LIKE SEVERAL of the Caribbean’s best rums, the story of the Dominican Republic’s Ron Brugal begins in Spain.
In this case, it was Andres Brugal Montaner, a native of the Spanish city of Sitges, who moved to Santiago de Cuba and, ultimately, the Dominican Republic’s Puerto Plata in the mid-19th century.
The house has become one of the major rum producers in the country, along with Barcelo and Bermudez, now producing four major varieties for global consumption, in addition to its local portfolio: Brugal Especial Extra Dry, Brugal Anejo, Brugal Extra Viejo and the flagship, Brugal 1888, named for the distillery’s date of birth.
Ron Brugal 1888 is aged in a two-part process: first, the distillate is aged for between six and eight years in American oak barrels. It’s then aged for two to four years in Oloroso Sherry Casks, which are often used to age single malt whiskey.
Brugal 1888 has a dark amber colour, with an aroma with notes of molasses, cognac and candied fruit.
The flavour profile is dominated by cognac, wood, brown sugar, dried apricot and a slight hint of almond.
Brugal often notes the unique dryness of its rums as a selling point, but it’s about more than that — indeed, the rum is delightfully dry, but that’s because it has the complex, cognac-like finish of a top rhum agricole.
The verdict? Brugal 1888 is an outstanding rum.
We recommend it neat.