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Barcelo Gran Anejo Rum

Review: Barcelo Gran Anejo Rum  (83/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted April 18, 2022

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 25 countries.

According to the company’s website Barcelo Gran Anejo Rum is a blend of Dominican rums aged for up to six years in ex-Bourbon oak casks. This makes it a more premium rum that the previously reviewed Barcelo Anejo (see here). Although the Gran Anejo is reported to contain rums aged up to six years, I should point out that the spirit is sold without an age statement.  I think we can assume that the Gran Anejo Rum will have an average age somewhat less than the six years mentioned on the website.

In my locale (Edmonton, Alberta) the rum is sold at 40 % alcohol by volume in a 750 ml bottle, however I have also seen bottles sold at 37.5 % alcohol by volume in 700 ml bottles. This review is for the version sold at the 40 % bottling strength.

In The Bottle 4/5

The Ron Barceló Gran Añejo bottle presentation is shown to the left. It is a clear rectangular bottle (flask style) with a mid sized neck and metallic pressed on screw cap. The longer neck and generous mouth should makes it easy to pour without spilling. Unfortunately, there is a the plastic diffuser built into the mouth which I find quite annoying as I have to gently shake the bottle as I pour it which defeats the benefits of the long neck and wide mouth. I dislike diffusers which serve no purpose in my marketplace.

In the Glass 8/10

Colour: Amber

Legs: Thin and quick

Nose: The Gran Anejo Rum does seem to be a step up from its younger sibling, Barcello Anejo. The initial aroma brings fine wood spices, hints of butterscotch and almond into the air. Accompanying notes of vanilla, orange and banana peel arrive as well as does a mild menthol grassiness. Perhaps I am noticing a light build up of baking spices (cinnamon and ginger) as well.

It is a coin toss to decide if the rum deserves 8/10 or 8.5/10 in the glass. I tossed that coin, and 8.0 was the verdict.

In The Mouth  50/60

The Gran Anejo rum is light bodied and lightly complex. The first sip brings just a touch of unwanted astringency forward; however, this is alleviated with a mild butterscotch sweetness and some light vanilla. Fine oak spices combined with with banana and orange peel add to the lively mouthfeel of the spirit, and hints of milk chocolate add some complexity. Impressions of almond appear as does a mild menthol grass-like quality.

This is not quite where I want to be so I added an ice cube. Now I can sip the rum; however it is my feeling that a splash of cola or ginger-ale would serve the rum much better than ice. There is potential as well for daiquiri style cocktails, and to test that theory out I mixed the cocktail shown below and found it very enjoyable.

In The Throat 12.5/15

The rum is light bodied and has a shortened finish. Menthol-like grassy flavours come forward as I swallow; however I also taste hints of vanilla and milk chocolate alongside mild baking spices. Again it is a coin toss for scoring, and this time I allow the higher score to stand in this section of the review.

The Afterburn  8.5/10

Barcelo Gran Anejo Rum is a step up from the previously reviewed Anejo Rum from Barcelo. The nose and the flavour are more developed, and the finish just a little smoother. There was just a touch of astringency in the delivery which forces me to consider the rum as more of a mixer than a sipper; but with ice, I certainly would understand someone else feeling differently.

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


Serving Suggestion

The Swift-Turtle

2 oz Barcelo Gran Anejo Rum
1/2 oz Lime Juice
1/2 oz Grapefruit Juice
3/8 oz sugar syrup (1:1 ratio)
dash Fees cocktail Bitters
orange peel

Add the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a strip of orange peel

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


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)

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