Berrys’ or Berrys’ Bros and Rudd are an Independent bottler. We have featured their offerings on this site on a few occasions already. This is the second Berrys’ St Lucia rum to be reviewed.
They bottle a wide variety of rums from familiar rum producing islands and nations. Ocassionally they dip their toe in less well established islands, such as Fiji. Here we have a rum from an island which is growing its reputation and becoming well respected in the rum world.
For review today we have another offering from St Lucia Distillers. From what I can gather this rum was distilled back in 2000 and bottled in 2014. Unfortunately I do not have any further information on this rum. I cannot find anything indicating its make up ie Pot,Column still etc. I will take a guess though and state that is likely a blend of Pot and Column distilled rum.
This is hard to find at the moment and the price for it fluctuates quite a lot online! I have seen it as cheap as £51 and as expensive as over £100. It is bottled at 46% ABV. Again I am unsure how many bottles were produced. I do know however not many seem to be still in existence!
If you are looking for an alternative review then you might want to check out Serge at Whiskyfun’s brief assessment. All part of this search for malternatives.
So as I haven’t got any more information we may as well get stuck into the actual review of this rum.
First up in the glass this Berrys’ St Lucia is a very light straw colour. It appears no “older” than the previous Berrys’ 11 Year St Lucia I reviewed earlier. Side by side they are near identical.
The nose suggests this is a blend of column and pot distilled rum. It is not as fierce as some of the pot only rums I have had from St Lucia. Having said that it is still quite “fiery”. There is an almost Caroni like petrol note. This mixes with a touch of brine and that medicinal/minty note that is so distinctive to St Lucian rum. Despite what some may see as “off notes” from the descriptors, the nose is actually nicely balanced with a mellowing hit of vanilla and light spices. A healthy burst of oak rounding the nose off and tempering it.
Sipped and compared to its 11 Year Old younger brother it is noticeably more oaked and lighter in terms of flavour. There is less of the brine and saltiness and the sharp medicinal tones with this one. Much more vanilla, clove and a longer zingier finish. It’s lighter on the entry and in the palate but the finish is longer and quite spicy with a lot of oak.
I prefer the 14 year old ever so slightly. Having said that there may be occasions when I might prefer the extra sharpness and saltiness of the 11 Year Old.
The good thing is that you can tell a difference between the two rums and you can see the progression extra time in the cask has created. This is slightly easier going than the 11 Year Old.
This is a very nicely balanced yet pretty funky/medicinal St Lucian rum. Unlike the 1931 series from St Lucia Distillers it for me seems less “complicated” rather than less complex. I enjoy the 1931’s a lot but I’ve yet to have one that I feel is perfectly balanced. This rum isn’t perfect – I would like a little more of Bourbon “zing” you get with the 1931’s. It is another great example of how truly world class St Lucian rums are. I’ve yet to have bad one (other than Chairman’s Reserve Spiced).
The secret about St Lucian rums is now well and truly out of the bottle. If you do find this rum then I would seriously consider giving it a try. If you like the St Lucian rums you will not be disappointed.