Oliver y Oliver solera from Dom. Republic is back with yet another one of their one billion different (or perhaps not that different) solera products. This time it is the Puntacaña Club XOX 50 Aniversario.
It is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of their companys relocation from Cuba to the Dominican Republic.
So what is with the name? You might even wonder what “XOX” stands for.
Usually XO stands for Extra Old. That makes sense. But what about the last X?
Extra? Exceptional? Extraordinary? Exquisite? Exit? Exhibit? Exoskeleton? Exhumed?
I don’t know and neither does the Internet. It seems silly when it isn’t explained, so onwards to more important things.
An online source mentions this particular rum as a blend of ”younger and older rums”, which is then blended with a 25 year old ”mother rum” before it goes into the solera. The final blend is supposedly consisting of 25 to 30 years old rums. Somehow that just doesn’t add up in my head.
I find this age statements way too shady. It is being marketed as a 25-30 year old solera rum. However the ”blend of younger and older rums” insinuates that the rum is way younger.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it is yet another typical case of solera smoke and mirrors.
The solera blend is finally finished for 3 to 6 months in old port casks.
I can’t say it often enough: I absolutely hate solera age statements and when the revolution in the rum industry finally comes, I hope solera age statements are first to go up against the wall.
Only 3000 numbered bottles has been made – however after 2-3 years on the market, it is still widely available. So limited edition, but luckily still available for those who love it.
Bottled at 40% ABV it doesn’t play around much.
It does however seem to play around a bit with some additives. A hydrometer test reveals an estimated added sugar content of 18 g/L.
The first thing that strikes me from the online images is the very, very golden cardboard box, which seems flimsy and tacky at best.
Then the huge, gaudy decanter made with a thick, solid glass bottom.
Note: I have learned that they have switch bottle a while back and the decanter style bottle is now gone in favor of a more cone-shaped bottle. Actually it is the same bottle as the Quorhum series. Perhaps there was a cut in costs to be made.
The label on the front keeps up the gaudy image, with lots of gold printing all over, the huge XOX letters. The origin and cask finish is mentioned as well.
Around the neck it has another golden band, and the seal is made by a natural cork with a plastic stopper.
Inside we find a dark copper liquid.
Leaves a nice thin layer of residue on the inside of the glass. But it doesn’t seem anywhere near as thick as I would have expected.
Watch out for the phatty!
Huge vanilla and sweet butterscotch. The vanilla is so protruding that it has a floral quality to it. It is nowhere as artificial and perfumed as the Angostura 1919, but still over the top.
There is a very mild underlying oaky character and just a sprinkling of cinnamon.
I try convince myself that I smell a little liquorice, but every time I try to confirm it, it is gone again. And then when I’m not looking for it, there it is again.
Not a very complex nose. And the vanilla domination kills the balance before we even get started.
A very similar expression compared to the nose.
It is dominated by much vanilla and lots of butterscotch.
Again the vanilla takes on an almost floral, perfumed approach.
There is a tad more oak on the palate and a spicyness which wasn’t evident on the nose.
Perhaps a touch of tobacco and/or old leather. But nowhere near as bossy or badass as rums like the Abuelo Centuria.
It feels a little flat and insufficient on all aspects and perhaps it is simply too casual. After several sips it suddenly starts to show off a sharp note towards the end.
I am very surprise that they didn’t manage to create something more interesting with rum this ”old”.
Rather short lived thing… Holds a mild warmth and slight spiciness.
It still has a lot of sweetness left to keep the sugar rush going.There is a mild tannic influence which tries to clean up from the sweet, vanilla mess, and it almost succeeds. Almost.
Rating and final thoughts
XOXO – Lots of hugs and kisses from Dom. Rep., which sadly isn’t appreciated that much by this humble writer. It doesn’t do much of anything. It’s sweet, floral, semi-yummy, gone and forgotten.
The price tag seems a bit excessive at €100-110, and I’m not going to elaborate much on the competition. My advice would be to get something like the Rum Nation Panama 21 if you are smitten with a sweet tooth. Heck, even the Zacapa XO is more exciting.
If you are not into sweet stuff, get anything else and you will be better off. There is several Samaroli or Berry Bros offerings in this price range. If you are danish, you even have the chance to get the Compagnie des Indes Hampden 14 y.o. cask strength single cask.
Reaching the end of the tracks I still haven’t figured out what the last X stands for. Perhaps extra-mediocre. I don’t know. But no matter how many X’s and O’s it sports, it doesn’t reach higher than a…