Berrys’ Fijian Rum Aged 8 Years

Berrys' Fiji 8 Year Old Rum Review by the fat rum pirateA step into the familiar Berrys’ or Berry’s Bros & Rudd, alongside the unfamiliar in a Fijian rum.  Quite what to expect from an 8 Year Old Fijian rum I am not sure.

As it is coming from a well respected Independent bottler it should at the very least be an authentic style of rum so it should have some redeeming features.

I’m as unfamiliar with the country of Fiji as I am its rums.  All I really know about Fiji is that it is fairly close to Australia and they like their Rugby.  They are pretty big blokes as well so I best be careful with this review.

There are a couple of branded Fijian rums which are available with Bounty being available domestically and Seven Tiki I have seen for sale on a couple of online sites. A quick look around the internet reveals one company producing rum on Fiji the inventively named Fiji Rum Company.

It seems this rum comes from the Laukota Distillery.  Reading the website the information given on the rum is really quite encouraging.  It actually focuses on the distillate rather than marketing bollocks.  The distillery is also known as the South Pacific distillery.

Fiji is relatively young in geological terms, the island retains its very rich volcanic soils with virtually no erosion. As a result, most sugar cane is grown organically.

Plantation grown sugar cane is still cut by hand, leading to a richer cane juice with fewer tannins remaining.

“Fijian Sugar Mills use traditional techniques producing a much richer Molasses with a higher base sugar. This gives a much better starting base for our fermentation and a more unique flavour profile is the end result.

Depending on the blend, our Rum will have a higher content of Pot Still, giving a unique flavour profile as opposed to Rum from Continuous Distillation used elsewhere.

The Fijian climate is ideal for the maturation of Rum due to the heat and the humidity which accelerates the ageing process. This produces more complexity of flavour over a comparable period in colder climates.

Fijian water is fresh and pure, falling from the Pacific into our natural water sources”

IBerrys' Fiji 8 Year Old Rum review by the fat rum pirate have only seen The Lone Caner dip his toe into reviewing Fijian rum before, so I really have little to go on.  He’s actually reviewed this exact same rum so if you want a second opinion (or just a nice tale to read) you can view it here.

Lance (The Lone Caner) noted that he thought this rum may be a Cane Juice Rum (he may be right). Though the website does suggest otherwise. I can certainly see why he draws that conclusion though.  He also fancies it is a column distilled rum – I would be surprised if their isn’t some pot still rum in this rum.

A bottle of this if you can still find one will likely cost you around £40-45, the presentation is standard Berrys’ and it is also bottled at their usual strength of 46% ABV.

The first thing to note about the rum is how light it is – almost straw like suggesting no added caramel or other funny business.

The nose is the complete opposite immediately I am hit by an almost Monymusk like Jamaican funk with a lot of rubber and a kind of waxy element to it.  I’ve seen the Bounty rums produced in Fiji noted as being “Jamaican” in style and I can certainly understand why.  Notes of overripe banana and a salty almost briny note.  The nose reminds me equally of Jamaican rums and St Lucia Distillers 1931 series.

The nose is clean and fresh and reminiscent also of an Agricole rhum.

Berrys' Fiji 8 Year Old Rum review by the fat rum pirateOn the palate the rum is very fiery, spicy and a real eye popper even at 46% ABV. Tastewise it is similar in many ways to that Scottish Spirit or a more refined Irish Poitin.  It is very intense and I’m more than sure it is a pot still rum.  It’s a bit like chewing on an elastic band in many ways yet it also has an almost peated taste to it especially in the very long and spicy finish.

It isn’t what you would class as a smooth sweet sipper – its perhaps the polar opposite.  There is a lot going on which reminds me of the 1931 series from St Lucia.  However those rums have a better balance with more chocolate and oak notes to balance out the slightly salty and burnt rubber notes.

It’s a bit like a strong Caroni rum only without the smokiness – it’s quite fresh and clean.  Sipping it I feel a bit like I did the first time I tried real ale after moving from lager/cider.  For a while you’re not really sure if you are actually enjoying drinking this rum or not.

I’ve had to re-visit this rum on a number of occasions.  It has grown on me slightly.  I appreciate it more now.  However,  I would still class it as a rum I would need to be in the mood for.  It’s the kind of rum you knock back and feel macho doing so.

Such is the intensity of the flavour in this rum the finish is very long.  The one strange thing about this rum is that although it is full of flavour and spiciness it doesn’t have much wood/oak in the mix.

I appreciate what this rum is rather than out right liking it (if that makes sense).  It’s a well made, strongly flavoured rum but it perhaps strays a little too much into other spirit territory for me to really enjoy.

It has however piqued my curiosity to perhaps try some of the commercial Fijian rums as they may had their wings clipped with a little refinement.  This rum is right up there with Smith & Cross and heavy Caroni rums in terms of punch.

3 stars

 

 

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