I’m starting this review rather in a rather unorthodox fashion, because I’ll be stating this upfront - that the 1977 Jamaican “Overproof” Rum bottled by Berry Bros & Rudd Spirits as part of their Exceptional Casks series is one of my favourite, and possibly one of the most exceptional rums bottled.
(Image Source: @weixiang_liu)
Bottled in late 2014, this 36-year-old Jamaican rum was purportedly distilled at the Long Pond distillery in Jamaica, right around the time the distillery was transitioning between owners, from Seagrams to the Jamaican government. A single cask #23 resulting 220 bottles at 60.3% abv, you might notice that there are two slightly different bottles, some indicating 36 years of age while some are 37. My guess was that half of the bottles were bottled in late-2014, while the other half were bottled a year later.
The nose redefines elegance itself in the rum category, rich, heavy texture accompanied by notes of caramel, orange chocolates, vanilla, and coconut cream. Things take a turn as it opens up, revealing brighter, greener character, thyme, herbal, a breath of fresh eucalyptus, and even hints of bright tropical pineapples coupled with pepper spices.
On the palate this rums re-introduces those rich creamy vanilla and coconut notes once again, very chewy and oily texture. The mid palate is where our familiarity with Jamaican rums are rekindled, a flash of funk, leather, a dash iodine, just to spice things up a bit. Finally the finish carries nuances of red and purple fruits, prunes, cherries, orange peels, and pencil shavings. Even at 60%, it sits very well on the palate and has impeccable balance.
What we have is a decadent and alluring old Jamaican rum selected by Doug McIvor (@doug.mcivor77), and a true reflection of Berry Brothers & Rudd perfectly - unassuming but elegant and dignified.
Your occasional rum addict!