Bermudez is a Dominican rum producer and along with Brugal and Barceló make up the “big” 3 B’s of Dominican rum. The Bermudez 1852 Aniversario is a rum which has been aged for 12 years. It is bottled but once a year. The rum is aged in select oak barrels and according to one website offering it for sale “is comparable to old brandy”.
The 1852 in the name is the date Don Erasmo Bermudez created the formula for the “Bitter Panacea” a rum that according to legend soon became very famous.
The presentation of the rum is vintage. The dark green bottle is very old school and the gold and black font is again a hark back to forgotten times. Despite being a 12 year aged spirit the enclosure is disappointingly a screw cap. The cardboard box pictured to the left is also quite flimsy and pretty cheaply made. The Bermudez emblem on the bottle neck is also plastic rather than metal. The rum is however 40% ABV and it cost me little more than £25. The label is entirely in Spanish which adds a little charm to the offering. It makes the rum feel a little more special in a way. It gives the feeling of a more exclusive experience. This isn’t mass market rubbish. This is what you would find in the Dominican. Shame its spoilt by the bright pink UK customs stickers on the rear.
In the glass the rum is a deep amber colour. It was impossible to tell the colour of the rum from the dark green bottle. The dark bottling of rums seems quite a theme with the older Cuban/Dominican style rum’s I have tried thus far. It also adds a little mystique to the experience of pouring for the first time.
The rum has quite a fruity nose – banana and coconut a little raisin. There is a tiny bit of the “Havana Club smell” lurking in the background. This is a smell which I detect a lot in Havana Club 7 and the Anejo. It’s also slightly noticeable in other Cuban style rums. Some reviewer’s have noted the smell as “gasoline” like (petrol to the English), metallic and I’ve also seen terms such as iodine used. I still haven’t quite find the right words to describe it. It’s a kind of sickly buttery smell laced with exhaust fumes. Hopefully someone reading this may be able to explain the smell or understand what I’m saying!
The “Havana Club smell” luckily isn’t too overbearing and it just sits in the background it is much more buttery than exhaust fumes luckily. When sipped the rum is pleasant and coats the tongue nicely. It doesn’t burn it just tingles as I believe good sippers should. The buttery side of the rum comes out more initially on the tongue. It’s smooth and quite dry. It has a long finish. Surprisingly there is little by way of a smokiness or oaked flavour. In some respects its fruitiness reminds me of a Bajan style of rum. Notes of vanilla. A strong hit of banana and a long peppery finish. There is also a bitterness in the finish which reminds me of cocoa or very dark chocolate.
I add a couple of ice cubes, although there really is little need if you are to enjoy this as a sipper. Having said that a couple of ice cubes certainly doesn’t spoil the enjoyment of the rum. It reduces the burn but it doesn’t really bring out much flavourwise. The rum was flavourful before and after the ice.
Adding cola to the rum doesn’t faze it either. The banana flavour experienced when sipping is joined by a taste of plums and cherries. The creamy/buttery like flavour also comes into the mix but fortunately the slight “exhaust fume” like taste disappears.
Of the Cuban/Dominican style rums I have tried thus far I’ve enjoyed this one the most so far. I quite like the dry finish of the rum when sipped but I also like the fruitiness, which I have found missing in other Cuban style rums. There is a certain authenticity to this rum, I’d be surprised if this rum has been adulterated much by way of any additives. It’s not my usual style of rum but it is one that is definitely near the top of its particular class.
Prior to reviewing this rum I hadn’t tried it in quite a while. I now remember why I only had a round a quarter of the bottle left!