If you've never had a good sippin' rum before, you could do a hell of a lot worse than starting here.
Atlantico's apparently trying to make itself a bigger name in America by hiring Enrique Iglesias (English translation: Henry Churches) in order to sell its rum. To the best of my knowledge, Iglesias is Spanish, not Dominican, but then again the Dos Equis guy was apparently a Jewish dude with a convincing accent and that seemed to work out pretty well. Who am I to tell marketers how to do their jobs?
One of the benefits of rum as a spirit category is that you're arguably getting a lot more for your money when compared to just about anything else. Let's not run this review off the rails and into the area of geopolitical ethics, but a US dollar goes a lot farther in the Dominican Republic. Fair or not, we definitely benefit from that. Which is why you can get a bottle of Atlantico Private Cask, which purports to include rum as old as 25 years old*, for the princely sum of about $25.
Now, there's a big asterisk on that "age statement." Atlantico Private Cask basically uses a Solera system. Imagine a pyramid of different casks stacked on top of one another: new make spirit goes into the top barrels, and as aged rum comes out years later on the bottom, it marries with rums of all ages.
This represents one of the differences with rum as opposed to other spirits. Scotch, for example, prides itself on transparency. If you make any allusion to an age on a scotch label, it can by law only refer to the youngest spirit included. Rum? No such rule. It's like the wild west in a lot of these countries of origin. Also note that producers can also throw additional sugar in there, and I highly suspect that's what's happening with the Atlantico, because it's pretty damn sweet.
Some might find it too sweet, as I suspect my rum-drinking friends would. I actually rather like the Atlantico PC. From the first whiff, there's a lot of sweet things I enjoy, like banana, almond, crème brulee, and fresh cinnamon buns. The taste is huge on bananas foster: just a metric shitload of bananas surrounded by demerara sugar and just a hint of cocoa dust. The brown sugar and caramelized bananas linger into a really long finish that tingles the roof of the mouth.
The Atlantico PC could stand to be a bit more robust at only 40% alcohol, but this seems to be the norm for the category. And at the almost absurdly low price point, I can't pick too many nits. If you like bananas and have a sweet tooth, it's hard to beat a bottle like this. Give it a day in court and it's going to be hard to go back to something like Meyer's Dark or Sailor Jerry.