Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2005

DONQ Signature Release Single Barrel 2005 Rum Review by the fatr rum pirateDon Q Signature Release for 2016 is a Single Barrel rum from 2005.  Don Q are amongst a number of producers who are making noises about “no addtives” in their rum.  They freely invite you to test their wares as they know they have not added anything.

Despite this I still notice a lot of scepticism in the rum community concerning Don Q rums.  Much of this based on the fact they produce multi column distilled rums.  All I will say to those sceptical about their rums is try one, especially their Anejo or Gran Anejo.

This Signature Release was distilled back in 2005 and bottled in 2015 making it a ten year old rum.  There are 6000 bottles of this available and it is denoted as a Limited Edition.  The bottle is different from the “standard” DonQ line up (Cristal, Gold and Anejo) and the Gran Anejo.  They have went for the popular “stubby” style bottle with this release.  The bottle is rounded and has a very nice natural cork stopper.  The top of the stopper is particularly cool.  It has a picture of the Signature Don Q horse and rider.

There isn’t a great deal of information on the bottle.  It states it is a Single Barrel Rum which was selected by the Master Distiller.  At 6000 bottles it must have been a very large barrel.  I asked Don Q about this and was told the following

“The release is from a single distillation and the rum produced from that distillation were all put into similar but not the same ex-Bourbon Barrel(s).  So the rum you get in the bottle is from a single barrel – though not all the 6000 bottles are from the same barrel”

Which clears it up sufficiently for me. In the UK a bottle of this rum will set you back around £40.  It is bottled at 40% ABV for a 70cl bottle.

Quantities of this rum have been made available in Puerto Rico, the US and Europe.

The profile of Don Q rum has certainly increased over the past couple of years.  At the London Rumfest in October I was pleasantly surprised to see a quite large and very busy Don Q stand.  Global Brand Ambassador Alexx Mouzouris and his team were doing an excellent job.  I hung around the stand for a while listening into feedback from other attendees.  Many were surprised about the quality of the Don Q line up on offer and wondered why they had not heard of the brand before.

The 2005 Single Barrel has been aged in American White Oak barrels (ex-Bourbon).  I’m hopeful that Don Q will take inspiration from Foursquare’s recent Port and Zinfandel finish rums for future releases.  However I am aware how difficult and expensive it can be to secure certain casks/barrels. 

I’m hopeful that this rum will give me something similar to the excellent Gran Anejo but with sufficient difference to merit owning both rums.

In the glass the rum is a golden/straw colour and looks a lot less orange than when in the bottle.  The nose is nicely balanced.  Vanilla, good oak presence, a little toffee and chocolate.  There are some nutty and creamy notes in their as well.  Despite the ABV of only 40% it has quite a sharpness to it and has quite a strong hit of sweet alcohol.

It is likely this is caused by the fact the rum has not been blended so there are some Don Q Signature Blend Single Barrel Rum Review by the fat rum pirateelements that would perhaps be ironed out if it were a more regular release.  If this sounds like a criticism – it is not intended as one.  I like the fact I am getting these slight imperfections.  It’s interesting.

Overall for an unblended rum it is very nicely balanced on the nose.  Again as I have mentioned before Don Q rums are quite similar to classic Bajan rums.  Reliant on good oak ageing and a well distilled core product to begin with.

When sipped the rum has a fairly sweet opening – fruity pears and apple with just a little hint of darker berries.  These sweeter notes are quickly over taken by some lovely spicy oak and bourbon-esque notes.  It’s quite a spicy and heated rum but one which quickly calms down into a medium length finish which as a wonderful lightness to it.  In the finish you still get the oak but also a kind of crème caramel note.

It’s not as dry and smoky as I initially suspected from the stronger alcohol notes on the nose.  As a sipper it has a really good balance and a good complexity. 

There are a few brands which I am expecting to break big in the couple of years – amongst them is Don Q.  They also have a Spiced Rum out soon as well as 151 already on the shelves.

I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoyed their Gran Anejo or to people who understand appreciate the balance and finesse of Bajan Rums.

4.5 stars




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6 comments on “Don Q Signature Release Single Barrel 2005

  1. Have tried Don Q (a few bottlings), wasn’t terribly impressed. Very straight forward, very simple and light. For the anejo I tried some 10 years ago, there was hardly a hint of oak in there (anejo means old, matured). No depth, complexity, myriad of flavours or even notes of the advertised age. Easy. Not really my cuppa tea.

    • Sorry meant Gran Anejo that I tried 10 years ago or so, after checking my notes.

  2. Haven’t seen much info on this rum yet so was not quite sure what to expect and ignored it because of this very reason (I only buy 1 or 2 bottles a month, so want to know what I’m getting). Sounds like something I would enjoy for a very competetive price! 🙂

    • I don’t think you will be disappointed

      • Got a bottle yesterday and while I can’t detect all the flavours you describe I completely agree with your general describtion. Nice, light every day sipper which is nicely balanced (especially for a single cask rum).
        Having not tried any other Don Q bottling yet I was quite surprised to read and taste this rum is very much Bajan style while normally I would expect a rum from Puerto Rico to be Cuban/Spanish style.
        Overal quite happy with the buy as its good value for money. Thanks for the review as otherwise I would have most likely ignored this botling!

        • Thanks Rob glad to hear you agree with the notes.

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