Review: Larga Vida XO Rum 2019 Edition
A sunset with a jumping dolphin on the label, and a speedboat cutting through the waves as a stopper? This can only mean one thing, right? We’re drinking rum built for partying.
Surprise, surprise, though: Larga Vida isn’t your daddy’s blender fodder. This is high-end, complex stuff, designed by the co-founder of the Flaviar booze shop specifically for the site. The rum is a massive blend of spirits hailing from 10 different countries — Barbados, Dominican Republic, Guadalupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Panama, Trinidad, and Colombia — and all of the rum in the blend is at least 15 years old, aged in a variety of new and used cask types, including used red wine and sherry barrels.
Let’s give it a try.
Sure enough, the nose has all the hallmarks of a well-aged spirit, featuring enduring aromas of coffee, Port, and other old red wine notes, all pushed through the sieve of oak and spice-filled resin. The palate is, surprisingly, a bit hot at first, with spice and racy wood notes dominant. Notes of cocoa powder can be seen, but that’s through a hefty filter of overripe fruit. As the finish develops, things start to feel a bit overcooked, with notes of heavily sweetened stewed prunes giving the rum a pungency that recalls fortified wine that’s past its prime, lingering for too long and a bit treacly, a bit sickly.
Still, there’s plenty of complexity in the mix to fully sustain a glass or two — and, let’s be honest, you can freely mix with it, too.