A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Destilería Serrallés in Puerto Rico. You can read all about it here. One of my more memorable moments on that trip was when I had the chance to taste high-proof rum right out of the barrel. Strong, yet flavorful and slightly sweet. It only made sense that they would eventually come up with a one-hundred-fifty-one proof version.
First off, why is 151 the magic number? According to Ed Hamilton from ministryofrum.com, 75.5% alcohol is about the distillation proof of old pot stills. Double the percentage to arrive at the proof. So, what is proof? The word goes back to 16th-century England, when it was used for taxation purposes. A small pellet of gunpowder was soaked with the liquor in question. If it was possible to ignite the wet gunpowder, the alcohol content of the liquor was considered above proof and taxed at a higher rate. If however, the powder failed to ignite it was taxed at a lower rate. So, generally, 151 rum would have been one of the most expensive spirits five centuries ago. Today, however, things are more affordable.
Another important point to note is that U.S. regulations prevent rums over 155 proof from entering the country. So, by keeping their spirits at the euphonious designation of one-five-one, manufacturers are able to sell more product. Don Q 151 is only the second overproof rum to be offered by a Puerto Rican distillery.
Don Q 151 (151 proof)
Visual: Deep gold.
Nose: Hot and clean with a nice smoky touch.
Taste: Slightly funky with a curious whiff of smoke on the tongue. There is a lot of body here and mouthfeel that goes beyond a typical lighter style Puerto Rican rum.
Finish: Sweeter than expected with a fine burn that is mouth-watering. Dry and tight at the end.
Overall: This fits in with the Don Q line perfectly. A lot of attention to detail has been given to this rum. If you water this down 50/50, you will still be able to enjoy the flavor.
GSN Rating: A-
For more information go to: Don Q