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Brugal Extra Viejo
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Featured Spirits - Rums

Brugal Extra Viejo Rum
Brugal & Co, SA
Puerto Plata, DR
80 Proof

By Gerard Heidgerken of Bilgemunky.com

I’ll level with you. Contrary to plan, upon pouring my sample of Brugal Extra Viejo into my tasting glass I was surprised to see a spirit of rich amber spring forth. Nope, not very dark at all. Being as this is my first experience with Brugal, I can only plead ignorance and offer this piece of time-tested advice: When life hands you lemons (or rather, amber rum), make lemonade (or rather, wear sunglasses).

With dark enough shades, Brugal Extra Viejo is indeed a dark, rich mahogany. But to the nose, it still doesn’t smell remotely like a dark rum, which it’s not, so let’s just remove the glasses, take it in stride, and revel in this unexpected departure from our theme. By reducing the roles of oak and molasses we’re freed to explore some of Brugal’s more delicate aromas. Bananas and butterscotch take a clear center stage, while notes of sugarcane, and even a touch of fresh-cut grass, are also present.

The experience of tasting Brugal is a multi-stage process. It hits the mouth cool and sharp, with its alcohol burn subsiding as it warms and thickens on the tongue. Let it linger further and the burn gradually—and then not so gradually—returns, building steam like a chicken race to see who swallows first. It then leaves a surprisingly gentle finish complemented by hints of cream and vanilla.

Even without delving into flavored rums, rum proper is a surprisingly diverse beverage and Brugal is a clear example of this fact. If dark rum isn’t to your liking, you may well find a home in ambers.