J. Bally Brut de Fut 2007

Background

J. Bally has been making rum in Martinique since 1917. The production of its rums has had a few locales, including the original distillery in Lajus, Distillerie du Simon, and its current home, Distillerie Saint-James. This expression came off the still in 2007, was tropically aged fourteen years in French oak, and bottled at a cask strength of 50.6%. 

Tasting

The nose has a lot going on. First, there’s hefty oak, tobacco, leather, and mulch. Then, spices like cardamom, black pepper, and bay leaf emerge, followed by baking aromas like dark chocolate cake, banana bread, raisin, vanilla, and baked pear.

On the palate: baked goods like dark chocolate cake, banana bread, and Irish soda bread with raisins; spices like dried sweet orange peel, bay leaf, nutmeg, clove, star anise, cardamom, and black pepper; finally, some fresh cider apples and pears.

Verdict

Color me impressed! Not having been blown away by most aged agricoles I’ve tried, I approached the J. Bally with some hesitation. To my delight, I’ve found this to be a rich, complex, and thoroughly rewarding spirit. Though it certainly wasn’t cheap, it cost me a fraction of what I would have paid for a similar product from Neisson, Père Labat, or Bielle. If you’re looking for a high quality old agricole but don’t want to sell one of your kidneys, this might be worth a shot. (8/10)