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Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum

Review: Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum  95/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (Aka Arctic Wolf)
Posted on April 22, 2012

Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum is a new rum which has entered the Alberta marketplace from Peru. It was extremely hard to research this rum as not even the Ron Millonario Website has any information about it.  The website does speak of three old Scottish column stills and a slow distillation process used to produce their rum from sugar cane molasses, although the distillery which produces the rum is not mentioned (only that it can be found in the North of Peru). It is implied that this distillery uses its own specially selected yeasts in the fermentation process, and mention is made of the distillery’s own coopers who construct their own aging barrels from American and Slavonian oak.

The younger Ron Millonario Solera 15 Reserva Especial is mentioned and we can probably deduce some important information about the Ron Millonario XO from its younger sibling. The Solera 15 Reserva is produced from a 4 stage Solera process with the final stage bringing the oldest rum in the blend to 15 years. It may be reasonable to assume that for the XO a fifth Solera stage is introduced bring the oldest rum in the blend to somewhere in the 18 to 21 year range, although I have heard claims that the oldest rum in the blend may be as old as 30 years. (I find these claims unlikely, although it is possible.)

Although specifics about Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum are hard to find, it does give me an opportunity to review the spirit with very few preconceptions.

In the Bottle 5/5

The Ron Millonario Rum is presented in the attractive rectangular decanter shown to the left. I have seen a cardboard display sleeve in a few of the retail stores as well although I do not have a picture to show you. I think this decanter really dresses up the rum, and it has a nice visual appeal in my rum cabinet. The top closure is corked, and the opening the bottle gives us that nice satisfying ‘pop’ sound that everyone loves.

In the Glass 9.5/10

The rum displays itself with a rich brown caramel colour in the glass, and the immediate nose is of spiced oak, lots of dark caramel and some nice rich cigar tobacco. When I tilt and swirl the glass I am greeted by thick droopy legs which move rather slowly back into the glass.

As the glass breathes baking spices build with luxurious scents of vanilla, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. I seem to be catching hints of dry fruit which are sort of reminiscent of Christmas fruit cake. My sense is that the aroma is very well balanced. The oak spices build alongside the sweeter baking spices, and I have to admit that I am eager to take a sip.

In the Mouth 57/60

When I took my first sip of this rum, my immediate reaction what to exclaim, “Oh, that is lovely!” and subsequent sips and samplings have done nothing to dissuade me from this initial reaction. The main flavours of caramel/molasses, oak spice and baking spices seem to be perfectly melded together. Hints of raisin, figs, tobacco and chocolate seem to provide just the right accent to make this a suave mouth watering rum. There is plenty of sweetness, but this sweetness is tempered by the more pungent flavours such that the rum never seems to be too sweet, it just seems delicious.

I taste a light impression of roasted walnut underneath, perhaps a bit of marmalade and marzipan as well, and even some coffee and cola make their way into the flavour profile. The rum is simply delightful!

In the Throat 14/15

Sweet fruit filled baking spices leave their lingering mark as the rum exits with a long smooth satisfying finish. The pungency of allspice and nutmeg seems to be perfectly balanced against the sweetness of brown sugar and the heat of oak spice.

The Afterburn 9.5/10

This is one of those really special rums that scores up in the stratosphere for me. The rum has it all, great depth of flavour, wonderful consistency from nose to mouth to finish, and wonderful balance between all of its elements. I simply love it.

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)


11 Responses to “Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum”

  1. Laurence said

    Hi Chip. A great call for the #1 rum of 2012. And thank you for the journey through all 30. It’s been fun and I can see I have some more testing to do. As I mentioned back in April, English Harbour 1981 (25 yr old) sits at the very top of my own list with Ron Millonario firmly in the number two spot. Your reviews are the best I’ve seen and I would be very interested in hearing what you think about the English Harbour 1981. Cheers & Merry Christmas.

    • Hi Lawrence

      The English Harbour 1981 (25 yr old) is a really good run. Alas, because it has not been in production for a number of years now, I could not include it in my tastings for the top 30 rums in the world for the year 2012.

      Merry Christmas!
      (and of course, a happy new year)

  2. Paw said

    I have to agree that Ron Millonario XO Reserva Especial Rum is top-of-the-pop. Despite being premium prices, it’s one of our best selling products in tiny Denmark. Nothing to add on your tasting notes ….

  3. Lance R. said

    I absolutely concur: it’s a fantastic rum. It is part of the Rum Nation stable of rums, and at Kensington Wine Market it was sold to me for $110. This is one of the rums I need to review formally, but I can tell you that everyone I shared it with immediately puts it to the top of their lists. A a side comment, the Ron Millenario Solera 15 is also pretty good.

    • It is going to be fun this fall tasting the Ron Millonario side by side with some of the other great Rums I have had this year. this rum, the Panamonte 25, the Plantation Guatemala, and the Five Barrel Rum have all delighted me and choosing the 2012 Rum Howler Rum of the Year is going to be a delight. (And the year isn’t even half over) 🙂

      • Ruminsky said

        I forgot to mention: like you I don’t have much info on the distillery, but I know that Rum Nation owns the company, ikf that helps at all.

        • Hi Lance

          I was able to confirm that the Ron Millonario (both Solera 15 and XO) rums are produced by a medium size Distillery in the north of Perù (Not Ron Cartavio). However, the XO is shipped to Italy in Bulk for Bottling. Strangely enough, the 15 year Solera XO is bottled in Peru.

  4. Laurence said

    Firstly, Chip, I have got to say that you are costing me a lot of money!! But this rum is phenomenal!!! It’s not widely available here in Calgary but today I priced it out at a few spots that had it – $136 at Britannia Wines, $129 at Highlander and $99.99 at the Mt Royal Liquor Depot. So, based on your good taste and the good price, I bought two of the four they had. As soon as I got home, I tried it – neat with one ice cube. The top two rums in my world up to this point have been: #1 – English Harbour 1981 ($190) and #2 – Ron Zacapa ($69). This Ron Millonario just slid into my #2 spot. It really is wonderful so thanks for the great review (as usual) and helping to lighten the load in my wallet for me. It’s a beautiful day for finding and tasting another one of the best rums I have ever had. BTW, it is listed as “Milian XO” on the Alberta Liquor Connect website. Cheers.

  5. ed oconnor said

    How expensive?

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