I’ve heard about this Bayou expression for a while now but I only got the chance to try it recently at the Manchester Rum Fest and that was enough to convince me to get myself a bottle. Bayou Rum is distilled in Louisiana, U.S.A at Louisiana Spirits Distillery using copper pot stills – the raw material comes from sugarcane grown in the same state. The distillery only opened in 2013 therefore all the rums are quite young, but that didn’t stop Bayou from releasing some decent good value bottles.
The website speaks of two things that are at least odd to say so. One of them would be the fact that they ferment a mix of “unrefined Louisiana sugarcane” and molasses. Interesting, I have no idea how that factors into the final product or if it should even be a thing in rum producing, but if anyone has any relevant opinions regarding this – feel free to share. The second thing would be the mention of a “Solera aging method”, but that doesn’t concern me at the moment as I don’t believe their Single Barrel uses the said method. Also they don’t have any big “23” on the other bottles or any bold age statements so I’m okay with that.
Bayou Single Barrel is a limited release (not just one barrel) of 12000 bottles. It’s distilled in “American copper pot stills” as the label says, aged for at least 2 and a half years in American Oak Rye Barrels and finished in Sherry casks for around 6 months. Now both the barrels have been described as being wet and not re-charred. How wet? No idea, but judging by the taste not Dos Maderas 5+5 level of “wet”. It’s bottled at just 40% ABV, let’s get started.
On the nose the Rye Whisky influence is predominant. Spicy, dry and quite creamy. Oak spices, dusty cardboard, and banana milkshake. Pepper and vanilla upfront and a bit of maltiness along with some dry fruits in the background. I do love American whiskies so I’m looking forward to taste it.
On the palate I found it more “rummy” than when I was nosing it, although the Rye is still the main character – and I don’t hate it. Vanilla cream quickly followed by banana, milk cocoa and ginger. I love how peppery it is all the way from the mid palate towards the finish. A lot of oak and spices with a touch of peppermint. As I mentioned, black pepper on the finish with some nutty notes.
First time I heard about the “wet” barrels I was afraid this would be too sweet given the sherry, but no, on the contrary, it’s quite complex and dry. Now if I would to be nitpicking, the only thing that I would mention is that it’s a tad too “Rye-ish”. In a blind tasting I would’ve probably confused it with Hudson Rye Whisky – but I love Hudson so that’s more than fine with me. For the price of £34 on Amazon, this is a very good pick and I’ll most likely buy a second bottle soon.
Bayou Rum Single Barrel score:
Value for money: 15/15