Berry Bros & Rudd The Classic Range Guatemala

Berry Bros & Rudd The Classic Range Guatemala Rum review by the fat rum pirateBerry Bros & Rudd The Classic Range Guatemala. When it comes to rum there is little doubt that over the past 20 years Guatemala has become on of the worlds biggest players.

Global rum brand Diageo, now own Ron Zacapa and other brands such as Ron Botran have made an impact on the UK and European market. Newer entries to the scene such as  El Pasador de Oro and Ron Barca are also growing in popularity in mainland Europe.

It’s not all good news for Guatemalan rum though. A lot of more serious rum enthusiasts no longer get as “enthused” about releases by the likes of Ron Zacapa, due to the knowledge that they use additives. This is further compounded by the fact they continue to deny the practice. Stories about ageing in the clouds and herb/flower gardens haven’t helped either. Brands such as Ron Botran have also been criticised for using a glycerol to “smooth” out their products. That said, I still think they (Botran) stand up as decent rums.

This means that whenever Guatemalan rum is mentioned in some circles, it is met with disdain. I’ve not tried a lot of “non branded” or Independently bottled rum from Guatemala. The last one I recall reviewing was a Kill Devil bottling from Darsa Distillery.

I have read conflicting information about how many distilleries there are in Guatemala and the names and descriptions seem to change at will. Most of the independent bottlings I have seen note the Darsa Distillery.

Unfortunately Berry Bros & Rudd can’t disclose which distillery (or distilleries) this rum is from, nor can they reveal the age of the rum. All I know that this retails at around £30 for a 70cl bottle with an ABV of 40.5%.

Presentation wise we get a slightly smaller more easier to handle bottle than from the usual Berrys’ range. A nice synthetic cork stopper give this a bit extra class and the presentation is clean, simple and modern.  The lack of real information on this rum may well hinder its sales. That said it isn’t hugely expensive.

These rums are very much an attempt to introduce key styles of rum to inexperienced rum drinkers. They are fairly easy drinking rums which can be used a sippers or premium mixers.

In many ways I am reviewing this rum almost “blind” in that I do not know which distillery (or distilleries) it hails from and I have no real idea how long it has been aged.

In the glass we have a golden brown/straw coloured liquid. The nose is quite floral and has a nice overall balance. It’s fairly light and quite perfumed but not in an over the top manner. It has enough earthiness and oak in the mix to make this quite rummy. Which is nice.

Creamy vanilla and shortcake appear underneath the floral and perfumed notes. A nice development of oak and spice. Some ginger and nutmeg notes.

Sipped Berry Bros & Rudd The Classic Range Guatemala, is a quite spicy affair on the palate. Probably more younger alcohol than actual development in the cask, as it a little bit fiery. It’s not bad though and it least it has a bit of character.

Further sips reveal more of the perfumed, sweeter notes you get on the nose. That said any buying this hoping for a cheaper “version” of Ron Zacapa wil be in for a bit of a shock. This is a much drier and more “rummy” product.

On the mid palate you get a little bit of butterscotch, some shortcake, butter and a hit of curry powder. Overall its pretty dry and certainly doesn’t give any indication that it is dosed in anyway. The Hydrometer agrees with this theory.

Finish wise with its lighter style and conservative ABV the finish isn’t overly long but its not half bad. A nice hit of oak and spice and a slight zestiness gives it a nice punchy kick.

It wouldn’t be top of my list as a sipper but its decent enough – something you could easily have a few glasses of. Maybe a little break from something Cask Strength?Berry Bros & Rudd Classic Range the fat rum pirate

Mixed the rum works nicely but its maybe a little light overall. It makes a nice smooth rum and coke with a little bit of on oak and spice but its not as robust as I would like.

It works better in cocktails or with tonic/lemonade which don’t overwhelm the rum quite so much.

All in all though it’s not bad at all for the money and offers something different so credit to Berry Bros & Rudd for that. I’ll be reviewing all four rums in this range (as pictured) so keep your eyes peeled.




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