Cigars and Rum
Francisco Almonte of Dominican Big Leaguer cigars loves Brugal rum. How do I know? Because the staff at Lit Cigar Lounge in Swedesboro New Jersey had a few bottles on hand for him during a cigar rolling event featuring the man himself.
When he arrived, Francisco set up his table, pulled out some wrapping tobacco, then some pre-rolled filler and binder, sat down and was about to begin to roll when someone handed him a nice glass of rum. He smiled, saluted and took a sip. The night was off to a perfect start.
What they say
Brugal is distilled twice, then aged in American oak barrels before finishing in Spanish oak sherry casks. The result is flavors being described anywhere from butterscotch, to honey, toffee and salty butter.
This Gran Reserva Familiar is one of 9 offerings from this Dominican Republic based distillery. Products range in price from around $23 to $133 with this beauty coming in at about $45. According to Wine Enthusiast, this product was launched in 2011 and is a limited-edition rum.
Gran Reserva Familiar
Brugal reminded me of a high end and expensive Gran Reserva Solera. That was before I grabbed the bottle and snapped a picture of it. Gran Reserva Familiar deserves some research. This is what I found.
Not a word. Not a peep.
Solera is in Wikipedia (it is an aging process where young wide is repeatedly added to old wine increasing the yield and average age of the wine gradually over time).
Gran Reserva Familiar is not.
It was both spicy and sweet without being overly spicy and sweet. The oak barrels of course provided some vanilla, and anything fermented from cane sugar will have a molasses note.
What a smooth finish. It was beautiful and creamy with very little burn. The legs on this stuff is tremendous too. It coated the glass with amazing viscosity.
Brugal has a nice amber color and is fruity on the nose as well. This is straight sipping rum although I love taking fine rum and using it for my mojito’s. There is something about aged rum in mixed drinks (not rum and Coke!!) that I find fascinating. The nuanced flavors to me are more enjoyable when paired with other ingredients from the native tropics. Lime, mint, and a little club soda accentuates the natural flavors of rum to me. Ice cold rum is refreshing to e as well.
Avoid spicy and peppery cigars at all costs with Brugal. Rather, find the most aromatic cigar in your box and light up, lean back and enjoy. That is not to say you should avoid a full-bodied cigar. I didn’t mean to imply that at all.
What you want here is a spicy cigar that will not crush your pallet or fry your nostrils with so much pepper that it interferes with the aroma of the Brugal. Remember, you taste with your nose and you will miss some of the nuance if you are dealing with a 4-alarm fire in your nasal passages.