Penny Blue VSOP

raw material

Raw material:

molasses

distillation

Distillation:

column still

aging

Aging:

4 years in former cognac, bourbon and whisky casks

sugar added

Sugar added:

no

alcohol by volume

Alcohol by volume:

40%

additives

Additives:

no

Pretext

The postal services are classified as services serving the common good. Nevertheless, the sector faces challenges of the digital age, resulting in philately becoming an extreme niche. Although a decade ago, there was a brand launch with identity revolving around a distinctive postage stamp, a celebrated misprint that achieves staggering valuations.


I assume that the association of 'stamps - Mauritius - rum' might not be readily apparent to the average consumer. However, the brand is managed by a philatelist who timed the brand launch with the media attention accompanying the 'Penny Blue' auction. Not stupid at all, considering that brands rely on associative recall, and the primary goal of branding is to stand out from the competition. Visual identity is distinctive and a brand story - once anchored - not only stays in memory but also enhances recognition greatly.


Behind the brand stands The Indian Ocean Rum Company Ltd, a joint-venture represented by Jean-Francois Koenig (master distiller at Medine Distillery) and Doug McIvor (Spirits Reserve Manager at Berry Bros & Rudd, the bottler). Despite the rich industry experience of said partner, I react allergic to the term 'whisky drinker's rum.'  I know it refers to the flavour profile and I admit being a bit oversensitive, but rum should be recognized and valued as an independent category. 🙅🏻‍♂️

Procedure

The distillery in Bambous has been operating continuously since 1926, and therefore holds the title of the oldest on the island. The Penny Blue brand was founded in 2013, while the VSOP edition under review made its debut in 2017.


A Mauritian single estate manages 3300 hectares of volcanic soil and produces three hundred thousand tons of sugarcane. VSOP is crafted from molasses, undergoes slow fermentation, and is distilled using a column still. The rum matures for a minimum of four years in the former: cognac (75%), bourbon (15%) and whisky (10%) casks. Unsweetened and non-chill-filtered, showcasing its natural colour. The blending occurs prior to bottling.

Aroma
Marmalade, melon skin and cloves.
— as they tell
Juicy melon, caramel corn, lime and walnut.
— as examined by RumExam
Taste
Soft and luxuriant with hints of glazed fruits, cedar wood and spices.
— as they tell
Pear and pepper. A bit of pleasant licorice.
— as examined by RumExam
Afterburn
Bouquet was not officially specifed.
Mix of green tea, orange zest and mango.
— as examined by RumExam

Owner

Manufacturer:

The Indian Ocean Rum Company Ltd

Price approx:

25

Origins

Terroir:

Mauritius

Regulations:

not specified

Classification

Style:

British

Gargano:

single modernist rum
⁖Reviewed on: January 21st, 2024