Penny Blue Mauritian Rum hails from the Medine Distillery in Mauritius. The rum is brought to the UK under the watchful eye of Berry Bros. & Rudd, on of London’s premium importers of wines and spirits.
In the past there have been 4 editions of the Penny Blue. This edition is the first Single Cask rum to be released in the UK. (I understand some Single Cask editions have been available in Mauritius)
Column Distilled in 2006. Doug McIvor (BB&R) and Jean-Francois Koenig (Master Distiller at Medine Distillery) assessed each cask in the distilleries reserves before selecting this cask #28 as the best of the best.
Rums from more “exotic” or less familiar locations are often viewed with suspicion. Penny Blue Cask #28 is not chill filtered and is entirely natural in colour. Despite 9 years of tropical ageing the rum is still a light amber to gold colour. Bottled at a very exact 44.8% (indeed my Hydrometer bobbed nicely between 44 and 45) – it also has no added sugar. The producers of the rum maintain this rum has no additives and whilst we all know this can not always be be taken at face value, there is nothing in the make up of the rum to make me think otherwise.
As this is a Single Cask rum there are only 197 bottles of this rum available. My picture above shows the bottle used by Coe Vintners (who are stocking the rum along with BB&R) number 41 of 197. It may be that the sample I received is from that bottle.
With such exclusivity comes a price tag. One which to be honest took me by surprise. Previous blended Penny Blue rums have come in at around £40. This one adds a 1 infront of the 4. £140 for a 70cl bottle ABV 44.8%.
When I first tried Penny Blue XO (batch 4) I was immediately taken by the nose of the rum. Yet again I am immediately impressed. It reminds me of Barbancourt. Big fruity wine like notes are at the forefront. A little hint of spice and vanilla, gentle smooth creamy toffee. Overall its very sweet and fruity. Like Mezan’s Panama 1995/99 I am surprised at how intense the nose is and how the Master Distiller has managed to get such intensity from a column distilled product.
Penny Blue Cask #28 suggests from the nose it will be smooth and again very much like one of my favourite rums Barbancourt 5 star.
It doesn’t disappoint it has a very nice delivery smooth – the sweet tones give way initially to reveal aged and slightly spicy oak notes. A swirl in the mouth allows the vanilla and hints of red grape/wine like notes to shine through again.
If you have tried a Penny Blue rum before then this rum will not come as a surprise to you. If you are a fan of Barbancourt 5 star, Rhum Agricole or even Cognac – this style of rum may certainly appeal.
The finish on the Penny Blue is also a bit of a highlight (just as well as I only have around 50ml of this) – it’s very long lasting with lovely sweet aged oaky notes and gentle spices which really warms the palate and the stomach. I feel myself in need of a nice cigar (and I’ve never smoked).
This offers a very luxurious style of rum which considering it is all column distilled is impressive to be able to pull off. You may wish to test the waters with Batch 4 before splashing out on this but with only 197 bottles available you might want to be quick….
I find myself wishing I had a smoking jacket……..and a butler.