Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Off The Beaten Track: Doorly's X.O. Barbados Rum

Having been battered by wind and rain for what seems like an eternity, the clouds seem to be dissipating slightly... he says, tempting Neptune to take dominion over the entire British Isles. There has been some legitimate sun over the past two weeks for short intervals and so, in my naivety, I have started looking forward to summer.

Firstly I began thinking about Moscato D'asti, in a typical example of masculinity, but felt that I might be getting a little ahead of myself, and so began looking around for a rum that I hadn't tried before.

I didn't venture particularly far, picking up a bottle of Doorly's X.O. from The Wine Society (but this rum is also available to order from Master of Malt for £25, I was just impatient). I chose it because it's one that I have vaguely heard about, but one that doesn't really have widespread popularity, as it's not available to buy at many UK retailers.

 Doorly's is a dark Barbadian rum that is distilled and bottled by R.L. Seales (whose 10yr rum I have reviewed in the past), and it is also finished in Oloroso sherry casks. Again, this is a familiar trait in whiskies I have tried, but is quite novel (as far as I'm aware) for a rum. There is a entry level Doorly's available, however the X.O. is made from a selection of 6-15 year rums, and is meant to be vastly superior.

On the nose there is a ton of dried, spiced fruit, almost like having let raisins soak in rum for a day with some cinnamon chucked in. Then the pineapple begins to surface with some spiced apple, orange peel and caramel with the lightest smoke if you delve a little. Doorly's has a wonderfully supple, rich and inviting aroma, and there is a lot to get out of it if you give it the chance. It doesn't hit you right away, but a little time investment will yield quite a lot.

On the palate the sherry influence is more apparent, with a slightly drier nature than you might be used to, and than is alluded to by the nose. There is more rich berry fruit, with nuts, very light caramel, tobacco, orange peel and on the finish there's pepper and smoke.

The finish is a little short, but the overall flavour is fantastic and not at all like the other rums at this price point. I've read other's thoughts on this rum who say that they would mistake it for a whisky - personally, I feel like this may be a bit much, however I can fully appreciate where they're coming from. I feel that this is another rum that can be drunk neat, however would also be a great mixing rum with a little added complexity, and without the overbearing sweetness of lots of other rums.

This rum is so different from it's direct competitors and is really rewarding to explore. It may not be as approachable as lots of other rums from Barbados, but there are nuances that I just haven't experienced elsewhere. As is says on the label: "There are rums for those who know and then there is Doorly's X.O. ... for those who know better!"

Doorly's X.O. is available from The Wine Society for £27 or Master of Malt for £25

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