A few weeks ago, I posted a review of Ron de Jeremy – The Original Adult Spiced Rum. I thought I’d done a pretty honest and professional review and posted it happily to the site, only to find out that my research had been rather scarce and had some pretty serious flaws…
Not half an hour after posting my review, I was contacted by One Eyed Spirits, the producers of Ron de Jeremy, over Twitter. They were kind enough as to point out my flaws, including my getting the age of the bottle of rum I was sampling wrong. When I thought I was drinking a seven year old spiced rum, I was actually drinking a regular, aged (albeit not 7 year old), spiced rum. The seven year old rum I thought I was drinking turned out to be an entirely different beast, namely the Ron de Jeremy Reserva. This caused me to have to quickly edit and redo my review to reflect this new bit of knowledge.
It was a lesson for me in blogging, editing and research and I left the scene feeling not entirely unembarrassed. Something good did come of the situation, however, I found a chance to review another bottle of rum!
See, embarrassing as my mistakes may have been, I really enjoyed sampling and reviewing Ron de Jeremy Adult Spiced and ended up finding it an altogether decent effort. When I learned that the company behind the rum also produced a seven year old Reserva version, my quest quickly became to give this new and possibly better flavor of Ron de Jeremy a whirl in my tasting glass.
A cocky product? (no pun intended!): There are obviously some reservations involved when reviewing a product marketed and branded in such a way as Ron de Jeremy is. I’ve already gone over those once in my original post and won’t repeat them here. Suffice to say, I’m generally skeptical when dealing with products endorsed by or named after celebrities, especially so when said celebrities are legendary players in the adult business.
A little background on Ron de Jeremy
Ron de Jeremy is, as the name may well imply, a rum named after Ron Jeremy, the world’s most legendary adult, ahem, performer. The obvious joke behind the name being that Ron is the Spanish name for Rum, and well… It’s basically a cocky product with a cocky name, cocky tagline and an absurd albeit insanely funny and likable marketing effort behind it. That should be enough to get alarm bells ringing everywhere, and they did for me, too. The thing about Ron de Jeremy is, though, that all the innuendo and hilarity aside, they actually aim to produce some pretty serious rums.
Heck, I’ll willingly admit to being taken a little aback by the adult spiced, and Ron de Jeremy Reserva seems like it wants to play the part of a pretty legit product.
Why Ron de Jeremy Reserva may actually be a pretty serious product
What makes Ron de Jeremy stand out as not your everyday celebrity branded piss poor boozy product is that contained within the bottle is a seven-year old Panamanian rum, blended by none other than legendary Cuban-born Master Blender Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez. While you may have never heard of this guy, anyone who knows but a little bit about rum and live in the (embargo) Free World will tell you that Cuban rums are pretty highly regarded for their unique taste and quality.
With that in mind, let’s pause for a minute to consider that Don Pancho produced rums in his native Cuba (for Havana Club, amongst others) for 35 years before moving to Panama in the 1990’s where he became a master blender at Verela Hermanes and produced amongst others the quite famed Abuelo Rums. We are, in other words, dealing with a blender worth his salt and a legend in his time who has not only helped shape and revolutionize (no pun intended!) the Cuban rum industry, but also to this day, after five decades in the business, continues to create new and exciting products… One of these being Ron de Jeremy Reserva.
And with that in mind, let’s break out a glass and give it a taste, shall we?
The first thing to be noted about Ron de Jeremy Reserva is that it pours an attractive golden hue not quite unlike a fine, older, white wine. As compared to Ron de Jeremy adult spiced, and many other rums for that matter, the color actually seems very natural and not full of caramel dye. It also looks quite thick and viscous in the glass and when swirled, it deposits long and clingy legs which only slowly retract down the sides of the glass.
When given a deep sniff, the nose displays prominent notes of caramel and honey, subdued spice, oak, subtle vanilla, a bit of leather, and hint of banana. There’s a hint of ethanol on top of everything, but nothing too over the top. The more I smell this, the more I like it.
But it’s all down to tasting, isn’t it? And with that in mind, let’s have some: What you notice first when sipping this is the mouthfeel. Ron de Jeremy reserver is seriously thick, heavy and viscous: it really coats the mouth quite thoroughly, even after swallowing. And then there’s a burst of flavor:
Where the adult spiced was rather one-sided, dominated by vanilla and caramel, there’s actually a lot going on in this one: At first it’s surprisingly sweet with the honey and caramel carrying through, not cloyingly sweet, mind you, but definitely sweet.. Subtle vanilla notes are evident, possibly from the oak aging, as are hints of banana and almonds, though not in a pronounced way as with the Adult Spiced.
And then it sucker punches you: on the mid palate, Ron de Jeremy kicks into a surprisingly smoky, dry profile with more than a whiff of alcohol on the tail end that doesn’t seem entirely well integrated. The aftertaste has a bit of a burn, is full of tobacco and really dries out the mouth. Be warned that this one packs a punch and if you’re mainly into smooth rums, you may well scoff. I’m thinking the dry smoky finish may be a tribute to the blender’s Cuban roots and their traditions of rum and cigars, but that’s mere speculation on my part. It’s an interesting effort and not your run off the mill rum, but I can quite easily see this rum splitting the waters.
How does one sum up Ron de Jeremy? Well, like the colorful character from which it is named, it’s one of a kind and entirely its own. As stated above, be warned that Ron de Jeremy Reserva packs a punch. If that’s your thing, then by all means, have a dance with the legend. If not, try the Adult Spiced which is much sweeter, or go for a rum with a bit more age on it.
I imagine this may very well be a good cigar rum as the finish reminds me quite a lot of Cuban cigars. All in all, I quite enjoyed this rum even though I found it a little weird that it started out sweet and ended in a dry, smoky punch. It’s an acquired taste that I might grow to like, but is not for everyone. As my friend Tina said upon inspecting it: “it probably tastes a lot like I imagine a porn after party would: dank, musky with a whiff of booze and cigar smoke.”
I’ll keep this one stocked for the name alone and try it out in a rum old-fashioned with plenty of bitters.
Overall rating: 3 / 5