum.

IN THE MOUTH (41.0/60)

I guess I should start out by admitting that I regret opening this bottle of rum. Frankly it tastes medicinal, bitter and metallic. The advertising says the younger rums in the blend give it a sharp taste, I believe that is an understatement. The mix of flavours include molasses, caramel, burnt brown sugar, banana and orange peel. However all of this is tainted by that bitter medicinal quality the rum possesses.

When you mix the rum with coke, things improve, but I would be lying if I said the rum excited me.


The finish is unsatisfying. The rum is too thin to provide any length at all, and what is left upon the palate is just some vague reminders that this was not a good experience. Although, I can now taste some spices (hints of vanilla and baking spices) that belong, as well as a more pleasing sugary note, I also am left with a metallic bitter aftertaste and the vague feeling that I just swallowed some sugar-coated but nevertheless unpleasant, medicine.

The AFTERBURN (7/10)

Unfortunately the Barcelo Anejo Rum was not a pleasant experience for me. As a sipper I found the spirit wanting in many ways, and as a mixer, it seems mediocre at best. Strangely enough, I think the rum has improved since I tasted it three years ago.

If you are interested in comparing more scores, here is a link to my other published Rum Reviews.


You may (loosely) interpret the scores as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74    Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79    You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84    We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89    Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94    Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+       I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


One Response to “Barceló Añejo Rum”

  1. SlickVic said

    I completely agree. I prefer the regular Ron Barcelo to the Anejo by a long shot.

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