It's hard out there for a white rum. Most people have already formed an extremely poor first impression thanks to Bacardi, and most of what remains is positioned purely as mixers, so they're boring at best.
I've written about the terrible and the boring before, so it's nice to be able to talk about a white rum that changed my mind about the whole category in general. Atlantico is a relative newcomer to the rum game, having been introduced to the market in 2008. If memory serves me correct, that was still a time when someone would have raised an eyebrow if you'd mentioned "ultra-premium" and "rum" in the same sentence. At least my association at that time was that, again, rum was synonymous with Bacardi or Captain Morgan. In fairness, however, I might simply not have been looking at what else was out there.
In any case, Atlantico is one of those distilleries in the world of rum I think is trying to build a better mousetrap. The kind of organization that actually makes something worth drinking and then puts it out there, rather than the kind of place that markets the living shit out of something mediocre in order to build the impression that it's worth the cost.
...And about that: when someone says, "ultra premium," I certainly don't associate the phrase with "about twenty dollars," but there you are. Let's not tell anyone that I'd pay more, yeah?
Okay, so how is it? Well, it's always a good first impression when a spirit doesn't smell like a glass full of rubbing alcohol, and it was even better to smell a whole lot of vanilla bean and bananas foster in the Atlantico Platino. So far, so good. But the taste is what sold me. The Platino is absolutely huge on marshmallows and cake icing. I picked up just a bit of nuttiness, perhaps a flash of pecan or walnut. It's a sweet rum, but not syrupy-sweet like you'd expect from a liqueur—it has a very gentle and rounded nature that's just delightful. It's a perfect, creamy glass of light dessert.
There are a few hallmarks that usually tip me off to the spirits I consider exceptional, and the Atlantico Platino met two very good ones. The first was that I bought another bottle before I ran out of the first. I had about an eighth of the first bottle left and thought, "Well, why not: I like this, and so do a lot of my guests."
But second, and more importantly, it was something inexpensive enough to pour just as a "whatever" glass as I wrote or watched TV. However, there would always be something so nice about the experience that I'd become conscious of that delicious taste. What I'm saying is that, at least for me, it was so nice I actually couldn't consume it uncritically. I just kept thinking, "Wow!" at various moments.
And yeah, you can also mix this for really good cocktails. But you really should try it as I did: straight from the bottle into the glass. Turns out there are actually good white rums out there, and you can get a spectacular one without having to pay much for it.