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Rum Review: Dos Maderas 5 + 3 Years Cask & Barrel Rum

 
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How do you rate Dos Maderas 5+3 Years Cask & Barrel Rum (5 is best)?
5
33%
 33%  [ 2 ]
4
50%
 50%  [ 3 ]
3
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
2
16%
 16%  [ 1 ]
1
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 6

Author Message
Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:29 am    Post subject: Rum Review: Dos Maderas 5 + 3 Years Cask & Barrel Rum Reply with quote

Dos Maderas 5 + 3 Years Cask & Barrel Rum: "Honeyed Fruit Compote"

My, my, oh where, oh where do we begin? A little background: Sue Sea and I have tasted so many rums, wines and single malt whiskeys that we no longer can get all that excited about a new offering. Such offerings come and go - in the world of rogue rum this often turns out to be yet another artificially flavored young rum named "Razzberry Dazzle" or some such crapola. Or maybe Zaphra "21". All with syrupy sweet marketing design, copy and promotion. Am I impressed?

Not.

Let's face it. the really, really good and pure rums are few and far between and have been around for awhile. These are produced by legendary distilllers like Richard Seale, Joy Spence, and Jerry Edwards to name a few. Or by unnamed artists at such distilleries as El Dorado or Barbancourt. It really takes years (five or more) to really establish a good rum, and many more to perfect it.

But new rums do arise, and some of them are suspiciously high priced in luxurious bottles. Again, think Zaphra. Or - if you were lucky - you ran across Dos Maderas, which I saw at an un-rumlike price of $39 (or even higher). New rums don't usually make it (up to 70% fail), and together with the mortgage inducing price points the marketing guys demand based mostly on their permanent smiles, overflowing confidence and lasting erections (exceeding four hours), cause me to exit stage left.

Quickly.

Dos Maderas ("two woods" in Spanish) is one of these and accordingly remained one of the very few rums I remained steadfast in not owning. But then a miracle appeared. We are incredibly blessed to have some of the most well stocked, best priced liquor stores in the world. These are owned by clever and aggressive Indian merchant families who substitute otherwise expensive store design and large size (think ABC or Total Wine) for smaller square footage outlets, featuring close spaced ordinary shelving, all literally brimming with heavily discounted spirits and wines of all kinds. I often save 25% over other's discount prices.

I happened upon Dos Maderas at $29.95, now a no brainer. Before my mind could even engage, my right hand had grasped the bottle and I found myself clutching this tremendous bargain. By the way, the same store sells Zaphra - $40 - $50 elsewhere, also for $29.95. Zaphra is a loser - which I predicted and, sorry guys, hopefully due to our honest review.

But I digress. At a now affordable $29, a review was mandatory, and follows:

Sue Sea:

Quote:

Lately Jim and I have been engaged in two endeavors - taking a professional wine taster's course (my idea) and pursuing single malt whiskies (Jim's). But rum remains my preferred spirit, so I was extremely pleased when Jim brought home an especially lovely bottle, his latest find: Dos Maderos 5+3 Year Rum!

Presentation is always important to me, as is the whole setting. Low lights, quiet or soft music, a pitcher of cool water, perhaps some neutral crackers, and later a comparison rum(s) which tend to suggest themselves. Dos Maderos 5+3 Year Rum came in a truly lovely Old World bottle with a molded in sailing ship and "Dos Maderas". It is a handsome, heavy bottle with broadly rounded shoulders and the classic bulged neck, and features a subdued, small faux parchment label. Quietly stunning.

I must be honest - at the first pour and distant nosing I simply knew he'd picked a real winner. The aroma first struck me as molasses with pineapple, fig, raisins over a bit of vanillan. Later you might even find some nuts and caramel (but more in the palate).

The early palate was magnificent - honey on toast, over vanillas and the deeper fruits I from the aroma, which fruits then developed, followed by a growing leather to a moderate black pepper finish. There was no real aftertaste or "exhale" (2nd tasting) that I expect of great rums. For me, it is usually the aftertaste that keeps me coming back, makes me want more!

Still, the gentle opening, consistent and smooth development, harmony and smooth fade was intriguing - despite the lack of a good aftertaste I found I did want more. Dos Maderos 5+3 Year Rum is an offering that will keep discovering (for example the caramel and nuts). It is more complex than you may think. A very fine rum that I'd recommend everyone own as part of their basic reference collection. This is more than flirtation with sherry finishing; rather it is a true marriage of the benefits of both oak and Jerez sherry aging.

This is a rum that all will enjoy, both the experienced and especially, those who may be new to rum sipping. I see it as an extremely versatile rum that can be served before, during and after dinner. It would make a lovely gift to your host at a party.

A must buy.


Me:

First some background. A close examination of the gorgeous Dos Maderas bottle revealed the rum is produced in Spain from "Caribbean rum". It appears clear to me the rum is transferred to Spain for aging in - and here's the key: five years in Oak casks, then three years in expensive and hard-to-find Jerez sherry barrels.

But just a minute!

That was the front label. The back label states "Rum barrels and Jerez Sherry casks", just the opposite. No matter. This combination of 5+3 goes beyond simple sherry barrel finishing. First of all, Jerez sherry barrels (or casks if you prefer) are rarer, more expensive, hard-to-find and offer the unique character of Jerez. The color is a brilliant reddish amber with a fine green edge, medium legs. Nice.

It works.

My initial nosing of Dos Maderos 5+3 Year Rum revealed a wonderfully relaxing, smooth and broadly fruity aroma which I hesitated to dissect. No need really. Yes I could find light cherry, orange, apple, grapefruit and even some of Sue Sea's darker fruits. But it was the combination and effect that mattered. Heavenly and enticing. Believe me, you'll share my experience even at the pour, and I strongly urge you to nose high and slowly, then work your way in and enjoy the fullness of this special sweet aroma.

My early palate was completely consistent with a honeyed sweet fruit, moving into an emerging smooth and growing dark fruit, leather and late astringency, and punctuated with a sweet black pepper and leather. Unlike Sue Sea I was left with a brief wispy dark aftertaste of the deep fruit and pepper.

Altogether nice.

At this point my impressions were quite favorable, and I felt driven to pull out the only rum we own that references this unique style - Richard Seales Doorly XO (finished in sherry barrels). Unlike the Dos Maderos three years in Jerez, the XO's finishing is relatively brief. It shows. The fruit tones are more prominent in the Dos Maderas, compared to the somewhat more classic presentation of the XO with its increased leather. But both show the value of sherry barrel use. More distillers should take note, as this form of fine finishing achieves results that other distillers can only try to imitate - unsuccessfully - by "tweaking" their products with cheap unlabeled additives and adulterants.

As you will see Dos Maderos 5+3 Year Rum has received high ratings from the both of us. For only the shortness of its finish and aftertaste, it may have done even better. Dos Maderas is a must buy, at any price and deserves a permanent place on your short shelf of reference standards. Which raises the issue of style.

Dos Maderos 5+3 Year Rum exhibits Jamaican aromatics (but without dunder), Barbadian smoothness, Demeraran softness and - almost - a Cuban finish. After much debate and consideration - requiring finishing at least a third of this lovely rum - I've decided on the Barbadian category. Why?

Simple. I'm the fackin Capn!

Score (ten is best): 9.


*******

Note: I have only issue with the Dos Maderas: it doesn't pour properly. Now this has never been a problem as most bottles have either a plastic system or some kind of lip that allows a clean pour. The shape of the Maderas' rim is such that (a) you need to pour fast, or (b) suffer a bit of drippage down the side of the bottle.

And as a semi-retired reviewer, believe me I know ALL about drippage. Worse yet, I can't shake the bottle after, lol...

The solution: wrap a finger or napkin around the, uh, tip, to catch the drippage, hold it in the recovery position over the glass, or simply speed up a bit. This also works for pouring the Maderas...
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Last edited by Capn Jimbo on Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 4:47 am    Post subject: More stuff... Reply with quote

More stuff...

Aha! I say. In the review above you may have noted that Sue Sea and I struggled with picking a style for this fine rum. We noted, and I quote "Dos Maderos 5+3 Year Rum exhibits Jamaican aromatics (but without dunder), Barbadian smoothness, Demeraran softness and - almost - a Cuban finish."

After posting the review, the next day I checked some reviews of others and discovered just why Dos Maderas does indeed cross a few style boundaries. First, it is a blend of Guyanan and Barbadian rums (check off Barbadian and Demeraran styles). And the aromatics and smoothness were already evident (Jamaican and Cuban).

The company is also impressive. Williams and Humbert is a Spanish company with solid credentials as a long time producer of very fine wines and sherries. W&H is one of the founders of the Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Regulatory Council.

Last, Jerez barrels are highly valued and hard to obtain. Better yet, Dos Maderas uses 20 year old barrels used to age the internationally renowned Dos Cortados palo cortado and Don Guido sherries. Talk about a heritage. Bet they won't be selling barrels to Richard Seale anytime soon.

This only increases our respect for (a) ourselves (for catching onto the style crossing character) and (b) for a truly great rum that you simply must buy as a reference rum.
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Jack
Oscar


Joined: 24 Jul 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:04 am    Post subject: Dos Maderas 5+3 Reply with quote

I tasted this for the first time at the Miami Rum Festival, both neat and in their tasty punch (in my mind competed with Mt. Gay's for best punch at the festival). When I tasted it neat, I felt it would make rockin' cocktails, and blend well with other rums, curious how it would do in a simple daiquiri (how a taste-test every new rum for perspective). I think I would pay for it without too much grumbling.
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Guevara88
Bo'sun's Mate


Joined: 05 Jan 2014
Posts: 43
Location: Wiesbaden/Germany

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2014 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now you got me excited Jimbo. I put this on the first place of birthday wishlist Very Happy

EDIT: I had the opportunity to test both the 5+3 and the 5+5 from Dos Maderas. I have to say: To me the 5+5 is even better. It departs from its rummy origins even further than the 5+3 but keeps them visible at all stages of the tasting. The intensity of dark fruit flavours and even such seldomly recognized stuff as apple or pear make Dos Maderas 5+5 a really outstanding experience for me.

However the whole style of finishing in sherry barrels is testament to the possibility to actually create very diverse products without the help of some chemical homies.

Great experience and definitely a must-have. I think that DM5+5 is an interesting pour for guests with preference for Whisky, too.
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