Review: Don Q Cristal and Anejo Rum

Review: Don Q Cristal and Anejo Rum

Don Q is an unsung hero in the rum world, producing both some extremely inexpensive spirits as well as some highly-regarded, well-aged rums. Based in Puerto Rico, you’ll find these 80 proof rums just about everywhere.

Today we took a look at two of the less expensive, more widely-available offerings from the company.

Don Q Cristal Rum is a hot little number, produced in a Cuban style — aged for a year or more, and then filtered to remove the color and leave it clear. The rum is clean-tasting but quite hot, with a good bit of burn on the finish. The aroma offers wood and a little smoke, and the body is only minimally sweet with the aforementioned characteristics as secondary notes. If you’re a fan of simple rums without overwhelming sweetness — but which are nonetheless perfectly palatable on their own — Don Q Cristal is a winner at an amazing price. B+ / $10 

Don Q Anejo Rum is aged from three to five years and is left with its color intact. The nose is sweet vanilla with wood backing it up. Still hot, though, but it’s mellowed out by the sweetness that the Cristal lacks. Hardly complicated but easy enough to sip on or mix with, it’s nonetheless a solid rum at this price level. B / $16 

Aka DonQ.

Don Q Anejo Rum




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Edoc on October 12, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for these reviews. I’ve read very good things about these rums as mixers, but I haven’t tried them yet. Sounds like they’d make nice Painkillers.

  2. cange on October 13, 2010 at 7:30 am

    The thing about DonQ crystal is it’s polarizing. You either really like it or you think it’s the worst white rum you’ve ever tasted. I think most people who hurriedly grab a bottle of rum grab bacardi and they’re fairly indifferent to it’s taste. Personally, I say try the Q! (or if you have 4 more dollars, the cruzan:)

  3. Ryan on October 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Mount Gay rum is also a good choice.

  4. Angel on October 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm

    Interesting. In PR, Don Q tends to be the preferred brand for the locals. Bacardi is more what the “gringos” drink (no offense intended). Bacardi is often seen as the sweeter of the two. That burn you describe in the review is actually seen as a good thing for the locals.

    At the end of the day, find the one that tastes better for you.

    Best, and keep on blogging.

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