My Wandering Eye: Bareceló Imperial

My wandering eye is a series reacting to the crazy rising prices in the bourbon world. We’ve reached a place where even average products have hit the range where they compete price-wise with other types of aged spirits. If I’m going be asked to drop $40 to $70 on a mid-range bourbon, I might as well see what else I can get for that money. See if another spirits category offers something that is downright tasty in that price range. The goal isn’t to find cheap spirits, but to maximize the quality, I’m getting at a particular price point.

So. Yes. I'm back on the rum train today, mostly because that's what I've been drinking since I got back to Minnesota. On January first, I went from 73 degrees Fahrenheit in Miami to -12 in Minneapolis a few hours later. A negative swing of 85 degrees. 

I haven't been warm since. 

I experienced it and still can't really comprehend it. But to try to pretend that warmth is a thing that still exists in the world, I drank a lot of rum. A drink I associate with warm places now. 

Tonight's rum is Bareceló Imperial. I bought it during our stop in the Dominican Republic because it is made there and because it was only $20 for a 700 mL bottle. It turns out that it is also available in Minnesota, but it is about $28 for a 750 mL. Mostly I didn't drink this one neat. It was way too sweet for my palate for that. But I did go through a hell of a lot of Rum Old Fashioneds with it. Here's the recipe I used:

Rum Old Fashioned using Barceló Imperial

2 ounces of Barceló Imperial Rum
4 shakes of Woodford Reserve® Sassafras and Sorghum bitters
1/2 Tablespoon or so Simple Syrup
Orange Peel
Ice to taste

So an Old Fashioned is basically the easiest drink you can make. You put the bitters in your glass. Add the simple syrup. I felt that the rum, in this case, was plenty sweet, so I didn't add a lot. Add the rum and however much ice you like. The final touch really helps this one though. You need to express the oils of an orange peel over the drink, rub it around the inner and outer edges of the glass, and drop it in. In this case, the hint of orange makes the drink.

Bareceló Imperial

Purchase Info: $20 for a 700 mL bottle at Dufry Puerto Plata (at the Amber Cove Cruise Port)

Details: 38% ABV. Made in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

Nose: Molasses, oak and faint citrus notes.

Mouth: Brown sugar and black cherry notes predominate with baking spice along the sides of the tongue.

Finish: On the gentle side of medium with lingering brown sugar, black cherry, and nutmeg notes.


Thoughts: For me, this is too sweet to drink neat. I love it in an Old Fashioned though. Using the recipe above, I think I love it better than a whiskey Old Fashioned (though to be fair, I have never thought of an Old Fashioned as my favorite whiskey cocktail). I'm going to say here that the average of loving it in a cocktail and finding it a bit meh neat will be that I like it. And since mine is now empty (I've been rebelling against Dry January), I'll need to pick up another bottle soon. accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support, visit Thanks!