Navazos Palazzi Ron 2020 23yo...

Navazos Palazzi Ron 2020 23yo (50.5%): Navazos Palazzi is a label created together by PM Spirits founder Nicolas Palazzi and by Equipo Navazos founders Jesus Barquin and Eduardo Ojeda. Their partnership is based on a pretty simple concept: Nicolas Palazzi finds unique single cask spirits from all over the world, brings them to Jerez, Spain where Jesus Barquin and Eduardo Ojeda supply ex-sherry casks from their own bodega for those spirits to age for a longer period. They already released a wide variety of spirits including brandies, malt and grain whiskies and even a cask aged gin under this label. This one is a 100% molasses based column still distilled ron (Spanish-style rum) from an undisclosed distillery in Lesser Antilles. All 32 casks acquired by Navazos Palazzi were already aged in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks for over five years in the Caribbean before they got shipped to Jerez to be introduced to a solera system built from ex-Oloroso bota gorda casks which are rather large casks holding 665 liters of liquid each. After 18 years in the system one of these casks got bottled at cask strength yielding 900 bottles in total.

Color: Dark amber, mahogany color with tiny but very persistent teardrops all around the glass slowly and hesitantly forming thin and viscous legs.

Nose: Struck matches, new car tires and thousand-year eggs. Very sulphury at first... Spoilt milk and burnt custard. I better walk away from it and let it air for a while,... I am back after 20 minutes and it's already much better: Caramel pecan brittles, toasted hardwood and eucalyptus drops. Now adding just a couple drops of water and voila..! It's even better. I should have done it earlier... Sulphur is down to a way more tolerable level. Warm milk, quince paste and soy sauce. New car smell, melted butter, caramelized onions and aged balsamic vinegar.

Palate: Nice... Candied orange peels, ginger molasses cookies and burnt ends straight out of the smoker. It's meaty and smoky: Barbecue meat, stewed prunes and raisins and red pepper flakes. Adding water works great on the palate as well: Burnt rice pudding, stewed mushrooms and balsamic glaze. Dried green herbs, more like bouquet garni. Dark muscovado sugar, ground ginger and burnt caramel.

Finish: Long with BBQ smoke, charred meat and fireplace ash. White pepper and cloves.

Overall: This was quite a ride... I'll be honest here: My threshold for sulphur is way lower than most of the brown spirit lovers out there and in general I am not the biggest fan of heavily sherry cask influenced spirits. Therefore when I first nosed it I thought that I was in deep trouble for a second... But airing it and adding water in increments made a huge improvement and helped the spirit to open up layer by layer beautifully. It is definitely a rum you have to take your time with... If you are patient enough it certainly will return the favor. This spirit was waiting in casks for twenty-three years after all and it deserves your hundred percent attention. Powerful spirit... I also have to say here that if this was a blind tasting I could easily call it a single malt, single grain or even a brandy instead of a rum. The cask really steals the scene here but in the most fashionable way imaginable... It is an excellent bottling for those who think that "cask is the king".

This sample was graciously sent to me by PM Spirits but all the notes and opinions above are my own.

Price: $143