Review: Brugal Maestro Reserva Rum

Review: Brugal Maestro Reserva Rum

The Dominican Republic’s Brugal continues to pump out high-grade, high-class rums with the launch of this new release, Maestro Reserva, Brugal’s “first ever permanent edition prestige sipping rum.” Emphasis on permanent. Previous high-end rums from Brugal, such as Papa Andres, have all been limited editions.

The rum making process for Maestro Reserva utilizes an innovative cask toasting technique – completely unique to and developed by Brugal – in prestigious American sherry oak casks called “Dark Aromatic Toasting” to create a one-of-a-kind rum, carefully crafted for sipping.

Driven by passion, each generation of Brugal family Maestro Roneros enrich the art of rum making and leaves behind a legacy that endures through the ages. Brugal family member and fifth-generation Maestra Ronera, Jassil Villanueva Quintana, upholds this as she introduces her legacy, Masetro Reserva. Using the “Dark Aromatic Toasting” technique, Jassil has produced a rum born from years of practice and patience, passed down from generation to generation. With her expertise, she discerns the precise moment when the rum’s elements reach perfection, resulting in a liquid characterized by a naturally smooth, well-rounded, and intricate sweetness.

“My family deeply embraces the elegance and soul of Brugal rum, and I’ve absorbed a wealth of wisdom from the generations of Maestro Roneros who came before me,” shares Jassil Villanueva Quintana. “By leveraging this knowledge and my unwavering passion, all while paying homage to the Brugal family legacy, I’ve crafted a rum that is “moment perfect.” My hope is that Maestro Reserva graces all of life’s big celebrations, alongside cherished ones, forging moments that will endure for centuries to come.”

Brugal’s proprietary “Dark Aromatic Toasting” process naturally sweetens the liquid to create a rum that is free of external sugars and additives. After aging in premium American sherry oak casks, the rum is emptied and carefully placed aside. The American sherry oak casks are immediately toasted using precision, mastery and expertise to extract natural caramel pearls that are drawn from the sugars in the wood. The casks are then re-filled with the rum, absorbing the delicate caramel pearls created in the wood before being carefully aged under the Dominican sun. The result is a smooth and rich liquid defined by sweet vanilla creaminess, velvety caramel and awakened by a hint of smoke.

Officially the rum carries no age statement, as the “Dark Aromatic Toasting” process and the use of sherry casks does the heavy lifting here.

We received a small sample to taste. Let’s give it a whirl.

To start, the reliance on sherry casks is immediately evident here, with powerful notes of orange peel, roasted nuts, baking spices, and a layer of leather all evident. I get hints of saffron and a light layer of toasted (rather than charred) oak staves.

There’s a unique quality on the palate that’s hard to place, something adjacent to roasted corn, with more of that saffron character lingering. Sweetness is moderated — this does not feel like it has added sugar — with lightly glazed nuts, dark chocolate, and a drop of honey adding some earthy nuance. Again, the sherry casking is evident, impregnating the finish with a sharp, winey character that finally lands on a bittersweet note of red raspberry and some currant.

Brugal hasn’t had many misses of late, and this is a fine addition to the portfolio. The price is a bit aggressive, but what isn’t these days?

82.4 proof.

A- / $200

Brugal Maestro Reserva 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.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.