Over the past month, I’ve been working with Wood’s 100 Old Navy Rum, judging their national cocktail competition in association with the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild. It sees bartenders attempt to create a recipe that would promote the use of this export strength rum; a challenge that Is easier said than done. At the time of writing this, the north and London have completed their heats, and the south is coming up in a few weeks to decide who will join the winners so far in the final to be held in October. But it comes to me that I am yet to feature one of what I like to call ‘original’ rums.
Wood’s 100 hails from Guyana and the Diamond Distillery, home of names such as El Dorado and Skipper. Founded in the 17th Century, it is created using sugarcane that’s grown on the banks of the Demerara River. Once harvested, it is fermented and distilled within traditional pot stills. One finished, it is matured for 1.5 to 3 years in oak before being blended and bottled.
Over the years it has been seen as a ‘must-have’ on all bars, mainly due to its Navy Rum tag. Mixing with the likes of Lamb’s Navy and Pusser’s, it promoted itself as the ‘Spirit of the Caribbean’, a phrase that adorns each label, a label that has in fact stayed unchanged in the last 50 years or so.
But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –
Wood’s 100 Old Navy – 57%
Raisin, vanilla and plenty of wood aromas fill the nose. Burn molasses and toffee aromas are a plenty too. A good kick of high-proof toffee hits your palate, but mellows quicker than expected to deliver a smooth texture of dark cocoa, roasted coffee and treacle. A long finish develops with a slight bite of dry spice and sugar.
One of the best dark rums at this strength, with plenty of deep, heavy flavours to enjoy. A whole host of cocktails have been tried and tested by me lately, but I’m going to showcase one that’s not been created within the competition –
12.5 ml Disaronno
25 ml Wood’s 100
12.5 ml De Kuyper Blue Curacao
75 ml Apple juice
25 ml Lemon juice
Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain to a highball filled with ice. Garnish with a physalis.
A surprise to most I think, and more than likely a winner if you love your rums. People forget the classic Navy style sometimes, but grab a bottle, re-invite yourself for a tot and re-live what the Navy used to drink a half pint of a day.
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