I was excited to try this rum. It's made only 30 minutes away from me (in Alameda California), and at $79.99 (2015 price) a bottle, I had high hopes. First, a few quotes from their website:
"...our unaged California agricole rum is not for the faint of heart" (I'm rating the aged)
"...never lets you forget that sugarcane is a grass."
"...small-diameter California cane lends vivid, earthy, even vegetal aromatics that evoke wet grass, truffles, and black olives."
"...ours stands out for its allegiance to the ripe, vegetal properties of just-harvested cane.
We're proud of that, and we love how this rum smells and tastes. We know not everyone's going to feel the same way, though, and we're cool with that. For those of you out there who try our rum and can't fathom why anyone would want to drink it, we'd be happy to point you in the direction of some 'normal' rums."
Those are accurate descriptions...
With that said, here are my tasting notes: this smells like aging wet cut grass, with no sugary sweetness; in fact it's kind of bitter. I can smell the olive notes and the truffle they mention. The taste also includes a considerable peppery spice.
I'm really not a fan, though after a few sips, I kind of get it a little more. I can certainly see this making a very interesting mixer for the right cocktails, but I rate rums on their taste straight.
I'd love to read what others think. I suspect this is a love it or hate it rum. Much stronger in smell and flavor than their non-Reserve, if you like that one, you should like this one even more.