Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review 1 - Matusalem Gran Reserva 23 Solera

Photo copyright © H.Kristoffersen
Top of the line from Matusalem. A solid sipper no doubt.

Matusalem was founded in Cuba in 1872 but today they operate out of the Dominican Republic. They seem to take a lot of pride in their cuban heritage with a lot of mentioning on both box and bottle.

The rum has been aged in an oak cask solera and was bottled at 40%.

For further information on the brand please visit their webpage as it is unusually informative with a lot of info on the history of the company and a tiny info video on the solera ageing method.

Matusalem markets this as their ultra premium rum and the presentation of it somewhat supports this claim. The very sturdy cardboard box has a nice quality feel to it and is bound to keep the bottle out of unwanted light.

Inside there is a decanter style bottle made of very thick glass. Nothing spells premium as a nice, heavy bottle with a thick base. Just above the base of the bottle, the Matusalem swallow logo is embossed.

The bottle only sports a very small label with just a few relevant details.

On top of it all we find a nice natural cork with a wooden top which make that familiar sound when opened.

The rum itself has a dark golden hue and presents long, skinny and fast legs when twirled around in the glass.

Nosing around the edge of the glass reveals discreet burned sugar, fruity aromas, some orange peel and a wooden envelope to hold it all. Given time to breathe the rum doesn’t change much.

The rum is medium bodied and a bit dry. Initial tastes gives off liquorice and café latte followed by some of the orange peel initially discovered by the nose.

Given a little time subtle and un-intrusive oak and spices shows up.

The sweetness is not very strong with this one and the whole thing feels well balanced. After a couple of tastes it all evens out and there doesn't seem to be anymore surprises.

In the end it leaves the room quietly and leaves a long trace of lukewarm controlled sweetness. Nothing more, nothing less.

Rating and final thoughts
Over all a very solid rum. Super drinkable and easy to play with. Some sort of edge or added complexity somewhere in the mix would have made an even better product. But as an everyday sipper this rum is a very good choice.

I picked this bottle up for €40 and at that price point I consider it to be a good value for money.

Rating: 65/100


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