Ron Barceló Rum—The Pride of the Dominican RepublicIt was in 1929, when a young Spanish-born Julián Barceló arrived in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and founded Barceló & Co. After being in the family for many decades and mastered through sheer passion, it was Don Julián Barceló in 1974 who handed over the reins of the business to his nephew Miguel Barceló and 6 years later, in 1980, Ron Barceló Imperial was born. The leader in its class since the day it was launched and the most internationally awarded Dominican rum, Ron Barceló has become an icon.Now available in over 50 countries, Ron Barceló abides by the Dominican rum regulations—the first collective brand product in the Dominican Republic that ensures compliance with the designation of origin for rum. To comply with this standard, rum producers must harvest the sugar cane, ferment, distill and age the alcohol in oak barrels all within the Dominican Republic and by law, Dominican rum must be aged for at least 2 years. The results speak for itself.Recently the team at Upscale Living had the opportunity to sample a few of these extremely fine products and the results were nothing short of spectacular.Ron Barceló Añejo – This, our first exploration, revealed a nice golden/orange color. Compelling aromas of candy and chocolate followed by a smooth silky entry to a semi-dry fruity body with great depth make this an absolutely fantastic rum for mixing. Although this is a solid staple for a plethora of rum-based drinks, try it in a Mojito, you will not be disappointed!Ron Barceló Gran Añejo – Matured naturally in oak barrels previously used for bourbon to yield a rum with an unmatched bouquet make this one of my favorite rums this year. Aromas of malt chocolate, vanilla, caramelized walnuts, tobacco and delicate anise smoothly followed by a semi dry body with hints of mocha and whipped cream make this an incredible choice for a spirited twist on an Old Fashioned. This is a versatile rum and is one that quite simply is hard to misuse—simply delicious.Ron Barceló Imperial – Receiving the Gold in the category of ‘Old Aged’ at the Miami Rum Festival, this gem relies on the use of the purest water, aging in new American white oak barrels in ideal climatic conditions and 70 years of passion and experience in blending some of the finest rums in the world. Visually, the bright amber color is extremely compelling, but it is the aromas of buttercream, dried cherries and intense vanilla that compel you to dive in. Drink this one neat.All in all Ron Barceló is solidly keeping pace with the other two big names out of the Dominican Republic—Bermudez and Brugal. With that said, Ron Barceló will most certainly be the rum highlighted in my glass.