Review: Berry Bros. & Rudd Exceptional Casks 1982 Jamaican Rum 33 Year Old Cask No. 14

Berry Bros. & Rudd (BBR) are not playing around when it comes to some of the stuff they’re releasing as independent bottlers and this batch of Jamaican rum distilled in 1982 is part of it. Funnily enough this is not the first 1982 rum I’ve reviewed, I also had a look at the Rum Nation Supreme Lord III 1982 Jamaica which was fairly disappointing – I hope it won’t be the case with the BBR one, since unlike Supreme Lord III, this is a single cask that hasn’t been adulterated.

The only reviews I could find about this vintage are from Single Cask Rum and The Lone Caner, although it was a different cask, number 12 to be more precise, while mine is number 14. They’re probably almost the same, but it does make me feel a bit special. After a quick search it seems most of the sites listed this as being from Long Pond, including the aforementioned reviews, so I’ll go with that – I mean it’s on the Internet so it must be true.

Long Pond is a Jamaican estate and distillery founded in 1753 situated in the Trewalny Parish. LP is known to use muck pits and dunder for their higher ester rums and they operate both column and pot stills. The 1982 is very possibly a blend of pot and column given it didn’t have a crazy funky aroma when I poured it in the glass.

I will always be excited to try rums that are older than myself – because of the rarity? Sure, but it also makes me feel younger.

So BBR 1982 Jamaican Rum 33YO is molasses based, most likely a blend of pot and column still distillates that have been aged in an ex-Bourbon cask (again, most likely). I’ll assume most of the ageing occurred continentaly given it’s fairly pale colour for the age. My sample comes from bottle number 204 out of 224 and it clocks at 57% ABV free of any additions.

On the nose it feels like the hogo and the wood influence are fighting to get out first. Glue, tobacco, old leather, pencil shavings, cinnamon, pear puree, overripe pineapple and banana. Black tea and biscuits. It reminds me of a combo of Appleton 12YO and Worthy Park 12YO. Nutmeg, cappuccino, cacao, peppermint and dusty furniture. My mouth is literally watering!

On the palate the wood dominates, but doesn’t overpower. Chewy oak, cayenne pepper, old leather, sweet tobacco, wasabi and glue. Some rotting pineapple and mango covered in maple syrup with a touch of mothballs. Cola, black tea, raisins, raw cocoa nibs, almonds, damp cardboard and tons of oak spices. Feels like I’m chewing wood and tobacco with a sprinkle of tropical flavours. The finish is long with red chilli, charred oak and molasses.

What an experience, absolutely loved it. More on the woody side, but I still found it balanced – I am a woody guy though. That being said I wouldn’t have guessed it is more than 30YO in a blind tasting, feels like it has a lot of characteristics that a tropically aged Jamaican rum could achieve in a shorter amount of time (hence my A12 and WP12 comparison).

Delicious nonetheless, although pricey, as you would expect from a 33YO rum. I only found it available on some German sites (here is an example) and it’s priced around the 520€ mark. Obviously, personally, I could never afford this, but considering when it was made and the time it spent in wood it’s hard to gauge how good value for money it is – here’s where my score format bites me back. Oh well…

Berry Bros. & Rudd Exceptional Casks 1982 Jamaican Rum 33 Year Old Cask No. 14 score:
Flavour/taste: 60/70
Value for money: 8/15
Transparency/purity: 14/15
Overall: 83/100


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