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Don Omario’s Vintage Rum

Review: Don Omario’s Vintage Rum   94/100
A Review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on December 9, 2020

Don Omario’s Vintage Rum is a premium aged rum produced in Belize, (the northernmost mainland country of Central America). Belize is a former British Colony, and lies just south of Mexico with the Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the west and south. The producer of the One Barrel Rum brand, Travellers Liquors Limited, has been involved in the production of  rum in Belize since the early 1960′s originally working with independent distillers. In 1989, Travellers acquired full control of their own distillery, and they have remained in full control of their own brands ever since.

Traveller’s Vintage Rums are made from locally grown Belize sugar cane. According to the Travellers website, this cane is cut and crushed in a manner which retains its natural flavors, and the all of the rum is aged in Kentucky oak barrels. It is blended to be a full-bodied rum with the well-rounded taste which results from oak barrel aging.

Don Omario’s Vintage Rum was first released to honor the legacy of the Company’s founder Don Omario.​ The spirit was then Re-released on the occasion of Prince Harry’s visit to Belize in March 2012.​

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Don Omario’s Vintage Rum is presented in the masculine decanter style bottle shown to the left. (i should note that the photograph makes the rum appear much darker than it actually is. However this photograph serves very well to show the gold etched illustration of Traveller’s Rum founder Don Omario that occupies the front of the bottle. I like that the rum label includes a firm age statement, and that the back of the bottle gives us some background information regarding the rum and its context.

In The Glass 9.5/10

A nice surprise greeted me when I poured the rum. It has a rich amber colour and the air above the glass was immediately filled with rich notes of a well oaked rum.

In fact I spent a good deal of time enjoying the breezes above my glass before I took my first sip. The aroma is a wonderful melded mixture of oak, vanilla, almond and maple/butterscotch. Orange zest is woven in between whose scent soon develops into sticky marmalade. Baking spices appear throwing bits of cinnamon and ginger into the air along with hints of nutmeg and cloves.

I cannot help but feel this is a special rum.

In The Mouth 56.5/60

The rum crosses the palate with firm flavours of oak, vanilla and maple/butterscotch. There is some heated spices as well carrying impressions of orange peel, cinnamon and clove. Almond seems to turn into marzipan as the flavours settle. The best way to describe what I am tasting is that this is more like a melded elixir of rum and oak flavours. It has depth and character, and the balance between the sweet and the spice and the bitter oak is just about perfect.

This is a sipping rum of the highest caliber.

In The Throat 14/15

The heavy bodied rum has a long spicy finish which brings oak and orange peel together though the final taste experience. Vanillins, almonds, maple and butterscotch all arrive at the landing giving us an extremely satisfying ending.

The Afterburn 9.5/10

All I received as a sample for this spirit was the small bottle found in the 1423 World Class Spirits – 24 Days of Rum tasting calendar. This is the second such calendar I have received and of the 48 samples I have tasted from these advents over the past two years, I believe this is the best. I am not surprised as i have commented on the quality of the Traveller’s Rums in the past. But Don Omario’s Vintage Rum is truly their crowning achievement to date.

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

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My Final Score is out of 100 and you may (loosely) interpret the score 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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