The Duchess Beenleigh Artisan Distillery Australia 13 Years Old

The Duchess Beenleigh Artisan Distillery Australia 13 Years Old Rum Review by the fat rum pirateThe Duchess Beenleigh Artisan Distillery Australia 13 Years Old. It’s good to see independent bottlers releasing rums from distilleries/locations that have perhaps not had the attention from Independent brokers they perhaps deserve.

It’s good to see producers such as the Netherlands The Duchess reaching out and trying different rums. Rather than just going with the tried and tested Shelf Friendly Unit Shifters from the likes of Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad (Caroni).

That is not to say that Beenleigh Distillery is in anyway a new or even “small” operation. However their location in Australia means that very little of their rum has so far made it to our shores. With even less being bottled by Independents.

Indeed, Beenleigh Artisan Distillery (I’m not quite sure what qualifies you to call yourselves “Artisan or if such qualifications even exist) is Australia’s oldest operating distillery. Beenleigh Distillery has been in operation since 1884. It is based in Queensland and the sugar cane molasses used in Beenleigh rums, is also produced in the state.

From what I understand Beenleigh use a “VAT Still” similar to the Port Mourant still at DDL to produce their rums.

The bottling the Duchess Beenleigh Artisan Distillery Australia 13 Years Old it is noted as being “Platypus Special Edition” on the Best of Wines webstore. The front label indeed has a picture of the Duck Billed Platypus. Other than this rather funny looking beast, the presentation is pretty standard for The Duchess. Which is as usual really classy with a nice blue wax seal around the cork stopper.

The rum retails at around €62, I was quite surprised at the price. This rum has been matured for 10 years in the Tropics in Australia before being moved to Europe and aged for a further 3 years in a slightly less Tropical climate……..

So the rum is 13 years old. It was distilled back in 2007 and was bottled earlier this year. It has been matured in an ex-bourbon barrel and it is noted as being from Cask number 38. Only 284 bottles of this rum were available. The rum has been bottled at Cask Strength of 63.4% ABV.

Should you wish to seek out further information on Beenleigh Artisan Distillery then they have a very useful website here.

So lets see how this Australia rum fares. I sure hope its better than Bundy……….

In the glass we have a medium to dark brown spirit with little hue around the edges. It looks a little “washed out”. Not that I particularly care about the colour! You know, just letting you all know. Never judge a rum by its colour. Unless of course its green or flourescent orange or something. Then judge away………..

On the nose The Duchess Beenleigh Artisan Distillery Australia 13 Years Old is quite heavy on the molasses. The nose is quite sharp and aggressivThe Duchess Beenleigh Artisan Distillery Australia 13 Years Old Rum Review by the fat rum piratee. Lots of varnish and petrol fumes.

Battling amongst the treacly molasses and sharp varnish notes is a herbal/pine cone aroma. This reminds me of Saint Lucian rums. It definitely has something similar going on in terms of a kind of herbal/mineral like note. It’s slightly minty and menthol like as well.

Little bit more time in the glass and I start to notice more of the nicely integrated oak notes and the spice and char from the barrel. There’s a hint of vanilla alongside the toffee/molasses notes as well.

All in all this is a big aggressive, hairs on the chest type of nose. I suspect I may be adding a drop or two of water to this….

Sipped it is much fruitier and the herbal notes have made their way more to the front. The initial entry is quite sweet with a sugar cane like notes and some rich dark treacly toffee. This quickly moves over to a more herbal/grassy note which is very interesting and whilst reminiscent of Saint Lucian rum – has its own character as well.

On the mid palate the astringent, bitter and more aggressive notes – the nail varnish and the petrol fumes begin to build again alongside the oak and spices from the barrel.

The mid palate becomes more “savoury” and whisky-esque with much more influence from the oak. Being honest if was given this blind I don’t think I would have guessed it to be double digits in terms of age. I’d likely have said around 3-4 years old.

The mid palate and finish is where I would expect an older spirit to perhaps “mellow” out a little. This rum does not do that – especially at full strength.

I’m going to add a drop of water and see if it can “open” the rum up a little more.

It’s definitely working. At full strength I found the finish seemed to not so much as fade out but the alcohol was a bit overpowering. I’m now getting a much more rounded experience with this rum.The Duchess Beenleigh Artisan Distillery Australia 13 Years Old Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

Finish wise, with the water it fades out nicely with a good hit of molasses and oak spice. Despite the initial quite fruity and sweet entry this rum does become more savoury as you move through the sipping experience. The drop of water definitely improves the experience. Making it less dry and allowing more flavour to reveal itself.

That said I quite like the aggressive notes in this rum. It’s a bit of a challenge and has a very interesting taste profile. It has certainly piqued my interest in trying some more products from Beenleigh Artisan Distillery.

I’d be very keen to see how the distilleries OB taste in comparison to this.





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