Barceló are one of the “big three” Dominican rum producers along with Bermudez and Brugal.
While Brugal have made some impact in the UK – their Anejo is available in a couple of supermarkets now. Bermudez and Barceló continue to be very popular in Spain but have made little inroad into the UK market.
The Ron Barceló brand was introduced in 1930 by Spanish immigrant Julian Barceló, domestically Ron Barceló is widely accepted as the market leader. You can find a lot of history on the Barceló and Dominican rum in general at the Dominican Rum Guide.
By law Dominican rum must be aged for at least 2 years – this offering is a blend of rums aged upto 4 years. As with many of the Dominican rums it is bottled at just 37.5% ABV – which is the minimum ABV for a spirit drink to be labelled rum here in the UK. The only reason I can think for such an ABV is cost. Barceló Anejo is not an expensive rum. It’ll set you back around £20 in the UK and is much cheaper in Spain.
Ron Barceló Anejo comes in a short square bottle which is a very dark brown making it impossible to determine the colour of the contains contained within the bottle. My bottle was bought in Spain – and is all in Spanish so I can determine little from the label. There are a few lines of text on the front which seem to be talking about the superior rums in the blend etc and a little bit of what looks like background info on the rear of the bottle. My bottle comes with a metallic screw cap and it has a diffusor in the spout (common with Dominican rums and rums from other developing nations). There is Ron Dominica blown into the bottle along with what looks like a kind of family crest on the neck of the bottle. The presentation is distinctive if a little dated.
In the glass Barceló Anejo reveals itself to be a nice golden/orange colour. The nose is pretty muted and uninspiring. A little alcohol and some light vanilla. There’s nothing wrong with the nose but little to get excited about either. The hydrometer test shows a little added sugar – I don’t think this has much influence it may smooth out some of the rougher edges. It doesn’t detract from this being a more authentic style of rum.
As a sipper its unremarkable – sweet young alcohol and a little zesty spiciness. It’s a young column distilled rum and does little to convince you otherwise. It doesn’t really have anything wrong with it but its averageness is its most striking feature. It has a little sweetness, slight notes of oak on the palate. The finish is quite hot and spicy but very short.
This rums popularity in Spain is down to its mixability and competive price. The Spanish (like me) really enjoy a rum and cola.
Ron Barceló Anejo mixes competently but it all but gets lost in the mix. It’s smooth and easy going. Good mouthfeel but flavourwise its very much lacking.
I might pick it up on holiday (its half the price in Spain) as a mixer but I think I would probably have to have a pretty unremarkable selection available to do so. I certainly wouldn’t pay £20 for a bottle.
At the end of the day there are a lot of rums on the market that are better than this at a similar price point. Better examples of this style of rum as well such as Don Q Gold or Ron Cubay Anejo.