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El Pasador de oro Gran Reserva Rum

Review: El Pasador de oro Gran Reserva Rum    (92.5/100)
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted December 6, 2017

El Pasador de oro XO is a new rum brand brought into Western Canada by Charton Hobbs. The rum is a product of Les Bienheureux S.A.S. (in Paris France) and (according to the information sheets given to me) is a blend ‘grand reserva’ Guatemala rums. Selected barrels were chosen by Jean Moueix and Alexandre Sirech, and brought to France where the spirit is rested in used cognac barrels in the cellars of Les Bienheureux.

There is no age statement assigned to this rum. It is bottled at 40 % alcohol by volume.

In The Bottle 4.5/5

El Pasador de Oro XO arrives in the oval bottle/decanter shown to the left. The bottle has a heavy glass base for stability and a wood topped cork stopper which seals it. The bottle arrives in an appealing black cardboard box display.

The black label with the gold printed script font is easy to read and the wood topped cork stopper is a nice touch. This is the third rum from Les Bienheureux S.A.S. that I have reviewed, and although I think it is by far the best, I am still left feeling that more could be done. There is very little information upon the label to entice me to buy the rum. Perhaps some brief tasting notes could be offered.

In the Glass 9.5/10

The El Pasador de oro Gran Reserva reveals itself with a rich bronze colour in the glass which looks very appealing. When I tilt my glass and give it a bit of a twirl, the rum shows thick legs which move slowly down the inside of the glass. The breezes above the glass bring rich indications of fine oak spice and treacle alongside damp tobacco, orange peel and rich baking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla). I seem to catch a few glimmers of resin and tar climbing into the breezes as well.

As I let the glass breathe I notice some sherry-like scents in the air as well with dry fruit (dates and raisins) as well as a few hints of dark licorice and bittersweet chocolate notes. Over time, I sense impressions of canned fruit (peaches and apricots) as well as orange marmalade. Some walnut-like nuttiness lies underneath. When I finish my tasting sessions the glass is lovely to nose with rich scents of oak tannin and baking spices and oodles of dark bittersweet chocolate.

In the Mouth 55.5/60

The rum, although soft in the mouth is also somewhat spicy with a nice combination of fine oak and baking spices carried forward by a light butterscotch sweetness. Orange peel, dark caramel toffee, oak and baking spices (vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg), hints of tar and resin and a light impression of menthol all seem to swim in the flavour currents. Other flavour impressions drift about as well, dark chocolate, toasted walnuts, and much to my surprise, hints of Root Beer.

The rum is an easy sipper, and each sip seems to bring something new to the fore, a light taste of cinnamon and brown sugar, delicate ribbons of angelica root, allspice and nutmeg are all impressions which appeared as I sipped the rum. Suddenly my glass was empty and I was pouring another.

In the Throat 13.5/15

The mid-length exit brings a combination of oak and sweet baking spices which are followed by impressions of tobacco and menthol. Left glowing on the palate are bits of oak spice and orange peel and embers of cinnamon. There is no alcohol burn at all, just these glowing spices.

The Afterburn 9.5/10

El Pasador de oro Gran Reserva Rum is a wonderful rum sipping rum. I have no urge to add ice or mix a cocktail. I simply like enjoying the wonderful flavour. The rum (like other Guatemalan Rums I have tried is somewhat on the sweeter side of the fence, but not so sweet that it could become cloying.

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


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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