I reviewed the Berry Bros. & Rudd (BBR) Fijian 11YO a few days ago and here’s another expression from them, this time from Mauritius – got one more up the sleeve, in case anyone was wondering.
BBR already have an ongoing collaboration with the Medine Distillery from Mauritius since 2009 under The Indian Ocean Company which created the Penny Blue rum brand, but this one actually hails from Labourdonnais Distillery. The distillery was built in 2006, at the time being called Rhumerie des Mascareignes and it was renamed as Distillerie de Labourdonnais in 2014. They make rum using cane juice as their raw material which is distilled through a column still. Apparently they age in a variety of barrels including port, although it’s unclear if the “Port Pipe” finish on this one happened at the distillery or continental, if anyone has more details about that, please slide into my DMs.
I am excited to get into this as Mauritian rums are quite underrated and deserve more spotlight.
Berry Bros. & Rudd Mauritius is cane juice based, distilled in 2010 using a column still and aged in an ex-Bourbon cask (I assume) then finished in a Port Pipe bringing to a total of 9 years spent in oak. I don’t know how long it was finished for, the BBR website says this comes from Cask number 1, so limited to the output of a single cask. Bottled at 46% ABV free of additives.
On the nose it feels moreish somehow. Umeshu, burnt matchsticks, Oloroso sherry, paprika and cinnamon. Quite a distinct flavour, despite the port influence, it has a dry profile. White grape, lemon zest and grapefruit zests. Melon, passion fruit and a slight smoky note.
On the palate it’s also really dry. Plums, unsweetened pineapple juice, melon, canned mushrooms, cayenne pepper, sea salt and layers of mothballs. Feels meaty, acidic and spicy. Lime zest, fresh cane juice, coriander, cinnamon, fresh raspberries and unripe stone fruits. The finish is long with peat smoke, hot peppers and honey.
Not what I was expecting, this takes some time to get acquainted to. Usually when you see “port cask” (or pipe in this case) you’d expect something more on the sweet-rich side. Nope, this is bone-dry and acidic, it stings, but in a nice way if you ask me – of course you asked, that’s why you’re reading this, eh?
One of the odd ones, I’d compare this with my personality – if you give it time, you might get to enjoy it! I know I did!
Can still be found for £88 at Master Of Malt which is kinda pricey, personally I’d rather have that 11YO Fiji again, but if you have cash to splash, do try it – you don’t get a port pipe finished agricole style rum every day!
Berry Bros. & Rudd Mauritius 2010 9 Year Old score:
Value for money: 12/15