Author: Dan Silva Jr.
Author: Dan Silva Jr.
Pusser’s Navy Rum is bottled, blended, and distributed from the British Virgin Islands. It specializes in the style of “Navy rum,” typically a blend of rums from former British Colonies in the Caribbean. This references back to the ration of rum given to British sailors for centuries. Currently, Pusser’s sources all of its rum from Demerara Distillers Limited in Guyana. This rum likely contains caramel color, judging by such a dark color. It also contains some added sugars, presumably 8g/L. This particular rum, Nelson’s Blood, is a vintage-dated rum of at least 15 years old, from at least 2003. It is a re-branding of sorts, from the old Pusser’s 15 year. This blend reportedly contains much less added sugar than the predecessor.
The packaging is beautiful. The cardboard box accompanying the bottle contains information about the blend as well as the story behind “Navy rum” and the story of “Nelson’s Blood”. The bottle is tall, curvy, and has a thick, heavy base. The neck of the bottle is slender, and it is enclosed with a cork and wooden stopper. It is a beautiful presentation. The front label widely displays the 15-year age statement, along with the brand name. The back label contains some brief information, including information that the blend is “heavily influenced” by the Port Mourant double wooden pot-still component.
In the glass, the rum is dark, with hints of copper and red in the tone. It is a rich color, but that simply evidences the addition of caramel color. Therefore, one should not be misguided to think that this color is natural, regardless of how beautiful it may be. Coming from the glass is an equivalent aroma: dark, rich, full-bodied. The aroma is dominated by notes of Demerara sugar, caramel, chocolate, orange peel. There is a slight oiliness to the nose, with an undertone of fruit and a lightly pervasive note of burnt rubber. It is a lovely nose that is dark, rich, and inviting.
On the palate, the rum is medium-bodied. The flavor is predominantly caramel and Demerara sugar, but there is a slight undertone of burnt rubber, spice and burnt orange present as well. There is, however, an astringency to this rum with a surprising amount of alcohol bite, especially for 40% ABV. The rum finishes quite bitter. The added sugar is not easily detectable. Unfortunately, the flavor of the rum is very quick. A sip starts with caramel, Demerara sugar, and burnt orange, but quickly fades to spicy and bitter elements. The finish is very quick. One might say this is a very short rum based on how quickly the flavor goes away.
With beautiful packaging, a tremendous age statement (and vintage), and rich aromas, the rum seemingly promised to be excellent. However, with a rather quick and flat palate, the rum falls short of living up to its potential. Although very serviceable, the rum doesn’t offer much beyond a few flashes of caramel and Demerara sugar. This rum would be best offered to rum enthusiasts who are looking to explore “Navy rum” or the flavors offered by rum distilled in Guyana. However, there are many other offerings on the market (for both less and more money) which can offer a better experience in terms of a Guyana-distilled rum. For those interested, this would be worth seeking to try at a bar or restaurant before purchasing an entire bottle.
The detailed back label
The sleeve doubles up as a history lesson!