On a recent visit to the Total Wine in Boynton Beach, I was wavering between several rums until a helpful staff member recommended Doorly's XO. The rum is crafted in Barbados by the famed R.L. Seale & Co. Ltd.; the distiller is wholly Bajan-owned and is the third largest bottler in that island nation. I am familiar with the distiller after purchasing a bottle of Old Brigand during a cruise stop, while others may be familiar due to their production of St. Nicholas Abbey Rum, Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum, and the Doorly's brand. There are four products using the Doorly's name Doorly's Fine Old Barbados 5 Year Old Rum, Doorly's Fine Old Barbados Rum XO, Doorly's Light Macaw, and Doorly's Macaw Dark. According to Edward Hamilton, Ministry of Rum, Doorly's 5 yo and ginger ale with a dash of bitters is a common Bajan drink.
But for our purposes, the Doorly's Fine Old Barbados Rum XO is your sipping rum. It is distilled from fermented molasses and then aged in used whisky barrels. The best rum is then selected for a second maturation in used Spanish Oloroso Sherry barrels. This second aging infuses the rum with certain flavors not found in other aged rums. While drinking neat, the rum exudes spicy aromas and a slight nutty flavor. However there is a noticeable burn on the tail that masks its finish. By merely adding a couple drops of water - the alcohol gets dampened so that the burn disappears, displaying an incredibly smooth finish. Wow. And priced at $17, this is a bargain.