Long known for it's rare stamps prized by collectors, the exotic isle of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is home to a few legacy rum producers and notable sugar plantations.
The Indian Ocean Rum Company and Berry Bros. & Rudd Spirits today announced the launch of Penny Blue XO Single Estate Mauritian Rum in the United States through importer, Anchor Distilling Company.
Named after the world’s rarest stamp, Penny Blue is distilled at Medine Distillery, the oldest operational distillery on the Island of Mauritius, dating back to 1926. The estate is situated a few meters from the sea on the western side of the island near Bambou.
Penny Blue joins another Medine-distilled Mauritian rum in the Anchor Distilling portfolio, Pink Pigeon.
Doug McIvor from Berry Bros. & Rudd and Medine’s Master Distiller, Jean Francois Koenig, have selected 14 individual casks at the very peak of their maturity. The single estate, limited edition XO Mauritian rum is a vatting comprised of rum that was matured in American oak whisky casks and French oak Cognac casks. Penny Blue is natural in color, is not chill-filtered and is bottled by hand at the estate.
Deep amber with golden hues, Penny Blue has aromas of citrus and orange blossom entwined with rich notes of espresso, clove and honey. Look for hints of tropical fruits and nuts with touches of vanilla and a smooth, long finish -- creating a beautiful balance on the palate.
The Penny Blue Stamp, printed in Mauritius in 1847, immediately became a collectors’ item because of its inscription: A mistake by the engraver resulted in it reading “Post Office” rather than the usual “Post Paid.” From the thousand stamps printed at the time, only twelve are believed to be in existence today. The Penny Blue stamp is as rare and highly collectable as this small batch rum.
The first batch of 5,946 individually numbered bottles will be sold in the United States and Europe with 2,500 bottles currently allocated for the U.S. The suggested retail price for the 750ml bottle of Penny Blue is $79.99.
Robert Burr is the National Rum Examiner. He publishes Rob's Rum Guide and hosts the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival and Rum Renaissance Caribbean Cruise, in addition to organizing the International Rum Expert Panel (RumXP).