J. Bally Pyramide 7 ans

J Bally 7 Pyramide rhum agricole

Product of:  Martinique
Aged:  up to 7 years
Price: ~€30.00 on St. Barth’s, $50 on Union Island (varies outside the French West Indies)
Alcohol: 45% ABV 
Sugar: 0 g/L 
Context:  Rhum Vieux Agricole
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
J.Bally’s 7 year old rhum shows beautiful clarity and reddish gold mahogany color. Due to prolonged aging in oak beyond the time most agricole rhums are bottled, Pyramide delivers complex aromas and a greater depth of character.  The rhum is highly aromatic and spicy sweet on the nose.  Caramelized sugar cane, oak, and allspice are primary, with lesser amounts  of butterscotch, clove, vanilla, fresh tobacco, and just the right amount of alcohol to lightly vaporize the scents out of your snifter.  You can literally smell the musty age.  Initial tasting reveals more complex character, new flavors and a light creamy texture that is at once pleasant and uncommon among agricole rhums, with sweet oak, tobacco, vanilla and wood bark to compound interest.  A medium weight body leads transitions to sweet, lingers briefly, then ultimately overlaid with an inviting semi-dry finish.

Anecdotes
J.Bally produces some of the oldest aged agricole rhums on Martinique, with quality and flavors to match.  With the closing of the original distillery in the Carbet district in 1989, J. Bally rhum production has since been moved to another distillery on Martinique.  The unique three-sided pyramid shaped bottle makes an interesting conversation piece on any rhum collector’s shelf.  The label was changed between 2009 and 2011, and no longer includes the 7 ans d’age declaration.  However the two rhums smell and taste exactly the same in a side by side comparison, according to my senses.

Opinion
Aside from its unique bottle, J.Bally  Pyramide (the rhum) is worth collecting for the depth of agricole aromas and flavors enabled by extra aging. Difficult to find for purchase outside of the French West Indies, the rhum has developed somewhat of a niche cult presence among a few very upscale bars in metropolitan vacation areas that boast unique spirits.  Despite the steep prices charged by such trendy establishments, don’t pass up a rare opportunity to try a glass or two of Bally’s Pyramide.

Reviewed:  August 2009 on St. Martin and December 2011 while S/V Diamant was anchored off Canouan during Island Windjammers’ Rum Cruise.

© Dave Russell 2017