Berrys’ Barbados Rum Aged 12 Years

Berry's Barbados Rum review by the fat rum pirateBerrys’ or Berrys’ Bros and Rudd to give them their full name are an English Independent bottler of wines and spirits.  They are also one of London’s leading wine and spirits retailers with the same premises at 3 St James Street London since 1698.

They have a wide and ever changing range of aged rums from all around the globe.  I was fortunate enough to pick up this rather dusty bottling from a few years ago at a very reasonable £39.95.

Bottled at 46% ABV I figured it would be worth a punt.  I’ve rarely been disappointed with Bajan rum.  For no particular reason, I did think when buying this rum that it might hail form the West Indies Rum Distillery (WIRD), who produce Cockspiur.  Quite why I thought that I can offer no explanation.

It turns out this rum is very likely to be from the Foursquare Distillery (I spoke with Richard Seale who was about 95% certain it was one of his).  To be honest once I had opened this rum I would have put money on it being from Foursquare rather than WIRD or even Mount Gay.  The rum isn’t obtained direct from Richard it is done via a broker so Richard was unable to vouch for any more details regarding this bottling.  It should be noted that Berrys’ issue different aged rums on a just about yearly basis which seems to be based on what stocks they have.  They release quite a bit and their website frequently changes.  At present I think you can get an 11 Year Old Bajan rum but not this 12 year old.

The presentation of the Berrys’ rums is great (note that we struggled to get the full bottle in the photo above!) – the bottles are tall and elegant and bottom heavy.  They have lovely wooden topped cork stoppers.  In keeping with them being Wine experts there is a lot of information on tasting notes but nothing regarding its provinence.  Which is a shame.Berrys Barbados Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

When poured the rum is a classic golden brown perhaps a shade lighter than Doorly’s 12 or Rum Sixty Six.  The nose is quite spicy with more bourbon notes which reminds me a little of MGXO or the Real McCoy 12. There is less vanilla present than say Rum Sixty Six.

Unlike the Port Cask Finish or Doorly’s XO this is a very straightforward Bajan rum.  The flavours are very much influenced by the Bourbon casks rather than any finishing in other types of casks.  Which is in no way a bad thing.

Tasting the rum doesn’t offer any great surprises.  It’s a very nice clean tasting spirit.  I have noticed that a few of the Independent bottlings which have some ageing in the UK do seem to have a slightly fresh taste to them.

I will also make a suggestion that is a blended rum as it does not display enough heavier pot still notes so I would say it is a blend of pot and column distilled rums.

The Berrys’ Barbados 12 Year Old rum offers a very pure, clean tasting Bajan rum.  It will be immediately recognisable as a Bajan rum to anyone who has tried the islands rums.  It doesn’t have any stand out touches.  It is however different enough from the existing Foursquare line up to be worth seeking out if you are a fan of such rums.

Of all the Foursquare rums it is probably most similar to The Real McCoy though with slightly less of the charred taste.

On first sip it has a slightly sharp note, quite hot and spicy.  This fades leaving a little raisin and other dried fruit on the palate.  The slightly sweet/sour Bourbon note is most prominent in the finish which is long and very pleasant.Berry's Barbados Rum 12 review

This rum isn’t hugely complex on the first few sips.  Or at least you don’t realise it is.  It seems very comfortable and familiar.  However as you work your way down the bottle you realise that the clean taste of this rum enables you to notice more subtleties in its make up.  Notes of vanilla, all spice, a tiny hint of Benylin, some almost menthol like notes of winter freshness.

The colder climate ageing of this rums seems to have given it more clarity and definition.  The extra ABV also seems to help as well.

All in all a very nicely put together rum and certainly one to seek out for any Foursquare lover.

4.5 stars







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One comment on “Berrys’ Barbados Rum Aged 12 Years

  1. I bought the same bottle maybe two years ago and also liked it very much. It was one of my very first independent bottlings. I completely agree with you: Very bourbon-like character, nothing out of the box, but comforting and everything I want from an everyday rum.
    I am also quite sure that this is a blend. Generally Foursquare fills pot and column distilled rum together in one cask. So this would be not just a blend, but a barrel-blend, much like some of the last Velier Demerara bottlings. The only pure pot still rum from Foursquare that I am aware of is the Habitation Velier 2013 2 YO. I think it is the very first, but Richard Seale mentioned in an interview with Cyril from Durhum that he planned to make more bottlings in a heavier style in the future.

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