Review: Dram Mor Fiji 2014 8 Year Old – Secret Distillery

Dram Mor was established by the husband and wife team Viktorija and Kenny Macdonald as a training and whisky events business, but it eventually became a single cask whisky and rum bottler. Based in Dumbarton, Scotland, “Dram Mor” translates as “Big Whisky” from Scottish Gaelic.

This is one of the two bottlings that are part of their Spring 2023 Rum Release – I’ve already reviewed the other expression from Trinidad here. This one hails from a “secret distillery” in Fiji and it bears the FPBP moniker which is a marque (I think) of the South Pacific Distillery, the only distillery in Fiji – I don’t know much about what this marque means, so please hit me up if you have any information.

The South Pacific Distillery operates both continuous and batch distillation and is known for making a few styles of rum, from light and easy-going to intense, full bodied, Jamaica-like funky beasts, so I’m curious where this one sits. It is stated that this Fiji from Dram Mor is pot still distilled, so it will be probably on the intense side.

While the age statement is of 8 years, the back label tells us that this was laid into the cask on the 10th of May 2014 and was bottled in March 2023, having it 2 months short from a 9 year old statement.

Dram Mor Fiji 2014 Secret Distillery is molasses based, pot still distilled and aged over 8 years in an ex-Bourbon cask (number 22). Bottled at a mouth-watering 62% ABV without any additives.

On the nose there’s definitely some Fijian funk. School glue, clay, maraschino liqueur and nail varnish. Ripe stone fruits, canned plums, dried peaches and black pepper. It smells full bodied and yeast-y, like rising dough. Blueberries, red apples and dusty cardboard. Earl Grey tea, rich honey, banana bread and some allspice.

On the palate it feels rich and fruity. Dried fruits, cloves, golden syrup, canned plums and unripe stone fruits. Ginger ale, freshly baked bread, cacao nibs and some ground coffee. It’s an amalgam of bright and dark flavours and, also, some herbal Green Chartreuse-like notes. Overripe pineapple, banana flambe and blackberries. Biscuits, Earl Grey tea, saffron, caramel, vanilla and black pepper. The finish is long with rotten tropical fruits and salted caramel.

I don’t have a lot of reviews of Fijian rums, so that’s why I really wanted to write about this one – and what a win! This has plenty of layers while keeping it balanced, it’s full bodied, mineral, fruity, spicy and herbaceous.

Given the ABV and intensity it’s not for the Bumbu crowd, but it’s still not as “scary” as a full-of-esters Jamaican rum. I managed to buy this for £61 which is a literal bargain, but it looks like it’s already sold-out online.

Dram Mor Fiji 2014 8 Year Old – Secret Distillery score:
Flavour/taste: 60/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 15/15
Overall: 90/100


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