The Premise: Originating in Cuba 130 years ago, now aged 15 years in the Dominican Republic, Gran Reserva calls itself the “cognac of rum.”
The Tasters and their Qualifications: Jason, Tara (has drank on four out of seven continents), Brian and Jan (self-proclaimed “shots champion”). Total years of legal drinking: 79
The Packaging: Classic look befitting the high-falutin’ aspirations of this venerable product
Tasters rated the following on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being “I wouldn’t take it if it was free” and 10 being “I’m heading to the liquor store right now to get my own!”
The Nose: 9. Smooth, with hints of caramel
The Taste: 8.5 Rich smooth taste, with notes of vanilla. Good finish.
The Recipe (wherein we mix up a drink from the company’s Web site, when relevant):
The Cuban Special
1 1/2 oz. Matusalem Gran Riserva
Juice from half a lime
1 1/2 oz. Cointreau (we used Triple Sec)
1 1/4 oz. Pineapple juice
Shake all ingredients over ice in a shaker; strain into chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lime twist
This was a very popular and refreshing summer drink. Some tasted a bit too much lime, some too much pineapple, but over all, the verdict was refreshing.
The Overall Verdict: 8.5 A great rum, on the rocks or in a Cuban Special