Come On In, The Shade’s Delicious With Kraken Rum

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Hear the words ‘summer cocktail’, and an image of brightly hued drinks with jolly umbrellas probably pops into your head. However this summer, The Kraken® Black Spiced Rum is taking on the traditional warm weather line-up with its own dark twist on the hot favourites, with the ‘Summer Eclipse’ serves… and it’s casting some serious shade on the old standards.

The range of limited edition summer cocktails has been designed for fans of The Kraken who appreciate the darker things in life. The line-up has been developed with the hottest cocktail trends in mind, using ingredients such as avocado, black tea and cider.

Devilishly dark and terrifyingly tempting, the six classic cocktails to be eclipsed this summer are:

The Daiquiri BECOMES The Dark & Eerie
Forget everything you knew about the cheerful poolside favourite, and dip your toes into tumultuous waters instead. Made with avocado and Cholula® Hot Sauce, and featuring a chili salt rim, it promises heat whether the sun is still up or not.

Milkshake BECOMES Freak of the Deep
Beware black ice! Give in to sweet temptation with the ultimate freakshake – another huge drinks trend, featuring cookies and ice cream for a full-on inky attack.

The Cider BECOMES The Poison Apple
Another hot trend, the cider cocktail gets the Brothers Grimm treatment, with fiery ginger and lemon.

The Spritz BECOMES Ink Spritz
Not for the faint-hearted, this twist in the tale features rhubarb and lillet.

Punch BECOMES Octo-Punch
No BBQ will be the same again, as night falls on the house party staple. Wwirling with black tea and served in a hurricane glass – even the classic umbrella garnish on this one has seen the eye of the storm.

The Mojito BECOMES The Black Mojito
The ubiquitous minty marvel reveals its blackened soul with the use of The Kraken Black Spiced Rum.

The Summer Eclipse cocktails have been created to work across both home and bar settings, offering a stand-out alternative to the usual summer line-up for bars, and an easy transition from the day-to-night drinking occasion.

However they are also accessible enough to be prepared at home. The Kraken Rum website and social channels will feature step-by-step mixology videos and recipes to help adventurous hosts recreate each one.

SUMMER ECLIPSE PERFECT SERVES RECIPES:

For videos of how to create, visit here.

Daiquiri: Dark & Eerie
STEP 1 – Rim the glass with lime and chili salt
STEP 2 – Blend with a 1/4 avocado
STEP 3 – Add 25ml lime juice
STEP 4 – Add 25ml vanilla syrup
STEP 5 – Pour in 10ml single cream
STEP 6 – Cholula to taste
STEP 7 – Add 50ml of Kraken
STEP 8 – Blend with crushed ice and pour into glass

Shake: Freak of the Deep (Made for two)
STEP 1 – Drizzle chocolate sauce all around inside of glass
STEP 2 – Add 100ml of Kraken into blender
STEP 3 – Add 1 large scoop of chocolate ice cream, 2 large scoops of vanilla ice cream, 2 to 3 cookies and ½ litre milk into blender
STEP 7 – Pour into extra large glass
STEP 8 – Add a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate ice cream to the top
STEP 9 – Top with whipped cream
STEP 8 – Garnish with chopped cookies, toasted marshmallows and get freaky with sweet treats

Cider: Poison Apple
STEP 1 – Fill glass with cracked ice
STEP 2 – Add 20ml lemon juice
STEP 3 – Add 20ml ginger syrup
STEP 4 – Pour in 35ml Kraken
STEP 5 – Top with cider
STEP 6 – Add lime wedge

Spritz: Ink Spritz
STEP 1 – Add crushed ice to a large wine glass
STEP 2 – Add rhubarb soda until glass is 2/3 full
STEP 3 – Pour 35ml lillet
STEP 4 – Add 35ml of Kraken
STEP 5 – Add rhubarb stem and stir
STEP 6 – Add orange slice

Punch: Octo-Punch
STEP 1 – Fill hurricane glass with ice
STEP 2 – Add 20ml lemon juice
STEP 3 – Add 20ml orange liqueur
STEP 4 – Add 35ml of Kraken
STEP 5 – Add cold black tea
STEP 5 – Stir
STEP 6 – Top with crushed ice
STEP 7 – Add lemon twist

Mojito: Black Mojito
STEP 1 – Add 6 to 8 mint leaves
STEP 2 – Add 25ml sugar syrup
STEP 3 – Add 25ml lime juice
STEP 4 – Add 50ml of Kraken
STEP 5 – Fill glass halfway with crushed ice and churn
STEP 6 – Add lime wedge and mint sprig

Matugga

Matugga

East Africa is not renowned for their craft rum. Mauritius may be your closest, that at least i’m aware of, but there’s a brand to look out for now that uses heavy East African influence. Welcome to Matugga.

Although not rich in history as it’s a relatively new brand to hit the UK, it doesn’t stop itself from delving into the African heart. Matugga uses the rich, red soils of East Africa that provide high-quality sugar cane and its molasses, resulting in a small batch fermentation and copper pot still distillation process.

The resulting spirit is then matured in English oak casks, but in the case of the Spiced expression, it is also the time to infuse six ingredients and fragrant natural spices, all crafted within the UK.

So how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Matugga – 42%

Plenty of fruitcake on the nose, with hints of the molasses blending with tropical fruits and sultanas. Bold flavours of raisin upon the palate, followed by banana, toffee and caramelised fruits that results in a lingering, soft finish.

Matugga Spiced – 42%

Soft cinnamon bark on the nose, with quinquina and spiced cherry notes coming through. Bold notes of fudge, black pepper and liquorice, creating a warm, relatively smooth finish that offers a punchy end.

Some tasty liquid to sip on a Summer’s evening, but if you’re looking to mix –

Matugga - Leopardess
Leopardess

Leopardess

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients –

50 ml Matugga Golden Rum
30 ml Passion fruit juice
15 ml Fresh lime juice
15 ml Sugar syrup
To garnish: fresh passion fruit.

Method – 

Combine the golden rum, passion fruit juice, lime juice and sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Fine strain into a chilled coupette glass and serve garnished with half of fresh passion fruit, placing seeds on the top.

If you’re into your rums, this is one for the cabinet for sure. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to sip, yet can create a cracking cocktail base too, Matugga is for you. Enjoy!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sailor Jerry Spices Up Category With New Bottle

sailorjerry_1_webWilliam Grant & Sons has unveiled a new look for its premium spiced rum, Sailor Jerry. The new bottle design has been developed to reinforce the brand’s premium credentials, authentic heritage and personality and provide clearer standout on shelf in retail and on the back bar.

While the liquid remains unchanged, the new design is an evolution of the previous look with clearer cues to Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, the father of old-school tattooing. The bottle neck is now embossed with the iconic brand anchor and dates. The front label has also been split into two sections to allow more prominence of the hula girl iconography and script, whilst highlighting the proof and style, bold and smooth. A new bottle shape has also been introduced, ensuring the brand is clear and recognisable amongst its competitors.

Inspired by the famous tattoo artist, six new Sailor Jerry pinup girls have been added to the inside front label of the bottle. Brand fans already remove the label to collect the existing range and the new pack includes a new, removable label so that Sailor Jerry fans can easily continue their collections with the new artwork.

Senior Brand Manager for Sailor Jerry, Riana Gallagher commented: “Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum was developed to continue the legacy of Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins and was inspired by his era, when goods were made by hand and people had a stronger sense of pride in their work. The new packaging has been introduced to align the brand’s look and old school feel with the premium, authentic nature of the spirit.”
“In a competitive category, the changes have been made to ensure Sailor Jerry remains prominent in the on and off-trade sectors and reflect the values of craftsmanship, independence and originality Sailor Jerry was built on.”

In the off-trade, spiced rum now accounts for a quarter of all rum and is the fastest growing sub-category by value, while in the on-trade, value sales of spiced rum have almost doubled in the last two years, adding £50m to the category. Sailor Jerry is the number two spiced rum in the UK on and off-trade.

The new Sailor Jerry bottle will be available from September and joins a global roll out of the new packaging. In the UK, the recommended retail price remains £22.00.

DeSilver Tasting Notes

DeSilver

When talking of a good rum, you’ll always hear a tale or two told. DeSilver is no different. It is said that in the 17th Century, a bloodthirsty old pirate named Captain DeSilver became famous due to the speed of his sword, won the sobriquet and the admiration of all the sirens in the Caribbean. With the envy of nobility though, he is said that he drew his strength and vitality from a spice mix that only he knew of, mixing the best Caribbean rum and left to soak in a cave.

Whether true or not, DeSilver hails from St Barth. Not the first place of thought regarding rum (more agricole these days), but St Barth can count itself within the importance of rum history.
Sugar cane hailing from Asia was bought over by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century to the West Indies. Around 1640, sugar cane was used to create alcohol, extracted from the molasses, and appeared in numerous islands around the Caribbean.

A few years later, the process was to be more perfected after the invention of the still, resulting in a huge number of sugar factories that included a rum distillery. It’s with this that the French West Indies thrived as it helped develop the trade.

So, DeSilver is heralded as a white rum with secret spices from the island of St Barth, but how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

DeSilver – 40%

Gingerbread and vanilla blend well on the nose, with subtle dry spices on the finish. Fresh spice on the palate, although subtle hints instead of a big boost. A little dry, with a creamy texture and ginger lingering after-taste.

Not bad on its own at all, and very different to what you would expect, especially comparing it to spiced rums such as Elements Eight, Chairman’s Reserve or RedLeg. It’s subtle instead of a heavy base, perfect for the likes of a Daiquiri perhaps.

DeSilver is not currently available in the UK, but is being rolled out into bars over the coming months. Watch out for it, it’s definitely worth a go.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Kraken Rum Searches For Cocktails ‘As Dark As A Kraken’s Ink’

Kraken

This October The Kraken Rum is opening the world’s most bizarre pop-up bar, which can be found on board The Redsand Sea Forts located 9 miles off the coast of Kent.

The Kraken Rum is offering bartenders the chance to be part of a unique, if terrifying, experience. The brand’s Think Ink cocktail competition is seeking to find a Kraken Rum cocktail as a dark as the Kraken’s ink, a drink worthy of being served in the Black Ink Society’s one-day-only pop-up bar on the historic forts.

Open to interpretation, bartenders taking part in the competition are invited to interpret the ‘dark’ brief either literally or figuratively. Kraken hunting can be a maverick game and the only rule is that Kraken Rum must be the primary ingredient with at least 35ml included.

Not only does the winner have the chance serve their cocktail to press and VIP’s at the pop-up bar on board the forts, they also win a coveted prize given to only the most fearsome of Kraken hunters…

The Kraken Rum Edible Autopsy will also be held on the forts and will see invited guests feasting on the remains of a Kraken corpse as it is dissected in front of their eyes. Following this, a film of the autopsy, and remains of the corpse, will be displayed at The Kraken Rum supported event ‘Feed The Beast’ – a rum-based extreme cake pop-up from with the infamous Eat Your Heart Out food artists’ network.
The competition will take place at Happiness Forgets, Hoxton Square, London on Tuesday 8th October – anyone interested in taking part should email thinkink@proximospirits.co.uk, for full details and competition T&C’s.

RedLeg Tasting Notes

RedLeg

Everyone loves trying a new product, and I’m no exception. I’m not fussy or picky to what I try, and I’ll always keep an open mind to a brand that offers unusual ingredients, but one that has stood out recently is a new Caribbean spiced rum named RedLeg.

Launched in the summer of last year in Brighton, RedLeg has set its sight as being the number one premium spiced rum brand available. Becoming involved in events such as the Kemptown Carnival and Pride in Brighton, Playgroup Festival and Crystal Palace outdoor festival in London has meant that many of you may have already had a try of this award-winning brand.

Yes award-winning already! Less than a year old and RedLeg has already won Double Gold at the San Francisco spirit awards this year.

As you can imagine, this has caught the eye worldwide and RedLeg will be available as far away as Australia very soon. Of course the liquid would have swayed them to spread the word, but the bottle itself catches the eye. RedLeg incorporates the motif of the RedLeg Hermit Crab which is native to the Caribbean. Famed for its bright legs, it’s said to ‘capture the spirit of Island culture being laid back with an “Irie” attitude. The RedLeg Hermit Crab is always at home, no matter where he is!’. 

RedLeg itself is infused with Jamaican vanilla, ginger and spices and then left to rest in old oak barrels. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

RedLeg – 37.5%

Soft ginger on the nose with hints of spice and toffee. Developing sweetness mixes with dry spice, cinnamon seemingly ever present. A light finish with lingering spices that freshens.

A great tot to enjoy neat or over ice, or maybe with one of these –

Apple Shack

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

25 ml RedLeg rum
25 ml Apple Juice
Dash Cinnamon sugar syrup
Splash of Ginger Beer
Lime wedge

Method – 

Build into an ice filled glass, finishing with the splash of ginger beer.

Simple and refreshing! Even though it’s a baby in the spiced rum category, it’s widely available in and around Brighton, London, the Midlands and Scotland. Of course you may want to grab yourself a bottle quickly, your drinks cabinet is looking a bit empty.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Rebellion Tasting Notes

Rebellion Spiced

There’s many a spiced rum out in the world, but one of the newer brands that is getting a bit of publicity and bartenders talking, is Rebellion Spiced. But why is this? Well after a bit of digging, here’s what i found –

Rebellion Spiced is a blend of Caribbean rums (i’ve been reliably informed that they are located very close to Grenada) with the added fresh spices of cloves, bitter orange, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and vanilla, and a name that is a nod towards the pirate punishment of marooning. Legend has it that following a rebellion, the notorious Edward Teach (or Blackbeard as he was more commonly known), was rumoured to have marooned 15 of his men on Dead Man’s Chest with only a cutlass and a bottle of rum. It’s quite fitting then that on every bottle of Rebellion Spiced, there is a signed label from Edward Teach saying that the bottle consists of the spices mentioned above.

So with a nod to piracy, how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

RebellionRebellion Spiced – 37.5%

Fragrant nose of vanilla with hints of cinnamon slowly arising. Smooth on the palate with the spice developing over the short offering. The cinnamon is more apparent near the end and gives a slight warmth.

And how about the rest of the range?

Rebellion Ron Blanco – 37.5%

Lots of aromas of soft caramel on the nose with an incredibly soft palate that grows into a subtle spice. Sweet notes of toffee linger and dries out the experience, although lingers.

Rebellion Premium Black – 37.5%

Faint caramel and toffee aromas blend on the nose with a slight dark fudge following. Salt flavours come through mixed in with the fudge on the palate. Light with a thin texture that lingers with a slight warmth on the finish.

All a good tot on its own, especially the Ron Blanco, but also a range that makes me think that a simple Cuba Libra is all that is needed if you wanted to mix –

Cuba Libra
Cuba Libra

Cuba Libra 

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

50 ml Rebellion Spiced
Cola

Method – 

Pour Rebellion Spiced over ice and top with Cola and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Easy, simple, well-balanced. If you ever try, you can also be in the knowledge that in 2012, Rebellion Spiced Rum, Blanco and Premium Black Rums were each awarded a Silver Medal at the International Wine and Spirit Competition. Need i say more!

Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Circle 360, via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bacardí

Bacardí

Bacardí is one of the biggest brands in the world, yet I can not believe that I am yet to feature it in any way shape or form. So in response to this, lets take a look at how Bacardí is the name of rum, and why it is enjoyed in nearly every country *.

1814 heralded the birth of Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the founder and mastermind behind the Bacardí rum. In the late 1800’s, Cuban’s were becoming tired of the usual pirate rum found on the island, which Don Facundo Bacardí Massó realised, and set out to pioneer a new distilling process. After experimenting with several techniques he hit upon filtering the rum through charcoal, which removed impurities. In addition to this, Don Facundo aged the rum in white oak barrels, which had the effect of “mellowing” the drink. The final product was the first clear, or “white” rum in the world.
He opened his first distillery and planted a coconut palm at its entrance. it survived earthquakes, wars and distillery fires, leading to the prophecy that the company would survive Cuba as long as ‘El Coco’ lived. Not surprising then that when the Bacardí family were exiled from Cuba, El Coco died. To this day, a coconut palm is planted at every Bacardí Company facility.

Another well-known sign is the bat. In the early years of the Bacardí production, Doña Amalia Moreau, Don Facundo Bacardi’s wife, discovered a colony of fruit bats living in the rafters of their distillery. In both Spanish and local folklore, the bat had long since been associated with good health, fortune and family unity, which Doña Amalia Moreau convinced her husband to use the symbol on every bottle that was produced.

In 1876, Bacardí won itself its first international award at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition for product quality and innovation. Its first of many as Bacardí is now recognised as the worlds most awarded rum. A year later, Emilio Bacardí took over as President as Don Facundo retired. The awards didn’t stop coming though, after being awarded a gold medal for product quality at the Barcelona Exhibition of 1888, the Queen Regent of Spain Maria Cristina named Bacardí as Purveyors of the Spanish Royal Household. Bacardí Rum became known as the ‘King of Rums and the Rum of Kings’.

1898 saw the beginning of a classic cocktail named the Daiquiri. Hailing from the mining town of Daiquirí, Cuba, an American mining engineer named Jennings Stockton Cox invented a cocktail using Bacardí, fresh lime, sugar and ice. After success with his friends, he named it ‘Ron BACARDÍ a la Daiquirí’. Another cocktail that Bacardí can be proud of is the Cuba Libra. Invented at the time of Cuba’s independence following the Spanish American War some time in the early 1900’s, a small Havana bar and a group of soldiers mixed Bacardí, cola and lime and toasted ‘por Cuba libre!’ or ‘to a free Cuba’.

When Prohibition was declared in the USA, 60,000 cases of Bacardí could not be sold or exported. Refusing to destroy the precious rum, Don Facundo’s son-in-law, Enrique Schueg, chose instead to give it away through an innovative share scheme. He issued 60,000 shares in Bacardi’s US Bottling Company and the very next day closed the company down, giving away one case of Bacardí as compensation for every share.

In the 1960’s, just prior to Bacardi’s 100th Anniversary, the Cuban administration confiscated all private businesses in Cuba without any compensation. Bacardí production was forced to stop and the Bacardí family lost its distilleries, breweries, offices, warehouses, ageing rum stocks and even their family homes. But thanks to Bacardí President Pepín Bosch, having transferred all company patents out of Cuba in 1958, and the company having established two distilleries in Puerto Rico and Mexico many years prior, Bacardí were able to rebuild itself in exile. In record time a new distillery opened in Brazil to support the existing distilleries and by 1979 Bacardí had become the world’s number one international spirit.

So a rather stella history, having built Bacardí effectively twice in there lifetime. Bacardí have a strong portfolio of rums, and I’ve been lucky enough to experience the odd one and write for you some tasting notes –

Bacardí Carta Fuego
Bacardí Carta Fuego

Bacardí Carta Blanca – 37.5%

What used to be named as ‘Superior’, this is a blend of rums aged separately within lightly charred ex-bourbon barrels for 12 to 24 months.
Whisps of tropical fruits and almonds on the nose followed by a little spice, but with vanilla dominating the palate. A rather smooth offering, but does develop into a dry finish with a hint of spice.

Bacardí Oakheart – 35%

Fermented in charred oak bourbon barrels. Rich oak aromas on the nose with a spice of cinnamon lingering. Hints of dried fruit on the palate mixed in with vanilla flavours and subtle smoke.

Bacardí Carta Fuego – 40%

Aged for at least on year with added spices. Rich, bold and smooth on the nose, with creamy vanilla, butter and caramel notes dominating. Smooth upon the palate, with the rich spices coming through giving of some heat. A warm finish combined with toffee and caramel creates a thin yet sharp experience.

Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII
Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII

I’ve also been very fortunate to experience an incredibly rare expression from Bacardí – Ron Bacardí de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII. For 30 years, José Sanchez Gavito was the Master Blender, becoming the first non Cuban and first non family member to be appointed the role. Upon his retirement, he was invited to be one of the eight family members to craft this expression, bringing together the best rums from the Bacardí cellar. The rum was then laid to rest in American oak barrels for 20 years and then swapped into 60-year-old Cognac barrels to age. Once the process was complete, the eight Maestros de Ron were left with 4 different rums to choose from. Over three days, they deliberated to find the perfect one that they could bottle within a glass decanter, ultimately giving it as a present to the Bacardí family.

Ron Bacardi de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII – 43%

Slight dried fruits of raisin and fig on the nose, with plenty of dried woods coming through and balancing nicely. The palate enjoyed a strong flavour of wood, interacting with sharp cherry, then softening with honey notes that created a very long finish. Utterly superb.

I mentioned previously that the Daiquiri and Cuba Libra first made its name in Cuba using Bacardí Superior, but it’s not the only cocktail you can have –

Sidecar
Sidecar

Bacardi Sidecar

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

25 ml Bacardí Carta Blanca
25 ml Triple Sec
25 ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/5 part Sugar syrup (Optional)

Method – 

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker. Add the ice and shake. Add sugar if necessary. Double strain into a chilled glass.

or perhaps,

Bacardi Daiquiri
Bacardi Daiquiri

Daiquiri – created by Bacardí UK Brand Ambassador Shervene Shahbazkhani 

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients – 

2 Heaped Tsp Caster Sugar
25 ml Fresh Lime
50 ml Bacardí Carta Blanca

Method – 

Shake all the ingredients over ice and double strain into a coupette glass. No garnish required.

Simple, easy, enjoyable. Love or hate Bacardí, you can’t fault its legacy at all. Treat yourself.

*History taken from the Bacardí website. Subtle changes have been made for narrative purposes.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Captain Morgan Black Label and Spiced Tasting Notes

Captain Morgan Spiced

Now here’s a brand that many of  you will have seen, and probably ordered at some point in your life – Captain Morgan’s rum. But why is this brand so widely available? And how does it differ to any other rum?

When Sam Bronfman, President and CEO of Seagram’s drinks company, arrived in the Caribbean in the 1940’s, he was surprised by the opportunities presented by spiced rum. He quickly set about becoming the ‘Rum King of the World’ and established a network of trading relationships with distillers across the region, founding the Captain Morgan Rum Company in 1945. Named after a gentleman named Henry Morgan, born in Wales but left to sail for the West Indies in 1654 and quickly became captain, garnering attention as a legal pirate who defended the British interests. With his exploits, he was knighted and by 1680, Sir Henry Morgan was a plantation owner and Governor of Jamaica. There he lived out his final days until his death in 1688.

When the company subsequently purchased the Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica, Sam bought an age-old family recipe for spiced rum from the Levy Brothers, two Jamaican pharmacists from Kingston.

Using charred American white oak bourbon barrels, and filled with triple continuous distilled rum, they are rested and matured until ready to be bottled.

So once it hits our glass, how does it fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes on its two major expressions –

Captain Morgan Black Label – 40%

Strong vanilla on the nose with a slight spice ending. Both become more dominant on the palate, despite a smooth beginning. Rather harsh on the throat but a long sweet after-taste develops. 

Captain Morgan Spiced – 35%

A light vanilla nose that carries onto the palate. A slow start but brings a slight raw vanilla flavour with hints of toffee and cassia spice. A rather harsh finish but soon mellows.

These two are perfect for mixing simple drinks with too –

Dark & Spicy
Dark & Spicy

Dark and Stormy

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

35 ml Captain Morgan Black Label
Ginger Beer

Method – 

Simply add your favourite ginger beer to Captain Morgan and garnish with a slice of lime.

If you like your rum and you haven’t tried it, it’s worth a go to complete your collection, and it’s great for a simple mixer too.

You can purchase both bottles here and check out the rest of the photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pusser’s

Pussers

Everyone loves something classic. Classic films, classic cars, classic music. But what about classic drink? Yes there’s the classic cocktails like Martini or Manhattan, but what about those brands that make those cocktails become a mainstay? Or maybe those brands that have earned the right to be called classic? Say, for example, Pusser’s?

Pusser’s comes under this category for two reasons. Number one is for its quality, and number two for its history.

Between the mid 17th and 19th centuries, the sailors of the Royal Navy were granted a daily ration of rum by the ship’s Purser. The term Purser gradually changed its name until it became the more recognisable Pusser. Before 1740, the daily ration included an entire pint of rum which was consumed neat and before a battle, a double rum ration was issued. Only on July 31st 1970 did this tradition end after the Admiralty Board deemed it unsuitable.

The brand that we see behind the bars today was founded by Charles Tobias, a sailor and businessman. Tobias resurrected Pusser’s rum in 1979, using the original blending recipe which he had been given by the Admiralty. Today, the blend is the same as it was on British warships, using five West Indian rums (three from Guyana, two from Trinidad) aged for at least 3 years and contains mostly pot-still rum, all within Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. To add extra intrigue, the pot-still is made of wood, the definition of real navy rum.

George Freegard - International Brand Manager
George Freegard – International Brand Manager

Overseeing the development of Pusser’s around the world is a gentleman named George Freegard. Responsible for overseeing production and procurement and International sales outside of the US since 2012, I had the chance to enjoy the range of Pusser’s available here in the UK a couple of weeks back. A genuine rum lover, George gave great insight into the work that Charles Tobias has done, as well as his own achievements since working his first stint on the brand back in 1994 in the British Virgin Islands.

So how does this all natural rum fair? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on their range, served up by George himself –

Pusser’s Gunpowder Proof – 54.5%

Originally named Pusser’s Old Blue. Rich vanilla nose with a slight toffee that lightens off with a hint of sweetness. A heavy burn on the palate to begin with but a mellow warmth develops with a sweet vanilla flavour.

Pusser’s New Blue – 40%

Released in 2014. Soft vanilla nose with hints of toffee and an underlying sweetness. A slight burn on the palate, but warms up after a few seconds, offering a sweet vanilla flavour that lingers.

Pusser’s Spice – 35%

Dry spice with a light kick of cinnamon on the nose. Very smooth on the palate, with dry spice, plenty of wood and a lingering ginger flavour to finish.

Pusser’s Navy Rum 15yr – 40%

Rich toffee nose with plenty of buttery aromas coming through. A rich, developing palate with a kick of sugar. Plenty of toffee notes create a lingering yet dry finish.

It’s always great to find a classic recipe too –

Painkiller
Painkiller

The Pusser’s Painkiller

Glass –

Goblet / Mug

Ingredients –

50 ml Pusser’s Rum – or 75ml / 100ml depending on the severity of the pain!
100 ml pineapple juice
25 ml orange juice
25 ml cream of coconut

Method –

Fill a mug or goblet with ice and add the ingredients. To mix, pour once or twice back and forth into another glass. Grate fresh nutmeg on top and enjoy this most delightful of tropical drinks.

Always one to go down well in any bar! Or indeed your home for that matter! It truly is a cracking range,

Whatever your take is on navy rum, these are expressions to look out for. Friend or foe, neat or Painkiller, Pusser’s is sticking around for a good reason.

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