Bristol Spirits, which was founded in 1993 by John Barret is a long standing independent bottler that has acquired quite the reputation in time. I feel like I’ve come late to the party since I only started reviewing them as of lately, but I’m only one man and so many rums to get around – I am keeping a close eye now and I’m always looking forward to see what they release.
Their Barbados is, unsurprisingly, sourced from the Foursquare Distillery whose rums are very sought after nowadays – to either enjoy or re-sell, regardless, there is high demand for their limited editions. I’m not seeing any reviews of this online either so I am curious to see what Bristol Spirits picked up and bottled.
The rum itself doesn’t have any notable finish, the Bristol Classic Rum website states that it has been aged in refill American Oak barrels, which is probably a longer way of saying ex-Bourbon. It was distilled in 2011 and spent 6 years maturing in Barbados and in 2016 was moved to the UK in order to finish its maturation before being bottled in 2022.
Bristol Spirits Barbados is molasses based, pot and column distilled and aged for 11 years in refill American oak barrels. Bottled at their signature 46% ABV free of any additions.
On the nose it feels fruity and moreish. Tangerines, sour cherry cake, allspice and dried fruits. Strawberry jam, new polished furniture and rich tobacco. It has the typical Foursquare profile, but just a notch lower intensity wise. Some treacle, canned plums and a dash of soy sauce. Cocoa powder and toasted coconut as well.
On the palate it’s quite woody with the fruity flavours backing it up. Toasted coconut, ripe red apples, sour cherries, raisins and cloves. Marmalade, charred oak and vanilla. Plenty of bourbon influence complimented by the fruitiness of the rum. Canned peach, ginger and dark chocolate. Overripe bananas and tobacco. The finish is long with vanilla custard and orchard fruits.
This is good, a bit more tame than the fully tropical aged Foursquare, but its elegance, as I would call it, appeals to me. It’s fruity, woody and easy going while retaining plenty of complexity.
Priced at £67 (Royal Mile Whiskies) it’s a good rum that shouldn’t be overlooked, even if it’s a tad more expensive than the usual limited ECS releases from Foursquare.
Review: Bristol Spirits – Barbados 2011 score:
Value for money: 15/15