Ron del Barrilito is a Puerto Rican rum brand with a long history that dates back to 1880 and the Fernandez family, which would serve their house rum to guests from little barrels (“barrilito” in Spanish). For nearly a century, the rum has been available as a 2 Estrellas (Stars) and older 3 Estrellas offering, a sample of which we were recently provided for review (complete with a new wooden cork topper that replaces the former screw top). According to the company’s website, Ron del Barrilito 3 Stars uses a maceration process for at least some of the rums in this blend, a practice common to spiced rums (although the brand doesn’t label this as such). A small portion of the rum is infused with a mix of natural dried fruits and spices before being aged between 6 and 10 years in ex-Oloroso sherry barrels and then bottled in small batches with no added sugars, artificial flavors, or colorings. Thoughts follow.
That sherry aging is definitely evident on the nose with lots of dried red fruits and vibrant, woody spices competing with the rich, dark molasses notes of the underlying spirit. There’s a nice depth here with seasoned oak and sticky vanilla bean woven in, as well. On the palate, the rum is thick and syrupy. Notes of plump raisin, torched sugar, and green banana are overtaken somewhat by the weight of a heavy brown sugar sweetness and some mild astringency which builds into a finish of dry oak, tart berries, and peppery spice cabinet. An enjoyable dark rum with a unique flavor profile engaging enough for neat sipping but even better suited to cocktailing.