Barceló Imperial Onyx was launched in its homeland last year, but the brand's partnership with Amathus Drinks made it available to the UK on-trade just last week.
Barceló's new expression is made with fresh sugar cane juice, obtained by pressing the distillery's own sugar cane within 24 hours of harvest. The fermented juice is then column distilled and aged for up to 10 years in heavily re-charred ex-bourbon barrels.
The extra char confers notes of ground coffee, leather, tobacco and winter spices. On the palate it shows added complexity of dried apricot, ripe peach, smoke, vanilla and coconut. Imbibe suggests serving it neat or pairing it with a medium to full-bodied Nicaraguan cigar such as a Oliva Serie V or a Padron 1964 Anniversary.
Other expressions of Barceló rum within Amathus Drinks' portfolio are the entry-level Gran Platinum and Gran Añejo (both 37.5% abv), designed to be mixed; Barceló Imperial (38% abv), a fruitier, less smoky version of the Onyx, as barrels are not re-charred; and Barceló Imperial Premium Blend 30 Aniversario (43% abv), which is aged in both American and French oak barrels.
Barceló Imperial Onyx, 38% abv, £38.56/70cl, Amathus Drinks