I have a problem with rum. I love it for it’s drinkability and it’s taste. So it has been no chore in doing this review of Don Q Cristal and Don Q Limon Rums. First however, let’s get a little history on the company and it’s products, which will be reviewed in upcoming posts.
Don Q Rum is the number one selling rum in Puerto Rico. It is produced in the municipality of Ponce by the Serailles Family, who have been producing rums since the early to mid 1800′s. In 1930, they launched the Don Q product line and now export to the United States and many other countries around the world.
The Don Q line-up includes many different products from new to anjeo rums. Among those being reviewed on this site are Don Q Cristal, Don Q Gold, Don Q Anjeo, Don Q Grand Anjeo, and Don Q Limon. There are several other flavored rums by Don Q not reviewed here such as Mango, Mojito and Coconut.
Don Q Cristal is the first up for review, as it should be, not only because it is the first mentioned in the Don Q line,but because this crystal-clear spirit is the youngest of rums. Clear spirits like this are not aged in wood barrels, and therefore, are the clearest and lightest in color and taste than aged spirits. So naturally, I expected Don Q Cristal to be as its name implies, clear as crystal.
The aromas of Don Q Cristal are slightly fruity, perhaps with a hint of pineapple and citrus, with a strong alcohol smell. Tasting Don Q was a similiar experience in that I got the slight citrus taste with an astringent finish. There was quite a lot of burn with Don Q Cristal on tip of my tongue. Overall, I can say that Don Q Cristal is distilled very nicely and gives me what I expected from a young rum.
I decided to make a classic Mojito with it, and found that it worked out extremely well. In fact, I can say it was probably one of the best Mojitos I’ve made or tasted. Because Don Q Cristal is so light and well-distilled, it allows for the subtle flavors of lime and mint to shine through. I’ve made mojitos with Captain Morgan Silver Spiced Rum and Bacardi Silver Rum, and found the former too sweet compared to Don Q Cristal. Don’t get me wrong, these products are just fine. For my taste, they didn’t work as well. Perhaps they would work better with stronger flavors. On the other hand, I don’t think that Don Q Cristal would be my go-to rum for say, a Cuba Libre (rum and coke), due to it’s astringency and lightness in flavor. Personally I like richer tasting rums in drinks like those. Making a Daquiri or Mojito for your next party? If so, Don Q Cristal is your new favorite spirit. The recipe I used for the Mojito is below:
2 oz Don Q Cristal Rum
1/3 oz Light Agave Nectar (I use this because of it’s low glycemic index)
1/2 a lime, cut into four quarters
10 mint leaves
In a mixing glass, add lime quarters, mint, and agave nectar.
Fill shaker tin with ice and shake well for 20 seconds.
Strain into an ice-filled highball glass (you may want to use a fine mesh strainer as well to double-strain the drink to get the small bits of mint. As you can see, I didn’t). Top with no more than 4 oz of club soda and garnish with a mint sprig.
Next up is Don Q Limon, one of the flavored rums from the Serailles Family. I chose this rum to review alongside Don Q Cristal because it too is a young rum. However, it is infused with lemon flavor.
The aroma of Limon is up-front lemon, although not quite the same as fresh lemon. Perhaps that is due to the alcohol smell which accompanies it. I tasted this spirit and found that the lemon flavor overpowers any of the other aromas found in sampling Don Q Cristal. Overpoweringly LEMON, but without the tartness associated with that flavor.
I decided to make a traditional Daquiri cocktail. The drink was very good. The lime juice and flavor of the Limon really pumped up the citrus flavor, yet still very crisp and light. Here’s the recipe:
Don Q Limon Daquiri
2 oz Don Q Limon Rum
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz Light Agave Nectar (again for the low glycemic index)
Shake vigorously over ice and strain into an pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon spiral.
Like the Cristal Rum, I found Don Q Limon to work well in drinks where you naturally want to accentuate the citrus component of the other ingredients. I would be curious to try this instead of vodka in a Cosmopolitan. I think it would work well in this application because of the clean base spirit and the citrus flavors normally found in that type of drink. Both Don Q Cristal and Don Q Limon work well in certain drinks, and not well in others. Of course, your bartender should know better. If not, perhaps you can make a suggestion to him.
So far, only two of the Don Q family of rums have been reviewed. Next up, is Don Q Gold.