The Story of J. Bally Rhum
Paul Bardinet, a young wine and spirits merchant in Limoges, turned his interest to a sugar cane alcohol when it arrived on the quaysides of French ports. Brought from far-flung islands, the spirit in question was known as the ‘tafia’ and was no more than firewater for pirates. Under the roughness of the alcohol, he nonetheless detected an incomparable wealth of different flavours and aromas.
As he rose to the top of his profession, Paul Bardinet continued to work on taming the fieriness of this demon spirit, blending the various origins, followed by long years of maturing in oak casks. His impassioned labour resulted in an inimitable rum under a brand that was soon to become known the world over.
Drawing inspiration from the time-honoured methods of making cognac, J. Bally, the firm’s founder, was the first to have the intuitive genius of leaving his rhums to age in their barrels.
Based on the mastery of top quality raw materials, the company developed a wide range of new products around its core product of rhum, with ready-made punches and cocktails and cane sugar cordials which very rapidly became popular with consumers. That successful diversification was followed by other major success stories, in the field of whiskies in particular.
Although the distillery closed in 1989, the J. Bally brand is still be produced and bottled on Martinique. The J. Bally brand produces white rums distinguished by their fine aromas, their roundness on the palate and a remarkable fruity richness. Some of the oldest vintage rhums from Martinique bear the J. Bally label.