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Enjoyed a bottle of Berry's 9y Fiji Rum while in Hong Kong. Very nice bottle and label design. Bright golden color. Oak is the primary flavor, but plenty of rubber, glue, grassy and floral notes to the nose and palate when neat sipped. Strong and dry burn at the end.
It's pot still, for sure. Similar in some ways to a Hampden, but not as pleasant. A touch sweet. A touch harsh In some ways it's like a complex mess of rum that confuses my palate more than pleasing it. It was good to experience once, but I won't be back to try it again.
Although this is an aged rum (9 years) it maintains a light straw color which makes me wonder if it's been filtered a bit.
The aroma is unique. Does not make the nostrils tingle but does not have an aroma I'm used to. It's almost an agricole-like aroma but not quite. Not objectionable at all. Just different than the norm. It has an initial sweetness to it indicating it is made from molasses but it is so subtle that I wonderful if some sort of mixture of molasses and cane juice was used.
There definitely is evidence of aging in oak as there is a noticeable tannin bitterness but it's not overwhelming.
It definitely has more "kick" since it is 92 proof (46% ABV) but the aging has kept any objectionably burn...don't get me wrong...there is a burn but it's just not a HUGE burn.
The finish is somewhat dry which makes me wonder if any cane juice agriole style rum was in the mix.
Complexity? More like mystery. This rum raises more questions than I have answers.
Is it a good rum? Yes! But keep in mind this isn't a typical rum. There's something special about it that I don't think will appeal to everyone. At 96 proof it's too harsh to be a sipping rum (unless you're into that sort of thing) but has excellent workability as a mixing rum. However the unique flavor might limit it's use.
A good rum to try but be cautious.
Try to get a well lit shot from the front of the rum label
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