While the 3 Star expression might be the most readily available rum from Puerto Rico’s Ron del Barrilito, the brand actually offers impressively aged 4 and 5 Star offerings, as well as this bottle, the entry level 2 Star. Per Ron del Barrilito, this introductory expression has been aged “at least 3 to 5 years” (presumably no less than 3 but no more than 5). As with the 3 Star, maturation occurs in “Oloroso” white oak barrels that previously held oloroso sherry. Let’s dive in.
The aroma is soft but a touch industrial with some rubbery ethanol top notes that are masked reasonably well by a faint light brown sugar sweetness. Notes of raw almonds, imitation vanilla, and subtle, winey red fruits arrive in time. The oak, dry and a little sharp at first blush, develops something of a sandalwood quality as it opens with high polished undertones. The palate is light-bodied with notes of raw sugar and candied nuts. A bit of fruit attempts to develop on the midpalate with some over-sugared berries and peach candies, but their full arrival is interrupted with lip-puckering vanilla extract and burly oak notes. The finish is surprisingly generous with a pleasant grilled peach note that manages to hold its own despite the addition of dry oak tannins and some gritty turbinado. Clearly a young rum but not without merit for cocktailing. A bit expensive for a mixing rum though.
B / $33 / rondelbarrilito.com