Dead Reckoning MV Krait/Operation Jaywick 9 Year Old Australian Rum (500ml)
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Dead Reckoning MV Krait/Operation Jaywick 9 Year Old Australian Rum (500ml)

Queensland, AUSTRALIA
$140. 00
$1680.00 Dozen
ABV: 55%

A rum celebrating the legendary ‘Operation Jaywick’ with half the proceeds going to the Commando Welfare Trust. Operation Jaywick was a raid on shipping in Japanese-occupied Singapore harbour between September and October 1943. The raid was carried out by members of Special Operations Australia (SOA) from Z Special Unit. The team comprised of four British soldiers and 11 AIF and Royal Australian Navy personnel, commanded by a British officer, Major Ivan Lyon.

Disguised as Malay fishermen, Lyon’s team travelled from Exmouth in Western Australia to Subor Island, 11 kilometres from Singapore, in a captured boat, renamed the MV Krait. The Krait was a slow-moving, wooden-hulled vessel about twenty metres long and sporadically suffered engine trouble for the duration of the voyage. On reaching the island three-and-a-half weeks after leaving Australia, the team launched three two-man collapsible canoes (folboats). Lyon and five others then paddled into Singapore harbour. Arriving at night they split up and slipped from ship to ship attaching limpet mines, paddling another 80 kilometres to rendezvous with Krait six days later on 2 October. When the mines exploded, seven ships were sank or badly damaged. The Krait recovered its intrepid but exhausted canoeists and travelled back to Australia, arriving at Exmouth on 19 October 1943.

This 9 year old rum also has an amazing ‘origin story’ itself. Initially created at the legendary Beenleigh Distillery (a blend of pot and column still) and tropically aged on-site for 4 years in ex-bourbon casks, it was then sold to a ‘European rum buyer’ and sat in a bond-store in Amsterdam for 5 more years of continental ageing. Fortuitously, the importer Justin Boseley, whilst on a "European rum buying trip" came across the said barrels of Beenleigh and scooped them all up to take back home and bottle. Some of this rum was then bottled as ‘Australia 9 Year Old’ for the European market (back on a boat to whence it came!) but a portion was set aside for this special tribute bottling to a special group of Aussies - all of it going into glass at 55% ABV. The aromas are soft yet deep with a spicy lift. Medium dry, the palate builds into intense, juicy flavours of ripe papaya flesh, mango, dried banana and molasses with cinnamon / pepper warmth budding at the finish. This fresh and slightly leaner, estery style could be mistaken for a lighter bodied Jamaican. Tasted from a 50ml sample.

Other reviews... On the nose (and even before its near my nose) I am getting wafts of vanilla and oak spice. Some walnuts and peanut brittle. It is many ways very typical of an English Style of rum. Think of Foursquare or (non pun intended) English Harbour in particular. There is a lot to be said for a well blended Pot/Column rum. Something which I feel is often overlooked by some rum enthusiasts. Having said that this isn’t a particularly gentle rum. We are not talking about English Harbour 5 Year Old or Doorly’s XO. No the extra ABV certainly gives this more of a punch. So we are more in keeping with a Foursquare ECS or the Velier Antigua bottlings. Another thing which gives this rum a little more “oomph” is the unmistakable hit of molasses which carries over the nose. There is a really nice “treacly” note which I really enjoy. SIpped, initially the rum is quite fiery with the molasses and oak spice taking centre stage. A few sips in and as the palate and throat acclimatise to the rum – we begin to get more of the softer bourbon influenced notes. So the suggested flavours from the nose begin to shine through. Vanilla, light caramel and peanuts all appear. As we move into the mid palate I begin to get the molasses coming back along with a very nice hit of oak and spice. I’m also getting notes of corn flakes and I keep thinking about freshly buttered toast and golden syrup. There is a hint of smokiness. The finish is dry but very long. The molasses and caramel notes stick around for a long time after the sip. As your mouth dries out the oak and spice come out to play again giving a very more-ish feel to this spirit. This is the first time I have sat down properly with a distillate from Beenleigh. I have to say I am highly impressed. This is great stuff. 4.5 stars -