Boston-based distiller Bully Boy has released the second volume of its Rum Cooperative series, which blends together rums made in different styles from a diverse number of rum-producing countries. Unlike Rum Cooperative Volume 1, which featured 10% of Bully Boy’s own rum in its blend, Volume 2 is sourced entirely from outside the Bay State distillery.
There’s a remarkable amount of diversity among its sourced rums. The lion’s share of the blend (37.2%) is a Martinique 8-year that’s pot-distilled from fermented cane juice in the agricole-style. The rest is split between a 12-year Panamanian (27.3%), a pot-distilled Mexican 12-year rum that’s aged in used brandy barrels (22.8%), a column-distilled Puerto Rican 10-year-old rum (6.5%), and a Colombian 10-year (6.2%). The age, origin, and percentage of the blend that each rum constitutes is spelled out on the front of the rather attractive label, which is decorated by the national flowers of each nation.
The rum, which pours a reddish-gold in the glass, has an interesting nose that conjures up one very specific association for this writer. The aromas of overripe bananas, vanilla extract, raisins, and almonds come together to form the distinct impression of banana cupcake batter (one with raisins and nuts, of course).
When sipped, it proves light on the palate, and begins with sweet notes of mashed banana, almonds, raisins, and a very prominent, floral vanilla that’s quite different from the spicy, woody vanilla you may expect from a bourbon or rye. Instead, it seems close to vanilla extract in a way that conjures an association with baking spices and desserts.
The raisiny flavors grow more pronounced in the center, and as it moves to the back of the tongue, a spicy, grassy flavor reminiscent of rhum agricole emerges alongside earthy brown sugar and a more intense note of dried fruit. The dried fruit leathers and spice gradually cut the sweetness to produce a dry finish with a medium amount of heat.
As with the first volume, this is a rum that’s priced affordably enough for cocktail use but also proves itself a satisfying solo sipper. Its overall florality, coupled with the prominence of dark fruits and raisins, make it somewhat analogous to a brandy. And just like a good brandy, it’s something you can easily picture yourself sipping in a leather armchair. But, unlike a brandy, I can also see it filling in for Dark’n Stormy duty.
— 42% ABV