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103 Kirk and Sweeney 18-Year ratings

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One of the best smelling rums I've had. Very sweet smell of butterscotch and vanilla. Not overbearing or heavy, just sweet and delicious. The first taste starts with a subtle essence of sweetness that is quickly followed by a distinctive agricole flavor of vegetable and grass. The finish is a nice caramel flavor that matches the aroma but accompanied by a sharp but short burn. Not my style of rum but I found myself continuing to sip it to experience the unique sweet and harsh flavor. Clearly a quality rum. The aroma alone will have me pouring another glass.


Kirk & Sweeney 12 year rum was one of the earlier premium rums I sampled on RumRatings. Less than a month after that I found a bottle of K&S 23 and rated it as well. Since then I've educated myself somewhat on rums and have K&S as one of my favorite brands. All three in the K&S line get a "9" from me. This one is simply delicious. Wonderful aroma. Beautiful amber color. And a outstanding flavor with vanilla, toffee, and even a butteriness to it. Very, very smooth with no harsh burn. Just a mellow warmth with oak tones that add no bitterness.

One day...perhaps soon...I'm going to line all three up and sip a little of each in order (12, 18, 23) just to see the differences between them. I'll try to remember to add to my reviews what I find. IMHO you cannot go wrong with any of the K&S rums.

I was super impressed by the Kirk & Sweeney 12 Year Rum, so I bought their 18 and 23 year rums. Those are even better! What's more impressive is that they are both primarily based on sugarcane (agricole), which I've never cared that much for before these. The 18 is pretty close to the 23 in taste; in fact they're almost equal. The 18 is just a bit sweeter, while the 23 tastes just a bit more aged (much like the difference between the El Dorado 15 and 21). I like both sweet and aged, so I'm torn between the two. I'll give the 18 a very slight edge over the 23, just like I give the ED 15 a very slight edge over the ED21. But I definitely believe they are both very good. Vanilla, sugarcane, caramel, nutmeg, oak, and just a hint of sherry. The nose is incredible. You've GOT to try this!

Well-aged rum trace on the nose — brown sugar, vanilla, and some chocolate/coffee overtones. The body starts things off in that direction, then takes an interesting twist toward some curious red wine notes. The coffee trace builds as the finish grows, along with some leather notes and a bit of dense sweetness, almost Port-like as it mingles with that wine-like character. Austere and worthwhile.

Love This rum, among a favorit now. Super tasty flavor, slightly smokey edge

This is an amazing rum. The 18 year is sweeter, fruitier, and smoother going down than the 12 year which is itself an amazing rum. I love the taste this leaves on my lips after a sip. Not a mixer, don't waste this rum like that.

Got this for Christmas and everything about this was wonderful. The bottle itself is just a great piece of art

The nose starts of with a rich butterscotch aroma. Followed with a buttery and floral smell. First sip has a touch of heat but that mellows quickly. The mouth feel is velvety and rich. Sampling between the 12, 18 and 23 year rums..the 18 is the sweet spot. I highly recommend.


I wanted to try that rum many months. When I bought celebrate opening and drinking...and....I felt disappointment. Ok - good balance, smooth...but...nothing special for me. Light vanilla in nose, woody but taste....nothing special....really nothing to remember...hmmm maybe I was expected something great...maybe that's my fault...obviously I need to try one more bottle. Then I can update info.

The smell is amazing. Vanilla ! The taste is vanilla and caramel. Very nice!


Sugar: 2 to 5 GPL.
Having tried all 3 of the Kirk & Sweeney aged rums, I have come to the conclusion that the judging of the 18 & 23 year old rums is pretty much a tie game. Tastes and aroma of Molasses, pecans, caramel or butterscotch, and plums, are present in this rum as well as the 23 year old. Both have the good vanilla oak taste, touch of sweetness, and a nice smoothness from aging, but I am leaning towards giving the nod to this one. Both are a good value for the price and worth having in the collection.

This is everything I like in rum. It's sweet, but not sugary. It has an alcohol burn, but is pretty damn smooth. The aroma is incredible.

My first thought of the scent was maple syrup, but the more I drink it the more I think butterscotch is a better description. The taste is excellent - full and well-balanced. A bit like brandy. Not fruity.

I usually drink rum on the rocks, and frequently with lime. I haven't been able to bring myself to do either with this.

Additionally, I think it's really great relative to its price point. The other rums I've had that were this good were a lot more expensive.

Once again, anything less than a 9 for this rum is unconscionable! It is just as good as the 23 with some small differences. This one is a little less sweet, a little less oaked, and has a tiny bit of a dryer almond taste. Other than that, its pretty much the same review I wrote for the 23. Next stop, the 12 year. Yeah, I did this one totally backwards...

Mmm... Burnt sugar, brown butter and caramel right away. Drifting away quickly as well and leaving a semi-dry briny finish.

We tried this because my wife liked the K & S 12 year. I thought this was even better and so did she.

There is a very strong aroma of vanilla in this rum. One of the strongest scents of any rum I have ever had. You can smell it as soon as you open the bottle. The rum is very smooth and you have a hint of vanilla in the taste. Very good sipper.

I drink it on the rocks with with one ice cube,.

One of my favourites, strong but also smooth in the finish, vanilla and a little coffee taste with a sweet smell

Probablemente el ron con el mejor balance que conozco. Delicioso, muy frutado y mucha dulzura. Suave en nariz y boca. Uno de mis favoritos, y la botella con su gruesa base me encanta. Un regalo dominicano.

I actually like this better than the 23. You get more vanilla and spice flavors and scent. While the elder 23 I felt was smooth, but lost some of the sweetness and flavors...and was more smokey/Woody.

Fantastic on the nose, with the vanilla scent coming through. Front end heat gives way to a very smooth supper. I recommend letting your bottle air out a bit after the first decorking. I left the cork off for about a half hour and then poured and enjoyed with a single ice cube which really allowed for the deeper flavors to come out. Really a quality rum. I personally like the 23 year old better because the flavors are more even and the slight taste of oak is slightly more pronounced, but I think it’s a matter of preference. I DID throw back half a bottle while at a recent gathering friends, so I guess that says something. Buy with confidence.

Impressive bottle, darker colour of rum
nice smell with vanilla and butterscotch
taste is sweet, at first moment vanilla, later old wooden taste. very interesting,
old rum ( not solera method) with specific taste....

The younger brother to this rum is K&S 12 Year and was one of the very first rums that I reviewed on this site. I was very impressed at first, especially for it being so cheap. Then after three weeks, flavors of leather dominated. At that point, I bid farewell to K&S. I also figured that most of the cost goes into the fancy bottles, so that had me wondering just how cheap was the rum inside.

I have decided to give them a second chance with this 18 year old dry rum. The aroma is caramel with a faint hint of leather. On the tongue, it is peppery and thin because of only 4 gpl of added sugar. The after taste is caramel with a faint hint of leather and some complex Caribbean spices. There is no after burn. So far so good. I will check it again in about 3 weeks to see if the same thing happens to this one as what happened to my long gone 12 year old.

Update October 15, 2018: This is a good day for rum tastings since it is pouring down rain outside. It is now one day shy of the three week window that I had originally promised to allow. Guess what? This bottle has not turned into a leather bomb like the K&S 12 did. It is still very enjoyable and worthy of it's 8 rating that I originally gave it.

Nevím jak jsou na tom ostatní ročníky, ale 18y mi přijde málo zajímavý. Není to špatný rum. Podání vanilky je lepší než u Chiután 12y, který trpí na podivnou dochuť. U Kirka je dochut víc zakulacená a odchází přes trochu nakyslé ovocné dřívko, ale jen decentně. Zatím ale asi nejlépe podaná vanilka v rumu.

Når man kigger på prisen, og de høje karakter, så forventer jeg mere. syntes den var en noget flad fornemmelse, ikke en flaske jeg selv vil købe.
Trist, for virkelig en flot flaske, og rommen har en lækker farve, ville pynte pænt på hylden.

I keep all three Kirk and Sweeney rums on the shelf all the time. It seems to be something about Dominican rums. I have never had one I didn’t like. This one is my all time favorite. If I only had one rum to the end of time this is it. There is a distinctive taste of werthers caramel, a delightful toffee and almond back and great heat. Not as spicy as the 23 year Kirk and year. This one hit’s my perfect spot.