Thanks so much for submitting a report. It has been emailed to the Rum Captain and will be actioned shortly.
This is really gorgeous looking rum, and I was excited to try it. Other reviewers said it didn't meet their expectations, and I'd say that's true for me as well. They also said it falls short of the Abuelo, and I'd say that's very true. I tried this side by side with the Abuelo 12, and found that to be far better.
This is a dry rum. Smells and tastes of asphalt. Also has light notes of oak and sherry. But the asphalt is dominant. Maybe a little eucalyptus type of spice too.
This isn't my type of rum. A low '2' for me.
Ron Valdespino Viejo is one smooth operator. Hard to find bottle here in the US. I was afraid it to be very similar to Ron Abuelo, but its much smoother. Semi dark golden color, very pleasurable sweet smell. Not a massive flavor burst at taste and a tad of burn at the end earns a strong 7.
It's expensive but beautifully presented. It is supposedly a blend of Dominica and Panama rums, but the dominating flavour is that of Abuelo, not a surprise as there is but one distillery in Panama.
There is a lovely spice on the pallet, but the nose and palate are dominated by a dusty, dirty dryness. I am rather hoping that this will open up with a bit more time open. Edit - it has a little. The rum is dominated by a dryness from the sherry casks that detracts from the sweetness of fruit which is a shame. A further edit - it has grown on me ever so slightly. The first tot is still an overly dry unattractive Abuelo. But the second tot, is somewhat softer, rounder and more pleasant. There is a wonderful finish, but still, it is a rum that I cannot love.
They state it to be "an exceptional collection of fine distillates aged in very old Sherry casks at Valdespino Bodegas". To me it smacks too much of style over substance. Get a rum, slap it in oak for a while and put it in a fancy bottle. The oak ageing hasn't improved the rum.
What the most disappointing thing is, is that I have some old rum from Valdespino that I got back from 2000 when I worked for a company who was one of their agents. It isn't perfect and had supposedly been in cask for 40 years although I think it might have been a solera as well as a Cuban rum. But the rich unctuous fruit coats your tongue in a glorious oaky manner. So much different to this one. My expectations were I think far too high.
A disappointing rum for me, but I suspect others might like it more so. And FAR FAR too expensive. It may well be a limited edition of 3,000 bottles, but that really should ring alarm bells in that it is a marketing exercise. There are much better rums out there for the price. I have a very simple test as to how good a rum is - would I buy it again? The answer to that is "no".
It will be interesting to see what the Oloroso cask Abuelo 15yo is like compared to this. Valdespino is owned by Jose Estevez, who are the agents of Abuelo in Spain