Berry’s St Lucia Rum Aged 11 Years

Berrys St Lucia Rum Review by the fat rum pirateBerry’s Bros & Rudd (BBR for short) is London’s oldest and one of its most respected wine and spirits merchants.  They have traded from the same shop in St James Street since 1698.

They hold two warrants to supply wines and spirits to the Prince of Wales and the Queen!  So if I don’t give this bottle of rum a good review I might end up in the tower….

I was fortunate enough to come across a selection of Berry’s rums in own local Wine and Spirit Merchant (Rehills in Jesmond – no royal warrants but they do supply me on a regular basis).  Amongst the selection was this 11 Year Old St Lucia Rum.

As many of you will know I’m very fond of St Lucian rum, in particular Chairman’s Reserve.  Having been very slightly disappointed in the 1931 offerings and the Forgotten Casks edition of Chairman’s Reserve I jumped at the chance to try a pot still aged St Lucia rum.  Which is what this bottle has afforded me.

I picked this bottle up for just over £42 which compares favourably with online prices.  The rum comes in the very elegant and very tall traditional BBR spirit bottle. It has a clear glass bottom which adds a touch of class and it has a good weight to it.  The labelling is clear and uncluttered and gives some information on the rum in the bottle though not enough for the likes of me!  It’s all very elegant.  The rum is bottled at 46% ABV. I like the tasting notes on the bottle its nice to know this rum has been tried and tested!

The rum is a nice golden to red colour suggesting maybe a little of added caramel for colour only.  I suspect it has only been lightly chill filtered.  The nose is immediately reminiscent of the 1931 series of rums.  St Lucia Distillers pot still rums have a very distinctive nose.  A kind of halfway house between Jamaican rum and Scotch Whisky initially.  Given time in the glass the rum begins to show its sweeter side despite its slightly medicinal almost herbal notes.  It is very clean and almost refreshing – perhaps a touch of pine? The sweeter notes are  Banana and Toffee perhaps a little green apple.Berrys St Lucia Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

What I found with the 1931 series was that all the rums were just a little bit too busy for their own good.  The numerous rums in the blend and the different types of casks used to age before the final maturation, made the 1931’s at times a little unwieldy.  Don’t get me wrong I enjoy a complex sipper but it needs balance.  Which is what you get with this rum.

If this is a rum blended from many casks I will be surprised. It is very well balanced.  Very crisp and clean.  It tastes exactly how it appears. Elegant and not too showy.

When sipped it has a very herbal and slightly medicinal note to it.  The label notes it as invigorating.  I would liken the taste to trying to eat immediately after brushing your teeth or eating chewing gum.  You can taste the flavours but they are masked by an almost minty, refreshing note.

There are also notes of almost Jamaican pot still rum and dare I say it Scotch Whisky.  Despite its ABV the rum exhibits very little burn even on the finish.  It is spicy but not at all rough.  It’s a dry rum which you could compare to R L Seale’s 10 Year Old.

The finish is very long lasting and spicy with nice oak notes finally coming into the mix.

It is a rum which benefits from a second glass. I find that the sweeter notes shine a little more.  They don’t dominate the profile but light honey and a little vanilla do start to show themselves.

Berrys St Lucia Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

This is very much a sipping rum.  Those who enjoy a drier less fruity experience will particularly enjoy this rum.

I did however decide to mix this rum with some cola.  Really it was just to see how it faired next one of my favourite mixer’s Chairman’s Reserve.  I found that the extra sophistication this rum has meant that really it was a little wasted as a mixer.  Whilst it made a smoother and equally flavourful rum and cola I felt that it lacked the extra little oak and oomph that Chairman’s gives a rum and cola.  Plus I was paying twice as much for the drink!

This rum doesn’t quite hit the highest mark on the score front but I have enjoyed it slightly more than the 1931’s overall.  I would say it is pretty much on a par with the 2nd 1931.

It delivers a very different experience to Admiral Rodney, which is another rum from St Lucia Distillers but is entirely column distilled.  I found the Admiral Rodney to be sweeter, much less dry and very easy to drink.  This is more challenging but well worth the effort.  A real grower.

4 stars






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One comment on “Berry’s St Lucia Rum Aged 11 Years

  1. […] releases have been mostly on point the Independent bottlings have been a real mixed bag. The Berry’s 11 and 14 Year Old expressions were excellent. The Compagnie des Indes 13 Year old less so and the […]

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