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RUM DON Q CRISTAL AND BLACkBEARD RUM P remium spirit Don Q Cristal hails from Destileria Serrallés, the birthplace of Puerto Rican rums. A multiple distillation system and carbon-activated fi ltration is what produces a pure, clean taste for Don Q. Its water source is the rainforests of Puerto Rico. We know it’s mixable, as THE TASTING PANEL has awarded its merits at several of our competitions. The brand’s resurgence into the marketplace is due to the ongoing support of the 4th- and 5th-generation Serrallés family members. SRP $14.99 Our Panel Votes: “Light, crisp and clean with slight hints of mocha and pepper.” (MM) “Clean, alcohol-forward aroma with a slight note of vanilla.” (JS) “The fl oral notes are lovely and clean.” (KH) “Light citrus, cardamom; light and smooth with lingering vegetal spices.” (FC) “A distinct minerality on the nose with subtle citrus and light tropical fruit mid-palate; a nice, dry fi nish.” (AP) Blackbeard rum wowed us as well. We’ve honored this 86-proof spiced rum with an impressive review score of 94 points for its spicy treasures. SRP $15.99 Serrallés USA West Region Manager John Katopodis and SoCal Area Manager Hannah Berlin represent Don Q Cristal and Blackbeard rums. Our Panel Votes: “Deep cinnamon and tobacco-tinged caramel with remote nuances of heather; spiced apples and pekoe tea make the fi nish a sensation.” (MM) “Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla—charms me. Would make a great foundation for a Cuba Libre.” (JS) “From its deep amber color to the big charm of banana and caramel on the nose, this rum offers layers: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and more.” (AP) Destileria Serrallés aribbean black spiced rum Kraken—named for a mythological sea creature that had an appetite for admirals, sailors and pirates— really got its tentacles around our panel. “Rum should always be fun,” said Bob Lee of Proximo Spirits, who entranced us with the legend while pouring the inky-hued 94-proof rum (supposedly the ink from the squid-like Kraken creates the dark color). Aged 12 to 24 months in oak before the spices are added, the brand—whose tag line is “Puts a beast in your belly”—was introduced only two years ago. SRP $19.99 kRAkEN C Our Panel Votes: “Raisins and cinnamon, clove, ginger and dried fi gs make up its complexity” (MM) “Right away, the aro- matics of sweet chocolate align with deep, dark fl avors of dried ripe fruit and molasses. This is a fun rum!” (JS) “Malty and fruity with creamy vanilla notes; against the spice, this really works.” (KH) “Cocoa, coffee and cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel. Delicious and rich—I would like to have it warmed with red wine and hot buttered cider.” (FC) “Tobacco and light smoke along with nutmeg, raisins and mocha with a good, dry fi nish.” (AP) Proximo Spirits Bob Lee of Proximo Spirits told about the legend of the sea monster Kraken. december 2010 / the tasting panel / 69

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