Bally 1992


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Bally
Origin Martinique
Bottler none
Type Agricole Rhum (artisanal column)
Alcohol By Volume 45%
Sugar Measured
Review 3


Review by "Lance" Score: 83

Leaving aside the independent bottlers, the agricolistas from Guadeloupe and Martinique seem to like producing a specific year's output with much more enthusiasm than most molasses based rum producers, who (until recently) preferred to release specific "recipe-style" blends that changed little from year to year. There's something to say for both ideas - consistency of taste over time, versus the individualism of specific date points - which just supports my thesis that even in writing about a social spirit, larger philosophical issues about our world can be discussed using them as an example. In this case, we're not moving too far away from the Bally 1993 written about in R-042, but the price has definitely gone up (to over three hundred bucks) - and that's even without knowing precisely how old the rums is, though I maintain that it, like its brother, is around 3-5 years old.

Nose: It's initially more hesitant in its profile than the 1993 (and the others), or perhaps just more focused. Both a strength and weakness, methinks. Salty molasses and caramel notes, green grapes, segueing over time into something darker, deeper: chocolate, cereal, wet cardboard. Some herbal, grassy notes, just not very clear. There's also a musky tinge here, something like rain falling on very hot earth, and at the last, flowers, honey, biscuits. Actually reminded me of a miso soup.

Palate: Crisper, saltier, cleaner. Something of a right turn from the way it smelled. Olives, guacamole, brakfast spices, and vegetables more so than the fruits (which came later). The cardboard and attic-level stuffiness and wet earth make a return bow. Some jams and citrus notes follow on but don't claim the high ground from the vegetals. Not sure this entirely works for me. It may just be a matter of taste.

Finish: Green grapes, cinnamon, brine, olives, avocados - it took time for the caramel and fleshy fruit to close things off. A bit too much wood here, I thought, though anise - sensed more than experienced - was a good background.

Thoughts: More individual than the 1993, more oak, more vegetables, less fruits...somewhat less "rummy." Bit of a schizo rum and didn't have that little something extra that I would have preferred - still, that's a personal opinion, and overall, it's still a good dram for something so young.

Review by "Serge" Score: 87

Nose: much, much shier than the 1993, so kind of more austere, more herbal as well, more on teas than on fruity liquorice… Perhaps does it need time? Let’s wait… zzz… Well it does take off, a little, with some dried mint and an obvious musky side. Earth, mint tea, perhaps rose petals, then honey indeed, praline… I’d call this style more ‘civilised’, perhaps a little more contemplative. Takes time, but is great, as they say in Italy.

Palate: wham, this is bigger again. There’s a little more spicy oak, plus plenty of stewed citrus, the jams made thereof, and a funny combination of quince jelly and black pepper. High class for sure, just a little less immediately sexy than the 1993. Agreed, a matter of taste.

Finish: rather long, with more cinnamon from the oak, Cointreau (actually, Remy-Cointreau used to own the brand!), and some kind of spicy pineapple.

Thoughts: a wee notch oakier, less phenolic, and less fruity. But it remains high-class rhum agricole.

Review by "Marco" Score: 88

The Fourth rum from J. Bally. So far two bottling's were very good in my opinion. How about this one? Lets see.

Nose: Sugarcane, caramel, oak flavors and a hint of roses hovers in the glass. A similar nose to the one of 1982. Herbs, honey and fruit garnish the sugarcane. In the background hover iodine, camphor, anise and tannin's from the barrel. After swinging the glass the sugarcane is even more intense. Medicine, herbs and delicate smoky notes and roses. Weak papayas and mangoes. More herbal than any of the old rums from J. Bally.

Palate: Strong sugarcane, spices, cinnamon, caramel and herbs at the beginning. No bitterness. The rum is even slightly sweet at the beginning. A moderate barrel influence on the palate. Oak and minimal aniseed aromas. Tastes very herbal. Even more than the one of 1982. Nutmeg, cinnamon, apples, papayas and minerals. Old wood and mangoes at the end.

Finish: First herbal and grassy aromas. Then caramel, mild oak flavors, papaya, mango and hints of apples. Minerals and herbs at the end.

Thoughts: Less barrel flavours than some other vintages. The sugar cane is typically dominant. But it lacks superiority for the upper quality level.

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