Rumanicas Review 009 | 0409
Oh, tough one to research. Loads of 1929 and 1930s photos out there, rien on this one. Not a millesime, because J. Bally helpfully places the year on that little smiley label at the top for those. But with that fading old-style label, maybe pre-1980s? Earlier? Not sure. Still, J. Bally’s original domicile on Plantation Lajus du Carbet was closed back in 1989 (current rhums are made at a consolidated site at Plantation Simon using the original recipe), so at least we have something suitably aged here. Whatever. It was a neat little piece of history to be trying. Note the cheap tinfoil cap, which perhaps says something about the makers’ esteem for their own product, back in the day…makes a man happy for modern plastic. I spoke to the company history a little here.
Colour – Dark Amber/Mahogany
Strength – 45%
Nose – Heated, not sharp. Very fruity, dark stuff, at the edge of over-ripeness. Rich and fragrant and oh-so nice. Ripe peaches and plums; apricots just starting to go like an ageing strumpet past her prime; coconut shavings and a squirt of lime juice over the lot. Also a faint background of musky brininess and sugar, like tequila.
Palate – Nice! Medium to full bodied, firm, warm and silky to taste. Dusty old books, dark sweet chocolate (RitterSport “rum, raisins and hazelnuts,” maybe that was it). More plums, plus some squashy blueberries, plus the taste of cumin and coriander and the same salt-sweet mustiness from the nose. All in all, very tasty, and had sufficiently heated silky mouthfeel to make it an pretty good rhum, even for only six years ageing.
Finish – warm and lasting. Great black cake and tequila closing notes. Somehow they didn’t interfere with each other (not always the case).
Thoughts – Wish I knew when it was made. Actually, I wish I had the whole damned bottle.