The folks at Flaviar have done it again. On the heels of a wildly successful predecessor (aka Larga Vida XO 2018) comes Larga Vida XO 2019 Edition, which blends ten handpicked rums to absolute perfection. Don’t you dare use it as the base of your next Dark & Stormy because this is aged rum that demands to be sipped neat. That said, it will definitely make for one excellent Dark & Stormy, or any other dark rum cocktail for that matter.
Just a reminder: Flaviar is the world’s largest premium spirits club, which respectively operates out of the US and Europe. For US$300 a year (or US$95 a quarter), you can join a massive community of fellow alcohol enthusiasts, gaining access to quarterly tasting boxes, exclusive event invitations, rare spirits, member reviews, bottle discounts, free shipping, and more.
Thanks to their global network of connections, the top brass at Flaviar occasionally put together limited-edition releases of exceptional quality. We’ve previously raved about Son of a Peat Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and are just as delighted with Larga Vida XO 2019 Edition. In fact, this might very well be the smoothest and most sippable dark rum we’ve tried to date.
To produce this spectacular blend, Flaviar culled aged rum from 10 different nations, each known for delivering a distinctive take on the popular spirit. Those nations are as follows: Barbados, Dominican Republic, Guadalupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Jamaica, Mauritius, Panama, Trinidad, and Colombia. Each rum was aged for anywhere from 15-24 years and in a variety of wood types, including new oak barrels, toasted and charred oak barrels, wine casks, and sherry casks.
As a result of its diverse DNA, the spirit is wonderfully rich and complex, though impeccably mellow from sip to swallow. On the nose are appetising blasts of tropical fruit and burnt sugar, with subtle hints of oak and cinnamon. It paves the way for a creamy and mid-textured body, which balances notes of banana, cherry, vanilla, dates, cinnamon, coffee, honey, nuts, and a touch of smoke. Slightly bitter and mostly sweet, Larga Vida represents an exquisite harmony of sources and flavours.
To add a minor critique, we’re not all that crazy about the bottle design. While purposefully playful, it delivers a sort of beach town gift shop vibe and doesn’t do justice to the quality of its contents. When addressing the rum, Flaviar co-founder Grisa Soba said that “Larga Vida doesn’t take itself too seriously, there’s a speedboat on the stopper for [email protected]’s sake!” Nevertheless, we’re not the biggest fans.
On the other hand, those visuals fare better on the adjoining Larga Vida merch, so take from that what you will. Plus, there are plenty of folks out there who might relish the tropical bottle design, with its soaring dolphin and speedboat stopper. Love it or hate it, who really cares what a bottle looks like when the liquid inside it tastes so great? Not us and not you, either. Enjoy.