Last of the Sibling Rivalry series. Originally I intended to simply have the Barbancourt Estate Reserve (15 Years Old) represent the line, but at a recent rum tasting I held for some non-rum drinking friends, the Barbancourt 5 Star (8 Years Old) received very favorable reviews. I figured that earned it the opportunity to battle its way into the World Cup. So here we are… Barbancourt Estate Reserve vs. Barbancourt 5 Star in a pseudo-blind tasting.
I was a bit taken aback by the first smell I noticed from the first glass. It was something I never noticed before the couple of times I had tried Barbancourt. It wasn’t the grassy kind of smell I expected from a cane juice rum (or rhum), instead it reminded me of tequila, there was an herbal quality to it. And there was vanilla there too, but that part seemed right. The taste had more of the earth/grassy quality I was expecting, with vanilla in there as well, which developed some spicy bite toward the end. It was a very pleasant experience, if a little on the light side.
The second glass had more of that stereotypical caramel smell to it with a good dose of vanilla as well. The flavor was also deeper and more oaky, with a hint of cooked orange maybe (crepe suzette anyone?) this also gave way to a hotter finish that lingered long after the rum was gone. In fact, at the risk of being overly crude, even the burp that followed was a deliciously spicy blend oak, orange, and caramel
I had to give the edge to the second glass. Again, not by much as these are both rums I will definitely keep stocked in my bar, but the fuller body and variety of flavor in the second glass gave it the extra push to win this round. Based on these observations I guessed that the second glass was the Estate Reserve… and I was right. As usual, I re-tasted each rum openly to confirm the results, and they held. Barbancourt Estate Reserve was the winner.
Next up: Group A Match-Up – Bacardi 8 Años vs. Mocambo 20 Year Art Edition.