Rum Journal: Cruzan’s New Distiller’s Collection Rums From St Croix


Above: The new Distiller’s Collection of aged rums from Cruzan in St Croix includes the Estate Diamond Light and Dark rums, as well as the legacy Single Barrel luxury aged rum.

By Robert Burr
Rum Journal Special Contributor

Master Distiller Gary Nelthropp of Cruzan Distillery in St Croix, US Virgin Islands has been working on a new series of exceptional rums for enthusiasts and collectors. Three new expressions — worthy of carrying his signature on the bottle — are now coming to market: Estate Diamond Light, Estate Diamond Dark and Single Barrel.

“Don’t hurry” is a persistent theme in the marketing of Cruzan rums. The idea translates well both in terms of how the rums are made and how they might best be enjoyed by consumers.

The distillery takes pride in their policy of separating the “heart” of the rum distillate from the more objectionable heavy components derived in the late distillation cycle known as “tales.” The result is a cleaner, better tasting rum that costs a little more to produce.

Cruzan Estate Diamond Light Rum

It seems a great deal of effort and care has been taken to create this new blend of aged rums — at least five years old — with some components reaching twelve years of age.

Careful filtering has removed most color while allowing much of the smooth and mature characteristics to remain in Estate Diamond Light Rum. The result is a faintly straw-colored expression of notable quality.

With aromas of light cane and subtle aromatic oak, plus a touch of mild peppermint, the nose is very light. On the palate, we find a luscious mouth feel of light vanilla building to warm pepper, cane and delicate wood. The finish is medium long and warm.

The new 750ml bottle of Cruzan Estate Diamond Light rum at 80 proof carries a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Cruzan Estate Diamond Dark Rum

A legacy product now brought back to market, the Estate Diamond Dark Rum delivers a rich and satisfying blend of authentic aged rum — five to twelve years in the barrel — at a price point that can only be described as generous. It easily straddles the line between a sipper and a mixer, offering a robust profile that stands up on the rocks and works well in cocktails that require a hearty rum component.

Aromas of vanilla dominate the nose, leading to toasted oak, baking spices, bourbon, and pistachio. On the palate, warm wood, buttery vanilla wafer notes with baking spices lead to warm pepper and a dry finish.

The new 750ml bottle bottle of Cruzan Estate Diamond Dark Rum at 80 proof also carries a suggested list price of $19.99.

Cruzan Single Barrel Rum

A heritage staple of rum connoisseurs and collectors, the Single Barrel premium aged rum remains on the short list of great sipping rums of the Caribbean region. The master blender selects his best vintage barrels for inclusion in this blend, then re-barrels them into single casks for further aging until they reach their peak of maturity. This popular rum is a fine sipper that plays well in a rocks glass with a single, large, clear ice cube.

Big wood dominates the nose with a creamy note, toasted whole wheat, dried fruit and Brazil nut. The taste as well is dominated by big oak and a buttery caramel mouth feel, leading to dry pepper and big warmth receding to a long lasting dry butter and pepper finish.

The new 750ml bottle at 80 proof carries a suggested lit price of $29.99.

Robert Burr publishes Rob’s Rum Guide and hosts the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, in addition to organizing the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP).


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