May 292017

Rumaniacs Review #046 | 0446

We’re going back down memory lane now, to a point where the AOC designation is a dream on the horizon, and for once we have an age: this rum is sixteen years old (based on the bottom of the bottle where it saysBottled February 1991in French). This of course leads us to puzzle our way through all the others we’ve looked at already, because if here they can call a 16YO arhum vieuxthen the other Bally rhums are in all likelihood similarly agedwe just have no proof of the matter.

In any event, age or no age, rums and rons and rhums are evaluated based on what they are, not what they are stated to be. So let’s put aside all the whinging about information provision (which is a never ending grouse of mine) and simply taste a rhum made when I was still living in Africa and had never heard of Martinique (or much about Guyana, for that matter).


Strength – 45%

NoseSo far nothing has beaten the Bally 1982, but this one is on parperhaps better. The nose is amazingdeep purple grapes and vanilla, with the traditionals of sugar cane sap, wet green lemon grass, with a mischievous hint of wet cardboard and cereals. Threading through these smells are additional notes of Turkish coffee (no sugar), cocoa and some black chocolate, but curiously there’s less fruitiness to sniff in this one than in the later editions, and it’s backgrounded by something vaguely metalliclike licking a small battery, y’know? Some cinnamon, well-polished leather and honey fill in the spaces.

PalateIt’s creamy, spicy, sweet and salty all at once (plus lemon). In a way it reminds me of a very well made Thai green curry in coconut milk. The fruits are here at lastgreen apples, pears, white guavas, but also pastries and cheese, to which are added very light hints of creme brulee and caramel, milk chocolate, some honey and licorice. Would be interesting to know the barrel strategy on this one. Whatever. It’s a fine fine rhum to try, that’s for sure.

FinishMedium long, vegetal, grassy and breakfast spices for the most part, some more of the white fruit, and the woody notes are here to stay. Not the best fade, but pretty good anyway.

ThoughtsIt had great balance and the tastes were excellent. Something like this is best had in conjunction with something newer from Bally because then you gain a sense of its achievement, and how rhum has developed over the years. People swear by the AOC (and in an era of marketing nonsense dosed with outright lies, quite rightfully so), but sometimes you wonder whether something hasn’t been lost as well. The Bally 1975 emphatically demonstrates the quality of what was being done, at a time way before regulations changed the industry.


The boys of the Rumaniacs liked this rhum even more than I did.


  5 Responses toJ. Bally Rhum Vieux Agricole Millésime 1975”

  1. Bonsoir,
    J’aimerais avoir un petit conseil si tu peux.
    Si tu avais le choix entre un Bally 1970 et un Bally 1975 lequel de ces 2 millésimes choisirais tu sans hésiter ?
    Et si tu pouvais me dire les différences qu’il y a entre ces 2 millésimes si tu as déguster ces 2 millésimes s’il te plaît ?
    J’attends ton retour avec impatience.
    Bien Cordialement
    Good evening,
    I would love to have a little advice if you can.
    If you had the choice between a Bally 1970 and a Bally 1975 which of these 2 vintages would you choose without hesitation?
    What if you could tell me the differences between these 2 vintages if you tasted these 2 vintages please?
    I look forward to your return.
    Best regards

    • Malheureusement, je n’ai pas essayé le Bally 1970, donc je ne peux pas répondre à la question basée sur le goût. Je sais que le Bally 1975, que j’ai essayé, était vraiment très bon. Depuis que je l’ai, mon choix irait pour le moment pour 1970.
      Unfortunately I have not tried the Bally 1970, so I can’t answer the question based on taste. I know that the Bally 1975, which I did try, was very good indeed. Since I have had it, my choice would go to the 1970 for the moment.

      • Désoler mais je n’ai pas compris ta réponse.
        Lequel choisirais tu, le millésime 1970 ou le 1975?
        Sorry but I didn’t understand your answer.
        Which would you choose, the vintage 1970 or the 1975?

        • I have not tried the 1970, so that would be my choice.
          Je n’ai pas essayé le 1970, donc ce serait mon choix.

  2. Désoler mais Je n’ai pas compris ta réponse.
    Lequel choisirais tu , le millésime 1970 ou le millésime 1975 ?

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