I stumbled across this bottle accidentally at Smuggler’s Cove. It was sitting on the main floor (the basement is where most of the rums are kept) and I didn’t want to force the bar back to walk downstairs to retrieve additional rums. So while scanning the shelf, I noticed the “Ron Navazos” out and requested a pour.
Many of my more adventurous requests are often met with a nod and a grab for the bottle. With this one, our young barback enthusiastically said, “Oh, do you know [Master of the Cove – but I forgot her name…]? It’s her favorite!”
The pour ended up on the reasonable side for Smuggler’s Cove prices ($22/oz) and was utterly delightful and unique. It has somewhat sherry funk elements (that remind us more of a dry, yeasty amantillado rather than the Oloroso cask finish) and mildly reminiscent of a peaty scotch, in fact. Definitely a new favorite.
8 out of 10. Excellent. (Our rating system)
TLDR: “Blackberry lost in Jerez”
Overview: Blackcurrant pie but also some funky herbs and dry amantillado
Bought for: ~$22/oz at Smugglers (retail around $120-150/bottle)
Nose: Finger paint, mint, funk, blue and black berries
Palate: Blackcurrent pie and caramel. Manzanilla sherry. Salt. Then dry pepperment, thyme, herbs. Comes on sweet and ends dry-ish smoke. Very intriguing.
Mouthfeel: Long finish.
- ABV: 51.5% (cask strength)
- Cask: 5 years in first fill bourbon casks and solera aged for 10 years in Oloroso sherry
- Age: “15 solera” years (in other words: 5-15 years)
- Molasses rum distilled in Antilles on a column still
- Bottled in July 2014
About Ron Navazos Palazzi:
- Joint venture between Nicolas Palazzi (owner of Paul-Marie Spirits) and sherry bottler Equipo Navazos. They have been working on a line of rare spirits including Spanish brandy and rum.
- Nicolas Palazzi is particularly known for his work on sourcing cognac
- Equipo Navazos was started by wine writer Jesus Barquin (also a professor of criminology) and Eduardo Ojeda, technical director of Grupo Estevaz. The group began bottling after finding 65 butts of 20+ year old Amontillado hidden in a bodega in Sanlucar.
- They also produce whisky, which I’m very interested in trying now.
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