Barrell Rum Private Release J552


Barrell, famous for their blended whiskeys, has also put out some blended rums. Each blend contains rums from Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, and Martinique. This particular blend, labeled J552, is 55% Jamaican rum and was finished in a pear brandy cask. It was bottled at 63.97%.


On the nose I get mulch, black pepper, baking spices, and pie crust. There isn’t much in the way of fruit, and the palate offers more of the same. It’s intense and dry on its own, but still mostly balanced. Water opens this way up and makes the dryness a little more palatable. Lemon peel and orgeat come in. It’s totally my awareness of the cask-finishing making me say this, but I taste some baked pears, which combined with the other notes gives this a delightful pear cobbler vibe.

Given that Barrell has disclosed that they have used It in their blends, I can be fairly confident that a large portion (if not all) of the Jamaican component in this blend is Worthy Park. The Jamaican rum flavor, which isn’t overtly funky, is definitely the star being supported by the other cast members here. There’s an earthy quality I associate strongly with some aged WPs like the Rum Nation Jamaica Cask Strength release.


The Barrell rum blends I’ve tasted have been consistently good, and this is no exception. It’s a solid, thoroughly enjoyable blend. While I’m sure the cask finishing has an effect here, there’s no way the vast majority of tasters would ever guess that this has a pear brandy finish, myself included. Having now tasted three of them, I can tell that the different blends are not vastly different from each other and the cask finishing doesn’t radically transform the experience of each. If you find one at a shop near you for less than $100, I say go for it. (6/10)