Bally 1960


Average score

Bottle Profile
Distillery Bally
Origin Martinique
Bottler none
Type Agricole Rhum (artisanal column)
Alcohol By Volume 45%
Sugar Measured
Review 5


Review by "Lance" Score: 88

Unless I start springing a few grand for ancient rums from the 1920s and 1930s, this is likely to be the oldest Bally rum I'll ever see, or try. I suppose I could take a stab a guessing how truly old it is - who knows, maybe it's in the fifteen year range too? - but for the moment I think I'll just revel in the fact that it was made almost sixty years ago, way before I was born, by Jacques Bally's boys before the estate shut down in the late 1970s and the production shifted to St. James. And who among us doesn't enjoy revisiting rums made in ages past? A piece of the living history of our parents is what it really is. Too bad they weren't into rums as much as we are.

Nose: The modern agricole profile is something of an afterthought on the nose. It smells salty and Haagen-Dasz carmel creamy; not really grassy or vegetal, more olive-y and brine and some paint stripper (the good kind). Some of the mineral (or ashy) background of the 1975 is also on show here, plus some weird green peas, overripe bananas and off-colour fruits sitting in an over-sterilized hospital. It's crazy odd, emphatically different and shouldn't really work....yet somehow it does.

Palate: The tastes which remind me of more recent vintages coil restlessly beneath the surface of this rhum, occasionally emerging for air to showcase grass, green grapes, sugar cane sap and soursop. Heavier, muskier flavours tie all of them together: prunes, peaches, pineapple, cinnamon, apples and the interesting thing is, it's hardly sweet at all. Plus, the ashy, minerally taste remains (let's call it "dirt" or "earth" or "sod"), which is not entirely to my liking, although it does succeed in balancing off the other components of the profile. Let's call it intriguing at least, and hauntingly good at most.

Finish: Medium long, much of the palate comes back to take another bow before exiting stage left. Tropical fruits, some earth again, a flirt of breakfast spices, licorice and tannins. Pretty good, actually.

Thoughts: Parts of the rhum work swimmingly. The balance is a bit off, and overall, I felt it had many points of similarity with the 1975, with a few marked deviations too. What this says to me is that no matter which era (or where) Bally rhums were made in, there is an awesome dedication to consistency over the decades. The Bally 1960 would not be out of place on today's shelves, and it would surely be better than many.

Review by "Serge" Score: 92

This one’s got the large ‘D’ on the label, so that’s before 1990 if I’m not mistaken. Yeah, yet another smart invention by our friendly French bureaucrats ;-)

Nose: heeeyyy! A Jamaican smuggled into Martinique? This is as phenolic, mineral, smoky, and mentholy as rhum can be, and there’s even a little camphor. Beyond that, we find some furniture polish, anti-rust paint, our friends the olives (both black and green), and just, well, bandages and embrocations, old-Laphroaig-style. Bah-dah-boom.

Palate: superlative. We could leave it at that, but I thought you might want to know that there’s plenty of liquorice, an avalanche of bananas and papayas, quite a few olives, a touch of asphalt, and the most brilliant earthiness that can be found on, well, Earth. All that is coated with some coffee liqueur and just a drop of walnut wine (perhaps). Or wouldn’t that rather be pecans?

Finish: not the longest of them all, but the complexity is fabulous. Many many dried tropical fruits, plus quite some strong liquorice. Great tarry feeling in the aftertaste, ala Port Ellen. Yep.

Thoughts: one exceptional rhum agricole. What’s totally impressive is the balance and the cleanliness, while many old tropical-aged rums/rhums can become a little too oaky. No so here, this one goes straight into my personal Pantheon of Rum. Excuse me? Is that because of the vintage, you ask? Of course not!

Review by "Cyril" Score: 91

importé par l'italien Sarzi Amade

Nose: robe acajou, cuivrée un nez une nouvelle fois sur le végétal sec (artichaut, navet, olive), mais aussi le minéral et les fruits (secs) et les épices, légèrement piquant et droit. Les 45° semblent ressortir plus qu'à l'accoutumée. Le repos apporte de la réglisse et un fin caramel, mais aussi de la menthe et des senteurs... de peinture ?

Palate: La bouche est concentrée, huileuse et même assez épaisse, vive sur les épices et un torrent de réglisse ; des fruits secs (pruneaux) ; Terreux, très orienté sur la réglisse, bien noir et tout juste sucré par des fruits confits, le tabac. Comme si ces rhums d’antan étaient plus noirs, plus lourd, là où aujourd'hui on rechercherait plus de délicatesse et notes légères (pour se démarquer peut être?).

Finish: Le rhum envahit la bouche, dans une richesse aromatique exemplaire. Fin de bouche longue, persistante, sur la réglisse et les fruits secs relevés d'épices chaudes qui restent encore plus longuement. C'est très long, et très bon, pfiouuu...retour de la terre

Thoughts: Que ces vieux Bally sont bons, à mille lieues de ce qui sort aujourd'hui. tellement éloigné, moins exotique et plus sombre, réglissé et concentré, beaucoup plus complexe et équilibré même ; à la bouche grasse et aux souvenirs impérissables...

Review by "Marco" Score: 90

A rum from the distillery of Jacques Bally in Carbet on Martinique which was closed down in 1978. The rhums of the brand are now produced at St. James. I was more than curious about this bottling.

Nose: Powerful oak flavors, sugarcane , caramel and cinnamon caress the nose. The rum smells slightly sweet and is saturated with spices. In the background: iodine, tar and restrained fruits. Bananas and apricots. For 45%abv the nose is very complex. Freshly poured are the fruits and spices at the strongest. Even more sugarcane, honey, iodine, anise and oak. Ripe bananas, medical nuances and minerals.

Palate: First the alcohol burns its way into the mouth, then oak flavors and sugarcane. The rum is slightly sour and sweet on the palate. Caramel, cinnamon, apricots, overripe bananas, minerals, medical nuances and traces of honey. The sweetness disappears. Herbs, iodine and tannin's now in the background. After 1 minute, herbs, sugar, caramel, oak and spices. No great bitterness.

Finish: First, herbs and sugarcane. Then iodine, anise and oak. Then medical aromas and tannin's. Very restrained bitterness. Not aggressive. The finish is dry.

Thoughts: A rum with a very high quality, but its own maturity denied a higher rating. I loved the dry finish.

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