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Don Q 151 Proof Puerto Rican Rum

Don Q 151 Proof
Puerto Rican Rum


By Robert Plotkin

Have you ever wondered why distillers still make 151˚ overproof rum? Even the term "overproof" suggests it might not be such a great idea. After all, it's 75.5 percent pure alcohol.

The answer goes to the very heart of rum-craft and the time-honored goal of capturing as much of the intrinsic flavor of the rum as possible. And the less water used in diluting the rum to its bottling proof, the more concentrated the flavor profile. An 80-proof rum is 60 per cent water, whereas this overproof contains a mere 24.5 percent water. Fact is, you're not going to get a more flavorful rum experience than is possible with the overproof expression. There may not be a better illustration of the magic of high proof rums than Don Q 151 Proof Puerto Rican Rum.

Unless you have a fire-retardant throat, this is not a sipping rum. Rather, its consumer appeal is directly tied to the resurgent popularity of the cocktail and especially those tall, tropically inspired drinks collectively known as Tiki drinks.

One of the storied rum distilleries of the Caribbean, Distilleria Serrallés was founded in 1865 by Don Juan Serrallés at the Hacienda Mercedita sugar plantation outside of the city of Ponce on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Using a copper pot still he had imported from France, Serrallés began distilling rum from estate-grown cane and pristine spring water. The brand—Don Q—was created in 1935.

Now more than 145 years later after its founding, Destileria Serrallés is one of the oldest family-owned and operated businesses in the Americas. Serrallés has achieved an international reputation for excellence producing molasses-based, continuous- and pot-distilled Puerto Rican rums.

The Don Q 151 is an exuberant gem, a guaranteed crowd-pleasure. The venerable brand is made from a blend of rums aged in American white oak barrels for up to three years. Once the rums have reached their desired flavor profile, they are blended together and gently filtered to remove any trace impurities. The rum is diluted to proof with spring water just prior to bottling.

Don Q 151 is prized by mixologists around the world for its enormous character. The rum has a reddish/golden hue, a lightweight, satiny smooth body and delightfully spicy, fruity and zesty citrus bouquet. Its generous aromatic signature is ideally suited for use in tall, iced drinks. The palate is an authentic offering of vanilla, molasses, toffee, cacao and a waft of smoke.

The brand is the bestselling rum in Puerto Rico and its likeness can be found almost everywhere. Don Q 151 is very much a product of its homeland and the island's vibrant character is deeply imbued in its native spirit.