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Rum Reviews

Beenleigh 2014, 9 Years Old, MVKrait Operation Jaywick, Dead Reckoning, 55% ABV


We come back to the independent bottler @dead_reckoning_rum by Justin Bosley today with a rather unique bottling - a nine-year-old Australian rum that was released in 2023 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Operation Jaywick, a mission by Allied commandos of Special Operations Australia’s Z Special Unit during World War II that successfully raided and damaged seven Japanese vessels in Singapore waters on 26 Sep 1943. Given its significance, I quickly reached out to Justin for a bottle, which I have today as bottle no. 416 of 460. Also, half of the proceeds from the sale of these bottles are also headed to a good cause in supporting the Australian commando_trust.

The rum itself was distilled at Beenleigh distillery in 2014, and is a blend of pot and column still distillate, aged for four years in Beenleigh’s warehouses, before being shipped to Liverpool where it was left to age for another five years, and eventually bottled at 55% abv. If I recall correctly from my from visit to Beenleigh, the first three years of aging would have been in those huge maturation vats, and then filled into individual casks for further aging. This rum was also part of a larger release by Dead Reckoning, which saw another 1,260 bottles released for the EU and US.

On the nose, this was quintessentially Beenleigh, with its characteristic sweet, red Gala apples and Calvados, vanilla, a little bit of fresh pineapple, and one of my all time favourites - cream soda, which gave the rum that little extra pop and fizzle. But layered underneath were little hints of savoury, brine even, and that really struck me because it is rather rare for such notes to be present in Beenleigh rums, even much less so given that by 2014, Beenleigh had stopped the use of Pombe yeasts for fermentation.

The palate was equally delicious, juicy, and elegant even. It was almost akin to biting into a ripe Gala apple itself, sweet and delicate. Then in the middle, those brine-y notes made a short appearance, but quickly overtaken by Gala apples again, vanilla, a hint of sweet baking spices that reminded slightly of Christmas, and all of these stretched on into a long finish, where the cream soda notes become increasingly pronounced.

Once again, this bottle encapsulates everything Beenleigh has been doing right, and why I have such love for Beenleigh rums. It is bottles like these that let Beenleigh’s inherent flavours speak for itself, and showcasing some of best of what Australian rums can be. An absolute gem of a bottling Dead Reckoning has right here!


Image Courtesy of @weixiang_liu


Your occasional rum addict!