Kill Devil Barbados 9 Year Old

Kill Devil Barbados 2007 9 year old rum review by the fat rum pirateAnother rum from the Kill Devil Single Cask range.  This time hailing from Barbados.  This bottling is identified as being from the Foursquare Distillery.

Due to a surge in releases and activity over the past 12-18 months.  We have featured a number of Foursquares releases.  It is likely that their key releases would have been reviewed as a matter of course, even if they weren’t as good as they are.  Had I not enjoyed them as much as I did it is unlikely we would have featured as many Independent bottlings. Please note there are more to come as well.

Distilled in June 2007 this is a 9 year old rum.  I don’t have a great deal of information on the actual makeup of the rum.  I don’t know if it is a single cask rum, in that it is a blend of rums married together in one cask or if it is truly just a single run from a pot or column still.  I’d guess (before tasting) that it is a blend.

There is a total of 374 bottles of this available and it retails at under £50.  As is the standard for the Gold and Black labelled Kill Devil rums, it has a very drinkable ABV of 46%.  This rum has not been matured for 9 years in Barbados.  Hunter Laing buy their rums from a broker here in the UK.  I’d guess this rum probably spent around 3-4 years in the tropics.  Again this is just guesswork from past experiences and questions I’ve asked people in the know.

My first thoughts on this rum is how it will compare to another 9 Year Old Bajan rum – Foursquare’s  owen Port Cask finish.  From what I can gather this has been aged only in a Bourbon cask.  It may be more in keeping with Doorly’s 5 or 8 neither of which have a port or sherry type finish.

In the glass the rum is a straw to golden brown colour.  I don’t think that caramel colouring has been added to this rum.  It is quite light for a 9 year old rum.

Kill Devil Barbados 9 Rum Review by the fat rum pirateThe nose on the rum has nice balance to it – as I expected.  The usual notes of vanilla and sweet/sour mash bourbon like oaky notes.  What is a surprise is the strong smell of varnish – which really does make the nose tingle a little.  I quite like the extra bit of oomph it seems to deliver to the nosing experience.

Sipping this 9 Year Old Bajan is also a bit of a surprise.  I don’t think its entirely down to the extra ABV but it does seem to be a bit more menacing than a lot of Bajan rums. 

It is very spicy.  Even if it wasn’t tropically aged for long it has definitely taken on quite a lot of the oak from the barrel.  You get a lot of spice and quite a lot of heat.  I wouldn’t say it was a particularly young or immature rum but it is a lot spicer than similarly aged Foursquare’s I have tried.  Could it be all or mostly Pot Still rum?

It has a nice spicy heat to it – Black Pepper and perhaps even a little Chilli.  A little savoury and very woody.  I’m noticing more savoury aspects of European aged bottlings lately.  Whilst tropical ageing accelerates maturity, European ageing also brings its own distinctive character to many rums.

In the bigger picture of Foursquare rums both commercial and independent offerings this isn’t quite up with the elite bottlings.  It is interesting though and will offer you more of a variety in flavour than you perhaps would get from, say the progression from Doorly’s 5 to the 8 Year Old.

Balance wise it is arguably just a bit to oaky and a touch to spicy.  Maybe another couple of years would have seen it mature better?  Or maybe it was left too long to start with?

It reminds me of Captain Bligh’s XO but I don’t think it is as good.  I’m giving it the lowest score I’ve ever given a Foursquare rum.  It is the “worst” of their rums I have had.

In the overall scheme of things its still far from being a bad rum though.  It’s good/very good just perhaps a little below the usual high standards set.

3.5 stars







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