Andrés Brugal Montaner established the Brugal Distillery in 1888. The company progressively expanded over the ensuing 120 years, and today it is one of the three major rum distillers in the Dominican Republic. George Arzeno Brugal is the current chairman, and the majority of the current board members are direct descendants of the original company founder, even though the Edrington Group currently controls the company.
About six years ago, when it was still known as Ron Brugal Anejo - Desde 1888, I evaluated Brugal Anejo. My conversation with the local Brugal Brand Ambassador at the Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Show around two years ago gave me the impression that the spirit had undergone a few tweaks since I wrote my original evaluation.
This procedure harmonizes the barrel selection procedure with the company's Scotch whisky wood policy.
In my glass, the rum has a medium amber/copper tone that appears deeper and darker than what we could anticipate from 2 to 5 years in former bourbon barrels (caramel added, perhaps). Light scents of wood spice, butterscotch, and a trace of mustiness are present in the opening whiff. I can see a little thickened sheen of rum within my glencairn as I tilt and spin it. Slender legs are formed as the medium-sized leglets that constitute the crest gently descend into the rum.
There is a wonderful consistency from the aroma to the palate, as there was when I tried the Brugal XV in 2014 (see review here). My first sip gives me subtle sensations of oak spice, which are followed by firm accents of butterscotch and orange peel (and a light mustiness). The rum is obviously young (it has a hint of peppery astringency), but as I taste it, I also perceive a good depth of flavor developing. On my palate, there are hints of marmalade, raisins, and a slight nuttiness from almonds that seem to bring the flavors together. From the wood spices, some baking spice (cinnamon) develops, and I get a contented sense that is very similar to how I felt when I first nosed the glass.