Bundaberg Double Barrel

Bundaberg Double Barrel-RG1

Product of: Australia
Aged:  no age declared (6-8  years estimate)
Price: AUS$75 / US$54.50 (purchased in Australia)
Alcohol: 40% ABV
0-5 g/L (estimate) 
Context: Premium Aged Rum
RG Rating: 8

Tasting Notes 
A subtle bouquet of sweetness, sherry and wood is reveled as the composite natural cork is pulled. Pour, and Bundaberg’s Double Barrel rum shows a bright reddish-brown mahogany color, and simply sparkles in a tasting glass.  Swirling immediately produces a jungle of long, heavy legs, most of which run quickly, but a few linger for a minute or more, leaving the impression that this is a rum of higher than average viscosity. 

Aromas of tobacco, sweet grape sherry, more raisiny port and wood are the most pronounced.  Thees are soon followed by secondary scents of caramel and spice (nutmeg, cardamom, star anise), mild phenols and thick flour pie crust, and finally, perhaps an early onset of rancio.  The aromatic arrangement is uncovered as perfectly delivered layers.  As you grow accustomed to the initial intensity of the first scents, the nose is able to detect lesser notes with subsequent sniffs.  Well done, Bundy.  

The initial taste is not as robust as the aromas suggest.  The flavors are more tightly integrated, showing less individuality than the complex cavalcade of aromas promises, but the blend comes together on your palate.  The three woods used to age and mature this rum are in full effect, and the caramel stands out now, the whole of it reminiscent of eating dates, and the medium-heavyweight body reinforces that textural sensation.  Being just off-dry, the finish lingers briefly and very smoothly, leaving the sense of a dryer style of sherry.

Bundaberg Double Barrel is the fifth in a series of limited editions in Bundy’s Master Distillers’ Collection.  Crafting by Master Distillers’ Phil Larsen, Nick Prosser and Damien O’Neall, the rum was released in March 2013.  A combination of molasses rendered from locally grown sugarcane, and dunder from previous distillations is diluted to at approximately 16% sugar content, then introduced to fermentation with a cultivated stain of baker’s yeast.  The resulting low wine “wash” is distilled in continuous column (to ~50% ABV) and batch pot stills (to ~78% ABV). According to the distillery, stocks of aged rum were treated to a double barrel finishing process, beginning with used port barrels “creating a great depth of character”, and then finished in used sherry barrels to add “sweetness and balance”.

Bundaberg Double Barrel is a rum sniffer’s delight.  The rum’s vast complexity of aromas, presented in detectable layers above a solid foundation of various used barrel types, is a treat that one should endeavor to experience.

Review is based on bottle # 24373 released in early 2013, but tasted in December 2015 at The Rum Gallery, USA.

© Dave Russell 2017