Bally 1993


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Bally
Origin Martinique
Bottler none
Type Agricole Rhum (artisanal column)
Alcohol By Volume 45%
Sugar Measured
Review 4


Review by "Lance" Score: 84

The first of six Bally rums (no relation to me), which we'll also post faster than usual, since they are, again, part of a series. Let's start with the most recent. For those who are interested in agricoles (which these assuredly are), J. Bally from Martinique has been around since 1917 or so (land prices after the 1902 eruption of Mount Pelee were low), but the sugar estate of Lajus goes back even further, to the mid-1600s. Alas, Bally has been closed since 1989, but their stills continue. The Simon distillery now owns them, and supposedly the original recipe for Bally's rums, and sugar from the original plantation, is used to ensure the brand does not die. And of course, the AOC certification is alive and well with these rums. True age is always a problem with these millésimes (meaning a specific year of production), because the date of distillation is noted....but not always the date of bottling. Since a "rhum vieux" is supposed to have a minimum of three years ageing, I'm going to say 3-5 years old, then.

Nose: Quite solid, very smooth and, of course, crisp as fresh picked lettuce. Amazingly fruity profile here, prunes and raspberries to start, nicely rich and quite aromatic, adding bananas, honey, hard yellow mangoes (from India or Thailand), and coiling around the background of herbs and grasses...some spearmint chewing gum. And a touch of oak, cinnamon and caramel. Seems almost like a Guadeloupe rum, what with the way the herbal and grassy aromas take a back seat and fruits are this rich.

Palate: Mmm, nice. Fresh and crisp. Sugar cane and saline and gherkins, plus bales of freshly mown grass now taking their place in the front. Caramel, raisins, a flirt of molasses and olives. It's all quite well assembled, and not overly weak, not obnoxiously strong. Continues with vague honey notes and richer fruits, some more of that spearmint. There's some anise floating around there someplace, but not enough to make a statement of any kind

Finish: Vanillas, burnt sugar, honey, sugar cane, grass, and a bit of that olives in brine thing I enjoyed. Somewhat hotter and sharper than what had come before, oddly enough.

Thoughts: Seems like a young rum, and very enjoyable. Agricoles do have that trick of making stuff in the single digits take on molasses rums twice as old and leaving them in the dust. I still think overall it resembles a Guadeloupe rhum more than a true agricole (even though it is AOC certified), but whatever the case, I'm not complaining.

Review by "Serge" Score: 89

Nose: aww, what a glorious nose! Peonies, stewed bananas, chestnut honey, honeydew, liquorice, peppermint… The sappy honeyness is totally impressive, and yet it’s never heady or ‘too much’. In short, this baby’s extremely aromatic and elegant at the same time. This little session starts well, doesn’t it…

Palate: the strength is just perfect. The palate totally prolongs the nose, with the same combination of liquorice, honey, and tropical jam. Granted, bananas and pineapples can make any drink vulgar and dullish, but this time that just works, partly thanks to some lovely notes of mint that keep it fresh and ‘nervous’. Perhaps a few kiwis, which even strengthens the freshness.

Finish: long, a tad spicier. Chinese anise, liquorice, more peppermint… And a touch of ‘phenolic brine’ in the aftertaste, always welcome. Makes it a little Guadeloupean, in a way.

Thoughts: luscious and firm at the same time. Wonderful. Only small problem, these bottles already go for almost 400€!

Review by "Cyril" Score: 82

Nose: Un Bally ambré soutenu tirant sur le cuivre, robe très brillante. Un nez gonflé d’exotisme, hyper séduisant, sur la banane, l'ananas, le massepain, la cannelle. un vrai voyage et une ode au soleil, à l'amour j'ai même envie de dire. Léger comme la brise et chaud comme la braise ; même le repos s'y met et apporte quelques notes grillées.

Palate: La bouche est douce, avec un fruité rapidement rattrapé par les épices (poivrées) et un boisé qui apporte de l'amertume en toute fin de bouche.

Finish: La fin de bouche moyenne, sèche sur un boisé 'humide' pas très sexy et les épices.

Thoughts: Un nez enchanteur et une bouche en demi-teinte qui ne suit pas le rythme. Commence fort mais finit de manière assez simple.

Review by "Marco" Score: 92

The sixth rum of the brand J. Bally from Martinique. Two were downright very good. The rest was rather in the middle-field. Good yes, but not outstanding.

Nose: Aha! Adhesive flavors pure. Overripe sweet bananas and glazed apricots, garnished with sugarcane, the old wood, leather tobacco flavors and spices waft the glass. The nose is very mature and very complex. Further away from the glass I smell more adhesive nuances, sugarcane, caramel and cinnamon. Deep in the glass: spices with sugarcane, mixed with oak and tobacco flavours. For 45%abv very complex. Oranges, papayas, tobacco and more sugarcane.

Palate: First, sugar cane, oak aromas and caramel. The rum burns only gentle on the palate. Then follow glue, old wood, herbs and anise. Nutmeg, cinnamon, mangoes and papayas. The palate is a little spice-heavy. First, it tastes slightly sour, then more minerals come to fore and the acid disappears. Even medical components appear during natural dilution in the mouth. A very delicate vintage rum.

Finish: Herbs, caramel and oak flavours. Then sugarcane and fruits very briefly. Papayas and mangoes. At the end of spices, including cinnamon, old wood and minerals remain on the palate. The finish is dry towards the end.

Thoughts: This rum is not as extreme and pronounced as that of 1979, but also very very good.

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